What’s on the Horizon for 2011

What’s on the Horizon for 2011

It’s the season for predictions. Everyone is looking to 2011. And let’s face it, there’s not far to look, it’s right around the corner. We’re almost there. In this spirit I would be remiss if I didn’t add my two cents.

I’m not Nostradamus, but I’ve been around the block. I’ve been with several prominent LOS companies, I’ve provided business strategy for hundreds of companies, I’ve been on the sales & marketing side of things and I now own my own company. Does that make what I’m about to say any more credible than the next guy? No, but I think I have some valid points to make. Here’s what I think is ahead of us in mortgage in 2011.

1.) New Rules and Regs Are On The Way. This is just a no-brainer. Like everybody else I’m tracking Dodd-Frank. How will it be implemented? What impact will it have on how we do business? In general, Dodd-Frank aside, this trend toward more regulation and oversight isn’t going to stop. Lenders will continue to be inundated by new rules throughout 2011.

2.) The Battle For The Borrower Will Rage On. Don’t expect this battle to cool down. This is not a Cold War, this is a war that will see many, many flare ups throughout 2011 and beyond. Consumer direct will be more and more important for lenders looking to survive. As part of the consumer-direct trend enterprise control over marketing communications will become vital in this highly regulated market.

3.) Borrowers Will Embrace Online Lending. Borrowers are not just becoming Internet-savvy, they are also becoming more educated about the mortgage process overall. What does that mean? The new borrower will want more information online like rates, closing fees, product recommendations, etc. It’s important to note that they want the information instantly, they are no longer willing to fill out a form and hope that someone calls them back.

4.) Marketing and Sales Will Evolve. I think sales and marketing will increasingly become more blended and intertwined with one another. They won’t be handled in silos anymore. Part of the reason for that is that people have fewer resources. That aside, the marketing and sales message needs to be fully in sync to produce the greatest results. As we enter what I call the “Icon Age” with the advent of smart phones and their powerful apps, more people will be embracing simplicity and new ways to communicate their message through the use of icons.

5.) Mobile, Mobile and More Mobile. More products will go mobile in 2011. Get over it industry laggards, it’s inevitable. More websites will go mobile, as well. Borrowers will get mobile statuses on their loan and if they don’t get that from you they’ll go next door to your competitor.

6.) Social Media Goes Mainstream. Social media will become part of the marketing mix and become a critical component of your marketing and sales success. You will continue to see greater corporate usage of twitter, LikedIn, YouTube, facebook, etc.

7.) Watch M&A Activity. You’ll see more deals happen. Look at the deal that just closed yesterday when Calyx acquired Loan-Score. These will be primarily market share plays or plays that flesh out product offerings. You’ll also see a lot of strategic partnerships to deliver what the industry needs without the added development expense.

So, there you have it, another set of 2011 predictions. I hope you found them thoughtful and enlightening. Personally, I’m looking forward to a great 2011 and so should you.