HousingWire recently spoke with MCS CEO Caroline Reaves about self-service technology, the shift to virtual events and how servicers can prepare for post-COVID success by improving processes today.
HousingWire: What role has technology played in servicers’ ability to react to COVID-19?
Caroline Reaves: Technology has always been critical in our industry. Most recently, we have seen a rise in self-service options. As the new technology has rolled out, borrower interactions have been reduced and the volume of calls has reduced accordingly. Now we are seeing increasing engagement rates from servicers, as they now have more time and resources to devote to each call.
HW: How are servicers preparing for a potential foreclosure wave?
CR: Now is a great time to proactively prepare for the potential foreclosure wave. Servicers are reviewing their top performers as well as those outside of their current network to determine who can best support the additional volume. Many of the current leaders in servicing experienced the housing crisis of 2008, and they clearly recognize the importance of being prepared.
Forward-thinking servicers are also partnering with their vendors, like MCS, to drive innovation through process improvement. That focus on process improvement today will set them up for success when moratoriums are lifted.
HW: Fall is typically conference season, but live events aren’t feasible right now. How are servicers adjusting?
CR: It has been great to see our industry pivot to ensure that the collaboration of conferences continues. Servicers and vendor partners have shifted to rely heavily on virtual platforms for meetings, presentations and general interactions. The shift to virtual conferences has made attendance easier, which has actually led to participation from some who may not have been involved in the past.
And while networking looks a bit different today, virtual attendance has driven more intentionality. We are seeing more deliberate outreach to start conversations vs. attending a conference with the hopes of meeting a potential business partner.
HW: How has MCS been working with servicers, vendors and all parties involved to continue to protect our neighborhoods during COVID-19?
CR: MCS continues to work tirelessly to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the neighborhoods we serve. We partner closely with collaborative industry groups (MBA, NAMFS, Property Preservation Executive Forum and others) to ensure we are asking the right questions and finding solutions that work for everyone, including agencies and investors. Our executives are actively engaged with field vendors and employees, increasing communication and taking timely and appropriate action to provide support while managing through the challenges of COVID-19.
MCS created and implemented a work order verification hotline allowing local and state officials to confirm employee and vendor essential services credentials. This ensures that orders are completed and deadlines are met.
MCS continues to be a leader in communicating the ever-changing COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations from local, state and federal authorities. Providing up-to-date, detailed information to vendors and employees allows MCS to maintain a safe working environment within the communities we serve.