Housing is one of the last industries to embrace the world of technology, and even with the current progress it has made, it still has a long way to go. So why is housing so slow when the publishing industry and the travel industry have already made huge strides in technology?
They never had to.
Jeff McGuiness, CEO of Lenders One, explained in an interview with HousingWire that mortgage lenders haven’t had to change.
“We’ve had very robust refinance markets, but when you have to go out and source business and you are up against all those other competitors, lenders are forced to innovate.”
Right now, he said that the industry is talking more about technology than it is doing anything about it, but there is a legitimate effort being made by most good lenders to change that.
“We look at insurance providers and credit card providers and they are so much more fluid and adaptable by allowing technology to facilitate that transaction,” said McGuiness.
McGuiness compared the housing industry to what the publishing industry when through in pre 2000s. There was debate on whether an electronic book could replace the tactile feel of a book in readers’ hands, and Barnes and Noble (BKS) and other bookstores had to learn that lesson the hard way, he explained.
However, although there has been a seismic shift toward electronic readers, there are still bookstores around. What didn’t happen was that the paper book went away in total, he explained.
“We do not believe that loan officers are going away anytime soon. Those lenders that are doing a good job in today’s environment are paying acute attention to the loan officers they are bring on board, retaining them and investing in them heavily,” McGuiness said.
The finite way the industry should adapt to technology or change the role of a loan officer is up in the air. The March Issue of HousingWire will include further coverage of the industry’s opinion on this, which you can subscribe to here.
However, McGuiness commented on the claim that technology could make more borrowers misinformed about what they are signing since it is online.
He explained that this is a consumer attribute and is not exclusive to millennials or online.
At Lenders One, they are aligning themselves with a provider that will push out the information that the consumer wants, McGuiness said. For example, sending a video link that will tell borrowers the important terms of their loan and what they need to understand.
“Buying a home for most people is the single biggest investment they will make. Whether that information is online, over the phone or face-to-face, I think it is up to the consumer. It really is about accessibility to the knowledge,” said McGuiness. “The challenge in the dialogue is that we are in an industry that has a lot of ground to make up in how we deliver our product.”