MReport September 2019

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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10 | TH E M R EP O RT TAKE 5 clearly we need to look for ways to streamline the home loan process not only for the customer but for the mortgage industry as a whole. M // In what ways can the industry adapt to the growing number of millennials entering the housing market and meeting their changing needs? LINDBLOM // As an industry, we need to push more education out to the general public about homeownership and its advantag- es. We also need to educate more borrowers about the expectations of homeownership. While defaults are at historic lows, we need to maintain servicing knowledge that helps borrowers keep their home in the face of financial challenges. We also need to reach millen- nials in their own element. They grew up in a digital era, and we need to adapt by giving our customers access to apply and communicate with us digitally. We also need to promote the mortgage industry as a career to millennials. Planet Home Lending is a spon- sor for the National Association of Minority Mortgage Bankers of America (NAMMBA) Connect 2019 fall six-city tour, where we'll be promoting careers in home lending. This is an incredibly bright genera- tion that will usher the mortgage industry into the new era. M // What are your thoughts on the market's ongoing affordability issues, and what can be done to help borrowers in today's market? LINDBLOM // Education for homeownership is the key. It is amazing how many veterans I talk to who don't understand their home loan benefits and how many homebuyers don't know about the parameters of products, including the availability of down payment assistance and bond programs. As an industry, we can always improve our efforts to educate homebuyers through social media posts, seminars, partnerships with community groups and any other way that will provide substantive informa- tion to consumers on the lifecycle of home ownership. M // How can the mortgage industry best utilize technology? LINDBLOM // Technology needs to be used for efficiencies within the mortgage industry and to offer easier access to our borrowers, and it needs to do this without losing the personal touch. We should be wary of over-engineering technological improvements without considering the effects on our customers and partners. Technological advances have helped bring much need efficiencies to the industry as well as given us the ability to integrate regulatory and credit rules into systems to ensure S uzy Lindblom was recently named the new COO for Planet Home Lending. She previously served as the com- pany's EVP of National Op- erations. Lindblom helped grow some of the leading brands in the mortgage industry, including Stearns Lending, where she was Managing Director of National Fulfillment and Operations, lead- ing a multibillion-dollar, multi- channel business. During her four decades in home lending, she also worked at MetLife Bank, Bank of America, CitiMortgage, GMAC Mortgage Corp., and Country- wide Home Loans. Lindblom ap- peared on the National Diversity Council's Southern California 2016 Most Powerful & Influential Women list and also won the 2017 MPA Elite Women Award. Lindblom recently spoke to MReport on the challenges facing the industry, trends to be watch- ing for, and how to adapt to the surge of millennials entering the housing market. M // What are some of the challenges facing the industry today and as we head into 2020? LINDBLOM // One of our big- gest challenges is how to mix technology gains for efficiency and control while maintaining the personal touch with customers. Supporting that personal touch with customers who interact primarily via our digital mortgage assistant has been a focus for us at Planet Home Lending. The second challenge I see is supporting a workforce that is en- ergized to support your company. I make it a point to ask the staff on the front line what we can do better. They are in the trenches day to day and, trust me, they have incredible ideas. With that engagement, you become a stron- ger team, a stronger company. M // What are some trends you're looking out for as 2020 approaches? LINDBLOM // In 2020, we will continue to see the industry em- brace the digital mortgage and bring it to the forefront. We need to be diligent on the balance of technol- ogy and the human touch, but Adapting to a Changing Market From advancements in technology, to new sectors entering the housing market, Suzy Lindblom, COO for Planet Home Lending, discusses important industry trends

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