*What’s On The Minds Of Lenders?*
**By Ted Hicks**
***As I talk to lenders around the nation, I find consistently that lenders have a lot on their minds. Certainly market conditions are challenging for you and the industry as a whole. But concerns and fears regarding compliance are at the forefront, followed closely by the need to grow your businesses. As a lender, you want and need to control where your business is going and what’s happening in your office. And if you don’t achieve this objective, regulators and investors are ready to step in and take over by mandating practices that ensure both compliance and transparency, making growing your business even harder.
***We know this for a fact because it is already happening, even as I write this. Our industry has become so heavily regulated with rules and new forms that it is becoming difficult to function without assistance. For example, the CFPB will create one form that combines the GFE and the TIL. You constantly need to update your forms database to get through this compliance hurdle in order to move your business forward. So what will help you ease your mind in your quest for compliance and growth?
***There is a way to both keep compliant and get new business all at the same time. Technology can help you be proactive in compliance. The difficulty you experience in keeping up with different agencies and regulatory bodies can hold you up and prevent you from moving forward as a working business. So, you must increasingly depend on your technology vendor. Are you worried that the technology provider is up on everything? Absolutely.
***As lenders, you first have to align with the right vendor. Vendors like Calyx are regulatory neutral. It doesn’t impact us in so much as we’re not going to get audited, but we have to keep up with new regulations in order to keep our clients updated. It’s our job to help you get and stay compliant. You also need to get your voices heard before new regulations are passed. The trade associations will help and everyone should be active with various trade associations, but lenders especially need to be involved. You need to be a part of the dialogue by engaging with your members of Congress.
***Technology can also help you grow your business. First, your goal is to get more people into homes. How do you do this? Look at your data, mine it and use it to attract new business as well as get old business back. Looking back, this practice was not something that lenders had to concentrate on in the past. Calls were coming in bringing tons of business to them. As we all know, that has changed for those of us in the business today.
***Real estate is going back to the old way of doing business. The phone used to be ringing off the hook, but now you need to figure out ways to make the phone ring. Take a step further and actually pick up the phone and make the call or send an e-mail. You have a database of contacts, so use your technology to be proactive in how you seek out new business.
***As a technology vendor to lenders, we at Calyx have an in-house compliance staff and we also work with several outside firms. Technology can only take you so far though, you need to do the right thing and use sound business practices. You have to understand your business and your business practices and market to your past clients as well as potential ones. With the right technology and the right overall business approach you can both be compliant and get new business in the door.
Ted Hicks is the Director of Product Management at Calyx Software. He started working for Calyx over 4 years ago and is responsible for the research and design of all Calyx products including all issues related to compliance and forms. Ted has spent the last 14 years working as a product management professional in small and large firms providing enterprise software solutions across a variety of industries including Siebel Systems (now Oracle), Aspect Telecommunications, and Epiphany.