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Friday, May 24, 2019

Sameer Wadhwa: Key Takeaways from MBA Tech

By MBA Insights Staff
May 8, 2018

Topics:
Sameer Wadhwa
Visionet
MBA Tech Solutions Conference & Expo

Last month, the Mortgage Bankers Association held its annual Technology Solutions Conference & Expo in Detroit. Sameer Wadhwa, Vice President of Client Relations with Visionet, Cranbury, N.J., was on hand for the event and came back with a number of insights from the show.

What were your impressions of the show?

SameerWadhwaSAMEER WADHWA, VISIONET: The MBA Tech Show is always a great event. It allows those of us who develop and use mortgage technology the opportunity to network, learn about new offerings and, particularly important for those in my role, find out about new needs on the part of our customers.

I enjoyed this year's event. I had meetings with technology product owners, product managers, alliance managers and CTOs and other executives from some of the organizations that we serve. I also got to see the major product organizations and learn about their current offerings. It was a good use of time.

What surprised you at or about this conference?

WADHWA: I was pleasantly surprised to see that the show attracted as many attendees from the lending and servicing side as it did from the vendor side. Not every industry conference accomplishes this, but this year's MBA Tech show had a good mix of people both looking for and offering technology.

I approach this show in the hope that I will be surprised by the technology offerings I find there. Some years this happens. After all, this show is a good place for mortgage tech players to assess the latest developments in the tech space, compare notes, assess partnership opportunities, and course-correct their roadmap and product strategies, if need be.

What did surprise me was the price many Independent Software Vendors are asking for their tools. This requires lenders and servicers to make a serious investment if they hope to keep up with the latest industry technology. That's not easy in an environment where origination and servicing costs are already so high. Also, not many lenders have the capacity to manage the upfront capital investment in technology and related technology risk.

In terms of new offerings, did you see anything interesting on the floor?

WADHWA: This year, the margins of the industry plummeted to an all-time low. The worries and anxieties related to this was reflected in the interactions we had with several lenders. Today, the mid-size lenders do not have the patience to wait for one year for the ROI. They want the ROI from Day 1.

This is an interesting trend, because it puts immense pressure on the technology vendors to come up with innovative solutions to meet this expectation. The technology vendors who are able to provide end-to-end service--technology, IT support and operations--all packaged into one combined solution are likely to meet these expectations.

What did the lenders you spoke to at the show seem to be looking for?

WADHWA: One of the biggest pain points for lenders is still the incredibly high cost of their operations. Everyone is driven to improve the customer experience, but with costs so high this is a real challenge for the industry. The technology is available, but it requires an investment that is very difficult to make right now.

This did not stop the lenders I spoke to from talking about protecting their shrinking margins with better technology. They know they need it. They seem to be looking for the best way to get it.

Visionet Systems Inc. offers digitally powered outsourcing services and zero-cost technology innovations to the mortgage industry to help companies transform their operations and scale their businesses. Find out more at www.visionetsystems.com.

(Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect policy of the Mortgage Bankers Association, nor do they connote an MBA endorsement of a specific company, product or service. MBA Insights welcomes your submissions. Inquiries can be sent to Mike Sorohan, editor, at msorohan@mba.org; or Michael Tucker, editorial manager, at mtucker@mba.org.)

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