Our friends at Housing Wire recently published their 2022 HW Tech 100 awards. We were quite honored to be named among them, and we thank Housing Wire, our friends, partners, clients and team members for helping us reach this point. From our earliest days, who could have foreseen how far our closing cost calculator, grown from a small apartment in NYC, would go? We’re truly grateful.
In looking over the HW Tech 100 this year, we noticed that there are a lot of familiar names. We congratulate especially our partners BeSmartee, Blend and ICE Mortgage Technology, none of whom are strangers to this list, and rightfully so! We also noticed a lot of new names, as well as the names of companies that haven’t specialized specifically in tech in the past. We’ve come a long way from the early days of the technology awards, when one could fairly easily predict which companies would be named annually. Then again, mortgage technology wasn’t always the sexiest niche to live in.
If you were in the mortgage industry seven or eight years ago, digitization at any level was more of a concept than a reality. That’s not to say there weren’t highly automated leaders out there. But it is to say that the overall use of effective technology (or should we say, the effective use of technology?) was not always to the level of other industries, and the priority in the boardrooms wasn’t always as high as it could have been.
If you wanted to, back then, you could find discussion about the merits of technology—usually in the format of the elusive cradle-to-grave, one-size-fits-all eMortgage—at the technology conferences or the exhibit halls at larger shows. You’d likely find the same enthusiasts (and, very likely, many of the current HW Tech 100 winners) there as well. They were preaching the truth. Unfortunately, the people you didn’t find in those places were CEOs and COOs—the decision makers so many CIOs or CTOs were trying to convince.
We don’t know exactly where the tipping point towards global digitization took place. In fact, we’re only just now starting to see that focus on leveraging technology move beyond POS and LOS applications. Maybe it was around 2017 or 2018, when we had our first indication in years that a purchase market might be coming soon (in fact, that cycle didn’t live long, as 2019 and 2020 brought us the Refi Boom Redeux). But it became clear that the message had gotten through. Technology wasn’t just for the vendors and exhibitors to discuss any longer.
We’re humbled to be a part of the list of names Housing Wire has published. And we congratulate all of the winners. We’ll note that there are quite a few newcomers as well, which is a great sign. And we’re thrilled for some of the best-established tech veterans, such as our friends at ICE Mortgage Technology, who were there at the forefront, trying to convince the CEOs and COOs that a good loan origination technology really did have a place in successful, everyday mortgage lending!
We also encourage the industry to keep up the momentum. In our push for greater clarity in our space, we’ll continue to shout about the need for technology focused on the closing of the transaction—technology that handles rudimentary tasks and empowers our talented professionals to walk the consumer through a complicated process. We’ll continue to advocate for technology that makes the process more transparent to all parties, especially the consumers. And we’ll continue to work with our partners, clients and friends to help make the mortgage experience no more difficult than any other online purchase or borrowing experience.