This month in the In Focus section of the October edition of its STRATMOR Insights report, STRATMOR Senior Partner Garth Graham explores the steps lenders should take to make the best decisions about their digital investments. As Graham explains, he has observed that many lenders struggle with a clear sense of the problem they are trying to solve with digital technology, beyond the general idea of “making the mortgage process better.”
To help lenders as they evaluate digital solutions, Graham offers five tips that can serve as a pre-investment assessment for making the most of digital technologies. Among those tips, he points out that lenders should take the time to define the business case for any investments they are planning. “Without a very specific business case, it is difficult to generate the additional revenue or lower expenses to the level necessary to generate a return on investments in new technology,” said Graham. He also shares important insights on current market realities and future market scenarios lenders should consider as they create a specific business case. “Of course, it’s fine to want the mortgage process to be better in general, but lenders should get very specific about how they want the process to be more efficient, lower cost, and/or provide higher revenue per loan,” Graham continues.
Also included in Graham’s tips for making the most of digital technologies is his advice that lenders make sure that any solutions they consider will work well for their high producers. The latest STRATMOR Originator Census Survey shows that roughly 40 percent of originators generate 80 percent of the business. “What this means is that if lenders can increase the production of their top-tier originators by 25 percent, this production increase would equal the volume generated by the bottom 60 percent,” said Graham. “With such productivity gain potential, lenders should consider how the digital technology tools they are evaluating can help make top originators more productive.”
In addition, this month’s report features highlights from the latest STRATMOR Originator Census Survey, which provides lenders with valuable insights into the makeup of their sales force and how it compares to peer lenders. Looking at how originator age varies between retail and consumer direct originators, the survey shows that, on average, consumer direct originators are ten years younger than retail originators. The average age of consumer direct originators is 37 years versus 47 for retail originators. While there are retail originators under the age of 30, their numbers are not proportional to the under 30 bracket in the consumer direct origination space. More Millennial hires are occurring in consumer direct call centers where they work in a centralized environment that facilitates training and coaching.
This month’s report also announces that the next STRATMOR Originator Census Survey will open in January 2018. Survey participants receive a report that includes 15 pages of individualized results. Any originators interested in learning more should contact STRATMOR here.