Survival of The Savviest

Survival of The Savviest

In the last edition of this blog I talked about the importance of returning to business basics. Like anything, once you have mastered the basics it’s time to elevate your game. It’s time to take your business to the next level. How do you do that?

You need to be aware of where things are going with technology and how it applies to your business success. One of the biggest challenges in the mortgage industry is the fact that we are slow to embrace new technology that other industries have successfully implemented often years earlier. I am not suggesting that companies have to take unnecessary risk and always be on the bleeding edge but it is critical to have a pulse of where things are headed.

Even if you’re not in the position to roll out new technology initiatives this year, you need to have a go-forward strategy in place. It’s one thing to know where you’re going, but it’s another to plan to get there. Trust me, it won’t happen by magic. When was the last time you updated your website or collateral materials? Here are some ideas to move you along.

You may ask yourself, why plan for the next five years when things change every five minutes? It’s important to deal with your current reality, but also have an eye on the horizon. Look at the trends. One such technology trend that is pervasive in today’s marketplace is mobile technology. Mortgage industry participants say, “Really? Mobile? How is that going to affect my business?” They don’t view it seriously. However, social media was once viewed in the same way and is now everywhere (except maybe the mortgage industry), and it’s come about in just the past few years. Mobile will permeate even faster.

Gartner predicts that phones will take over PC’s as the preferred device to access the Web. When? Not in 10 years, not even in five years. Gartner says that by 2013 the mobile devices will be the most common way people will access the Web. The study estimates that there will be 1.83 billion mobile devices in use in 2013 as compared to 1.7 billion PCs.

What is driving this trend? We live in a mobile society that wants information immediately. How do you as a lender or vendor capitalize on this significant trend? If you’re a vendor selling BtoB or if you’re a lender selling BtoC you need a mobile strategy. How do you get there? First, a lot of websites don’t view well on a mobile device. Companies need to be aware of that. You need to convert your website so that it is mobile friendly. As companies look to redefine their Web presence, they must be mindful of these mobile trends.

Also, social media is now being accessed through mobile devices at an ever increasing rate therefore it needs to be a component of your mobile strategy. How do you incorporate that into your mobile experience? Mobile experiences that must meet your prospects where they are looking for information about your company’s products and services. People are looking for content, recommendations and actually making purchases from their mobile devices, so it’s important that your go-forward strategy includes mobile. Be prepared for this new borrower looking for blogs and tweets on their phone.

If you’re a vendor it’s not just putting your application on a mobile device. All parties need to ask: Are you using these technologies to engage the population? For a lender, it’s not just about online banking. If this is going to be the most common device to search the Web in the next two to four years, you need to know where you are going with mobile.

When we talk about a competitive edge, it’s those companies that develop a comprehensive go-forward strategy which must include mobile, that are going to be ahead of the curve and gain a competitive edge. So isn’t it time that you give mobile some serious consideration?