MReport December 2019

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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8 | M R EP O RT TAKE 5 D esmond P. Smith cur- rently serves as the Chief Customer Officer for the Single-Family Business at Fannie Mae. Smith is responsible for the execution and overall business performance for all of Fannie Mae's single-family customers. Specifically, he has complete responsibility for end-to-end customer management, which in- cludes origination, pricing, credit, strategy, operations, marketing, technology, and servicing. Smith has over 25 years' experi- ence in the mortgage industry. Prior to joining Fannie Mae in August 2016, he was Production Executive at Capital One Home Loans. Before that, he served as Managing Director and National Production Executive at Citibank, SVP and National Sales Executive at JPMorgan Chase, and SVP and Program Manager at Wells Fargo. Smith spoke with MReport about new technological tools, communicating with lenders, and what he has learned during his career. M // What were the biggest victories for yourself and your team this year? SMITH // Throughout Single- Family and Fannie Mae, we have built the things we do on what customers tell us. Our biggest success is continuing down that path of ensuring initiatives, in- novations, and focusing on what customers tell us are the factors most important to their success. If we are delivering on what our customers tell us, then we are winning and earning their busi- ness each and every day. From that standpoint, that's been the biggest success—ensuring that we continue down this customer- centric, customer-focused journey. Customers tell us, "Look, cost is important. Efficiency is important. Customer experience is extremely important." We work to provide tools and services to help them achieve those goals. Another key initiative this year has been the rollout of Ask Poli. This was a tool where our customers said, "We need some help to navigate the servicing guide." We built this AI tool that provides real-time answers to questions in simple terminology. Whereas before, our customers might spend a day or two look- ing for an answer, now they're getting it in real time. Watching the questions people are asking through Ask Poli also allows us to recognize, okay, we might need to provide clarity here because this question is con- tinually being asked. So maybe we can put out a selling guide clarification. M // When you're seeing these areas where you may need to make changes, what does that process look like? SMITH // We have a couple of different ways that we track all the teams and the information that comes in. We look for the metrics, have a meeting, and from there, we go back to the custom- ers and ask, "If we were able to deliver A, B, or C, is this going to help solve your need?" What you don't want to do is capture some information, think it's insight, and then go with it and not validate before you do it that is something that's going to actually solve their needs. We've got a good system to capture the information into Salesforce. Then, we create the themes and ask, "How can we help solve those challenges?" The Power of Relationships Fannie Mae's Chief Customer Officer discusses the biggest successes, communicating with lenders, and what he has learned during his career.

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