What do you think would happen if the CEOs and CTOs of mortgage companies were to switch jobs for a week?
The technology department would probably suffer.
This observation is offered in the wake of last week’s annual technology conference of the Mortgage Bankers Association. Think about it. The technology people have to be zoned in to the outside market and the institution’s goals, and to implement the technology that helps achieve those objectives.
Whereas the CEO may be tech-illiterate, or even responsible for the scattershot array of in-house and acquired technology that one CTO aptly called a “hairball” at a conference of ours.
Let’s face it. Mortgage CEOs haven’t covered themselves in glory in recent years. They let underwriting slip and volumes rise and hoped the bang of the exploding bubble would never come. In some areas that’s called “magical thinking,” and there’s nothing magical about it.
Now the CTOs, and we can include many mortgage tech vendors as well, worked ceaselessly on the tilting decks of the mother ship to make sure it didn’t keel over entirely. You’re going from zero short sales in a million? No problem. We can provide capacity for that. You need to re-underwrite a million loan modifications? Got you covered. Risk analytics? A cinch.
The technology side of the mortgage business, while not quite delivering (yet) on the promise of routine end-to-end electronic mortgages, has delivered something just as valuable in recent years: the means to avoid sector collapse and slowly right the ship.
Our most recent issue of Mortgage Technology magazine, delivered with last week’s National Mortgage News, provided a map to the vendors who get it right. And this fall, as we have done for many years (and longer than anyone else in the mortgage space) we plan to salute the best of the best with our annual Mortgage Technology Awards, at the MBA annual in Washington. Watch for the entry forms!
And finally, at the end of the year (Nov. 18-20 in Fort Lauderdale) we will be putting on our 15th annual Mortgage Technology Conference. We’ve been running this show since CEOs thought a hot-button question was how to integrate servicing platforms.
Maybe they still think that! And maybe if we lengthened the term of our switch to a month, the boards would be thinking about making the switch permanent.