Few if any of us would have predicted that by St. Patrick’s Day 2020 we’d be dealing with a worldwide pandemic that would change the way business works around the world. COVID-19 has forced all of us to figure out how to keep our companies and our people working under CDC instructions and government edicts enacted to stem the spread of the virus.
It hasn’t been easy.
On behalf of the STRATMOR team, I extend to all of you our appreciation and our admiration of your efforts in these difficult times. It is our honor to continue to work with you and your teams as we all make tough decisions, and we appreciate your confidence in us to provide counsel. As you continue to grapple with the changes and issues to come, STRATMOR will continue to offer guidance and support — call me or anyone on the STRATMOR team for assistance.
In our InFocus article this month, we’re offering insight into several industry areas affected by the cut in the Fed’s benchmark interest rate and the request to have as many people as possible work from home. We examine capital markets, MSRs, remote work, outsourcing and the customer experience. Our goal is to provide information that helps lenders manage through this virus-driven storm.
Also, in our Borrower Experience story, MortgageSAT Director Mike Seminari offers communication tips on keeping borrowers informed as refinances take center stage and borrowers come to the table looking for lower rates. Good communications with borrowers can make or break their experience.
We hope this Insights Report offers you useful, timely information that will serve you well in the months ahead.
By Insights Editorial Team March 2020
There’s no doubt that the mortgage industry is feeling the effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Even as the Fed cut its benchmark interest rate by half a percent on March 3 and sent lenders into a scramble to manage borrower expectations and margins, businesses in Washington and California were encouraging employees to stay home if they were ill and to work from home, if possible.
By the time the Fed cut the rate to zero percent on March 15, the virus reached pandemic status. The U.S. declared a national emergency and gatherings of more than 50 people were canceled. “Stay home if you’re sick, work from home if you can” became the national refrain as life in the U.S. changed in a matter of days.
Businesses are managing, hour-by-hour, edicts from federal, state and local authorities that impact their operations. Mortgage lenders are no exception. Lenders have the added stress of managing the expectations of investors and borrowers through the maelstrom of impacts to the loan process compounded by massive changes in capital markets, MSRs, working conditions and technology needs. It’s all hands on deck just to keep the ship on course, and in this article, we examine what lenders are dealing with as the COVID-19 waves continue to swell.
Have you ramped up communications with your borrowers? Here are four ideas for lenders to help sustaining borrower communications during these uncertain times.
STRATMOR believes lenders can stabilize in the current environment and build a scalable foundation for future growth by focusing on three objectives: optimize the borrower experience, renegotiate long-term contracts and evaluate compensation plans.
Senior Partner Garth Graham lays out seven common-sense rules for achieving mortgage borrower satisfaction.
Robotics Process Automation (RPA) is more than the latest technology trend. In mortgage, RPA is helping companies re-engineer processes and transform the customer experience.