So the purchase market is here. We’ve gone over this repeatedly, and so have others. So this is not another “the purchase market is coming” article. It’s also not the typical “how-to” for a purchase market. You know: “Compete for market share.” “Get your marketing ready.” “Shore up your operations, margin compression is also coming.” Market consolidation. So forth.
All worthy advice. But this week, Deeper Thoughts is going in a different direction.
Yes, it’s sort of a made-up word. But we’re not the first to use it. You can probably decipher what it means: two competitors working together for mutual benefit (e.g. such as sharing costs or resources). It’s also not foreign to the mortgage industry, although it is somewhat rare.
In fact, I had the opportunity to discuss this with Josh Pitts on his amazing SHRED podcast recently. You should really check Josh out if you haven’t. It’s become one of my favorite podcasts in the industry!
I sometimes think that we, as an industry, spend too much time looking in our rear view (or side view) mirrors when it comes to market share. Yes, we are competing for our share of a limited market. But I see many firms in all segments of our space—title, lending, realty—that, at times, perhaps put too much emphasis on what their competitors are doing. In the worst cases, it yields “me-too” marketing. I’m not a fan.
The fact remains that most of our space is marketing a commoditized good or service. I don’t truly believe consumers pick their mortgage lender solely on rates. But I also believe it’s rare that they pick a lender solely because of a pamphlet, commercial or product name. (Rocket Mortgage notwithstanding…)
As costs go up for us globally, there will be plenty of great opportunities for us to work together for mutual benefit. Centralized or shared costs, especially, will be an opportunity many of us should explore. One doesn’t have to open up the books or give away the secret recipe in order to collaborate. But I think we can all quickly see areas where two competitors pulling in the same direction might benefit each a lot more than pulling in opposite directions.
In the coming weeks, we’ll come back to explore some of these opportunities here.
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