Monday Morning Cup of Coffee this week gives a preview of our industry's biggest conference: the Mortgage Banker's Association annual gathering starting now in Boston. We'll still report regular news as we get it and give you everything you need to stay up-to-date for the next few days. 

Dispatch from the field: The crisp air in Boston greets travelers as the housing industry converges for one of the year’s biggest conferences: MBA Annual. The air hummed with the anticipation as exhibitors put booths together and speakers prepared for the conference. Some companies, such as Fannie Mae, even plan big announcements to be revealed this week.

Follow HousingWire’s editorial team on Twitter as they keep you up-to-date with the latest news live from the conference: Sarah WheelerKelsey Ramírez and Brena Swanson. Also, be sure to introduce yourself to our latest, exciting addition to our team.

For example, Brena caught up with some execs after she heard they planned to launch something new at MBA Annual. Eager to keep everyone in-the-know, she had a chat with those thought leaders from Accenture, and here's what they said.

HousingWire: Heading into the conference, what’s your take on the pulse of the industry?

Accenture: The industry has been through many changes and more are on the way. Regulatory and investor-driven change has become a part of the new normal, while the sustained low interest rate environment continues to squeeze margins. As with any election year, especially one without an incumbent, we think the current mood in the industry is one of uncertainty and anticipation. There continues to be a lot of discussion on the timing of when  millennials will enter the home buying sector of the economy. It appears that time is getting closer, with more active traffic by this generational group “exploring alternatives” with Realtors and lenders alike.

HW: What do we expect to be the hot topics at the conference?

Accenture: We think there will be an overall curiosity about what’s next - including the future of the GSEs, regulation and innovation. This year’s conference theme is “Forward.” Now that there is a baseline adoption of current regulatory requirements, it’s time for lenders and servicers to analyze their businesses and address long term sustainability and growth. Lenders are now turning their attention to innovation and new technologies, gaining efficiencies and profitability that allow them to drive enhanced customer experience.

HousingWire: What challenges do we expect to hear from clients and prospects at the conference?      

Accenture: For the last several years, clients have expressed concern that the regulatory environment and profitability challenges have made it extremely difficult to make money in mortgage, particularly for the mid-tier banks. The fallout is seen in lagging systems and technology, subsequently leading to the inability of our clients to focus on implementing the customer retention and acquisition strategies needed to grow and maintain market share. This year in particular, we are seeing the adoption of truly cutting edge digital consumer technologies on the market that will soon become table stakes for those looking to stay in the game. We expect clients will be coming to us on both fronts – looking to gain process efficiencies and implement effective digital strategies.

HW: What is your advice to lenders looking to move to an outsourced model?

Accenture: Earlier this year we conducted a broad lender survey to test our methodology for the future of our mortgage business process outsourcing offering. We surveyed the top 200 lenders, building consensus through discussion and learning about what factors mattered most. Our new Mortgage & Compliance as-a-Service (MCaaS) offering is the result of those discussions and will officially launch at this year’s MBA Annual convention. With this offering, Accenture is moving the dialogue on outsourcing from the traditional labor arbitrage models, to the industry’s first truly end-to-end outsourced fulfillment solution. By providing a solution that encompasses people, process, technology and the industry’s only warranty for regulatory compliance, data integrity, vendor management and investor risk, we believe we are truly changing the conversation on mortgage business process outsourcing. The goal is to simplify the process, provide an outcome-based fixed cost per loan and enable lenders to focus on improving the customer experience.

HW: Comparing this year to last year, what was a major topic last year that has changed going into this year’s conference?

Accenture: Last year we were still in the midst of understanding and implementing final "Know Before You Owe" regulations. This year, at least for now, we think the conversation will move from implementation to sustainability and innovation. Additionally, the industry is focused on further HUD/RESPA changes that will go into effect at the end of 2017 or early 2018 and how to prepare for their impact. Purchase money transactions and a shift from refinance, always a top-of-mind topic, is projected to occur in 2017. Therefore, strategic planning and forecasting impacts on volume and earnings, and even more so the cost of back office support, will drive conversations.

Not in the mood for MBA Annual coverage?

Check out this piece from the Motley Fool on lowering one's mortgage rate.

Also, Canadian households are struggling under their mortgage debt and the government may do this to try to help out.

OK, that's it for now!

Be sure to visit HousingWire early and often for all the mortgage finance news you need, both at the MBA Annual and beyond!