While many see the shrinking lender and vendor market as a bad sign, Scott Cooley, president of Cooley Consulting, told the 11th annual SourceMedia Mortgage Technology Conference that industry consolidation presents great opportunities for buyers with a long-term view to enter the market. Mr. Cooley warned that there are signs that a technology vendor isn't doing well. "They get real quiet: no updates, newsletters, their website is stagnant, etc.," he said. "Their support personnel are mostly gone. Press releases and joint venture announcements disappear. There's poor communications with compliance updates. Sales/collection calls get more aggressive. And finally, rumors start to circulate." But Mr. Cooley said times like these are good for companies looking to enter the mortgage market. "Yes, every lender is shedding licenses, and vendors are dropping like flies, but the best time to invest is when everyone else won't," he declared. "When you're at the bottom, there's no place to go but up. Times like these are rare: VC firms are starting to swarm, and technology vendors are hungry for sales." Silicon Valley, Calif.-based Cooley Consulting can be found on the Web at http://www.scooley.com.

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