Preparing for an unpredictable 2020
If we agreed that 2020 will be a year of opportunity, but that it certainly will not be like 2019 (at least, after the first quarter), then we have to agree that it’s time to prepare our businesses for a changing market. Last post, we discussed the likelihood of a fluid economy, the probable decline of widespread refinance volume and the expected growth of a purchase market through any number of channels (agency loans, non-QM, homebuilding, etc.). All of this bodes very well for TPO lenders, but retail and other lenders should be optimistic as well.
Of course, service providers, partners and vendors also have to be ready for this change of direction in the mortgage market. We’re fortunate to have a lot of industry-leading clients here, and we’re watching carefully how they’re preparing for this change of market. Right now, while they’re capturing a ton of re-fi business, they’re simultaneously preparing pivot and service the increased volume in different channels. So this won’t be the first time—nor the last—that you see the suggestion that your operation needs to be as flexible as possible. Right NOW. This comes in several categories:
• Capacity and throughput: If you need a lot of time to get up to speed in a different channel, know this: at least one of your competitors needs less time.
• Staffing: If your staff is one-dimensional, you’ll again be under the gun when the channels shift. Time is a killer for service providers and lenders alike. So if your “plan” is to wait-and-see, you might as well begin your layoffs now.
• Learning curve: In 2020, your team and operation will be afforded about 10 minutes for learning curve when the re-fi market shifts to purchase. Why? Because it’s 2020. There’s plenty of scalable, flexible technology available out there that should already be in place. And the consumer gets a tad bit antsier when he or she is waiting for keys to a home. Which makes the L.O. antsier. And the REALTOR antsier. And your client antsier. You get the point.
Yes, this is a little self-serving on our part. But that doesn’t make this any less true. When a re-fi market shifts to a purchase market, the business (be it lender or service provider) who can make the change and get up to speed ASAP wins. It’s that simple. LodeStar prides itself on providing solutions that bring providers together as well as various parts of an operation together. But it starts with your strategy, your leadership and your ability to pivot.
So, are you ready for 2020?
P.S. If you made it this far in the article I would love to hear from you! As we are building out this blog in 2020, I am always looking for as much feedback as possible (good, bad and ugly). You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org