At the first in-person mortgage servicing event since the pandemic, MBA’s Mortgage Servicing Solutions Conference & Expo brought servicers from across the industry together to look back on the past two years and look forward to what the future holds. We learned a great deal from all of the panelists about what helped servicers overcome the challenges of a pandemic and minimize the impacts on homeowners.
There was also a huge focus on the technological innovations taking shape to help digitally transform mortgage servicing. All around, the conversations centered on how to improve customer experience through automated solutions and by building relationships with their servicers. Huge credit was given to servicers who worked throughout the pandemic to keep borrowers out of forbearance; MBA leadership reminded everyone that their efforts are what kept the industry moving and customers in their homes.
To start off the conference, MBA Chair Kristy Fercho highlighted the many initiatives and campaigns started by the MBA to help struggling and underinsured families. The Not Okay, That’s Okay campaign was created to encourage homeowners to ask for help when they were struggling due to the financial impacts of the pandemic, and the Opens Doors Foundation helps families with critically ill children continue making their payments.
Of particular importance to Fercho is the Home for All Pledge, which is focused on advancing diversity homeownership. As America gets more and more diverse, the mortgage servicing industry needs to find new ways to provide for and reflect the needs of that community. Signing the pledge is the first step. Then the committee will reach out to identify the best ways servicers, vendors, and other partners can contribute to advancing the goals of the pledge. One of Fercho’s points was to highlight the importance of protecting diverse homeowners who already own their homes to help them through hardships so they can stay in those homes. Fercho emphasized the importance in hiring a more diverse workforce because members of those underserved communities will understand best what their needs are from experience.
Something that stood out through many conversations during the conference was how communication between servicers and homeowners needs major improvements. However, if mortgage servicers only stop at hiring initiatives without maintaining effective communications between these employees and their customers, the rich resource of their lived experiences will be underutilized. Communicating with homeowners, reaching them where they want to be reached, and ensuring there is an easy and personalized flow of information both ways is essential to making the most of this opportunity to help diverse communities become homeowners for life.
Venture Solutions signed the pledge last fall and has remained committed to doing our part to help our mortgage industry clients in their own initiatives. One of the ways we can do that is by working with our clients to keep them in better, more effective communication with their customers. In keeping with a major theme of the week: communication is the most important factor in maximizing resiliency—both in employees but especially in maintaining strong relationships with customers, which in turn builds trust and brand loyalty.