5 questions for Joe Welu on mortgages in the time of coronavirus

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As COVID-19 news rapidly evolves and quarantine order end dates remain murky, mortgage lenders must navigate the unprecedented landscape on the fly.

Companies at the forefront of digitization have bigger advantages now than ever before in the time of social distancing. For those lagging technologically, the pandemic necessitates a swift progression into adopting remote systems and processes.

Joe Welu, CEO and founder of Total Expert, has preached the importance of mortgage technology for years now, and balancing that with the right amount of personal touch. Now there is an opportunity for lenders to act accordingly.

The excerpts below are from an exchange with Welu where he provides his perspectives on how the coronavirus crisis impacts the mortgage industry and how lenders can push forward.

What are your thoughts on where mortgages stand during the outbreak?

People need homes, so the sentiment is still very strong. We are already seeing lenders adapt and move forward. They are making the operational changes they need to make and are hoping to have some normalcy restored in the coming weeks. I truly believe we’re going to pull through this stronger and come out the other side better than we were previously.

How are lenders conducting business right now?

We are seeing a shift in priorities as lenders think less about marketing and more about maintaining relationships with customers and employees. Your customers may be in self-quarantine, but that doesn't mean you can't stay connected and continue providing excellent service. And that's what we see happening. Our customers are adapting and evolving to focus on relationships and staying connected in their communications.

What will happen to the mortgage industry as it tries to navigate the crisis?

In every crisis, there are always equal parts opportunity and equal parts chaos and drama. I believe you get more of what you choose to focus on. The one thing I know for sure is that the world will never be the same after this crisis. The industry will have to adapt in the coming weeks and months, and needs to think about the products and services that are most important to its customers right now.

How can more companies accelerate into a digital model if they weren't already there?

Digital transformation gives lenders a way to harness all people, processes and technologies to improve operations and drive growth, but you have to focus on driving a strategy around how your technology works together to serve your organization in order to be successful.

One of the interesting things that comes with the travel restrictions in place right now is that leadership is present and able to really work on the business. Use this time to make progress on systems, process, getting more efficient and moving key initiatives forward.

What are the major roadblocks?

Buying technology doesn't always mean you're buying a solution, because in too many cases, tools don't work together to deliver business outcomes. To boost agility and accelerate digital transformation, you need to adopt a partnership mentality. Look for vendors who want to partner with you and who have strong partnerships with other solution providers so you can build out your digital technology foundation and deliver exceptional customer experiences that turn you into a trusted financial partner.

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Coronavirus Mortgage technology Digital mortgages Fintech Mobile technology