By Taylor Trapani, Marketing Associate
“It’s 1994. I am a freshman at the University of Tennessee and tonight is the football team’s season opener against UCLA,” said Peyton Manning, National Football League star and two-time Super Bowl champion, as he started his keynote address at the MBA Annual Convention. “I was the third-string quarterback (QB) and a few months prior my dad told me that if I happen to get put into a game at any point in the season, that I should command the huddle and take charge. Well, as fate would have it, our first string QB suffered a season-ending injury on the seventh play of the game, putting me in the spotlight.
“I ran out to the huddle remembering what my dad said. I clapped my hands and said to the guys ‘Okay. This is what we’re going to do,’ but before I could continue, they all shot looks of disdain at me and one of the seniors shouted ‘Shut up freshman!’
“In that moment I realized that my dad gave me bad advice.”
Manning went on to talk about how the bad advice yielded a valuable lesson – that respect and leadership is earned.
I think that lesson is extremely relevant to the mortgage industry — respect for your organization is earned, it’s not freely given, especially in today’s competitive market.
So how do banks and financial lenders earn their customer’s respect? Well, Manning had a few more pieces of advice…
1) Be willing to adapt to aggressive realities.
Adapt is the key word here. We talk a lot about how millennials demand change, but just like how millennials have expectations and demands far different than baby boomers and Generation X, the consumers to come in Gen Z or iGeneration will have an entirely new set of expectations and demands.
Even though your home-grown legacy system was great for your users and clients in the past, your customer-base is different now which means the technology you use to write your mortgages should be too.
Technologies like biometrics, IBM Watson and IoT are shaping the future of the industry – make yourself aware of these and get on board!
2) Master the art of inquiry.
As a writer and avid question-asker, this one is my favorite. This advice isn’t limited to asking questions of people. You’d be surprised what happens when you ask questions about your processes and systems.
Why does it take so long for us to capture information from a mortgage application? Is there a way to automatically validate the loan estimate (LE) to the closing doc (CD)?
When you begin asking those questions, your wheels start to turn and not just yours, but your colleagues’ too. And when you ask questions, you learn. You learn that actually there are technologies that automate the data capture process. And yes, many other organizations also struggle with comparing the LE to CD. (We asked MBA Annual Convention attendees that question and now we’re starting to explore a solution for it!)
3) Scrutinize your performance.
So your organization is doing well. Profit margins are high, the turnover rate is low, but if someone held a gun to your head and asked why the organization is doing so well, would you be able to answer?
Success is great, but if you don’t have analytics at every level of the organization that reveal what’s working and not working, you can be sure that the success will be short-lived. To scrutinize your performance, you must have visibility into things like the estimate to complete, key issues, operational (in) efficiencies, and the electronic data warehouse.
In the season-opener game against UCLA, Manning didn’t generate any offense and his coach pulled him from the game. In the fourth game of the season, the starting QB got injured and Manning got another chance. This time, he kept his mouth shut and followed instructions. Season after season, Manning helped lead the team to victory. Every caught pass, every successful play, and every failed play built his teammates’ respect for him.
Our team learned a lot at the MBA Annual Convention, but the most significant lesson was that respect as a mortgage industry leader is earned by adopting innovative technologies, not by accepting that status quo. Mortgage technology that provides visibility and analytics to analyze your performance and continually make it better for your clients is what sets lenders apart.
So, I leave you with a question that Manning asked the MBA Annual Convention attendees: The goalposts of the mortgage industry are shifting – are you?
About the Author: I’m a writer in the Marketing Department at Pyramid Solutions so I get to write for all three lines of business. I love that I get to learn and write about everything from manufacturing execution systems to network protocols to mortgage lending to life insurance underwriting. This winter outside of work you can find me at a ski resort snowboarding or skiing.