Kevin Peranio, Chief Lending Officer at PRMG, joined Qualia’s Group Product Manager, Doug Rassner, for Qualia’s Executive Perspectives in Mortgage Lending series. This series features mortgage executives with experience leading teams through the ups-and-downs of challenging market cycles. 

Peranio is a mortgage lending expert who possesses a deep understanding of how the Federal Reserve’s policies impact the housing market. His advice focused on ways to develop sustainable approaches to company growth and tips for building knowledgeable teams. During the discussion, Peranio shared his advice on how lenders can use this down market to prepare for future market cycles and adopt new technology to create a better borrower experience. 

Weathering market cycles with sustainable growth

Although the rise in rates this year has led to a quick and steep decrease in mortgage loan originations, we may be nearing the end of this part of the cycle. Peranio encouraged lenders to prepare their businesses to handle an increase in volume next year. “If the fed pauses on rates—which is likely to happen in their first meeting in 2023—I think you’ll see interest rates come down about a point. And I think you’ll see a wave of demand of borrowers trying to get ahead of that spring purchase season.” Peranio added that although fewer borrowers are purchasing homes at this time, many homeowners and renters are still looking for housing and evaluating the best time to buy. Lenders that are prepared for this shift in demand will have a better chance of successfully navigating this cycle.

Peranio encouraged lenders to improve operational efficiency to help move away from the harmful impacts of market cycles. In particular, lenders need to find ways to avoid overhiring in upmarkets and then conducting layoffs in downcycles. Instead, he said that businesses should make long-term investments in their employees. These investments include identifying the right technology to help employees increase productivity. He explained that these technology investments “aren’t to replace human capital, but to get the most out of them.”

‘It’s always a good time to invest in good people and good technology’

When asked about the best time for lenders to evaluate current processes, Peranio said that lenders should continuously zero in on their processes to identify what’s working and what’s not. “It’s always a good time to invest in good people and good technology as long as you have a strategic plan, you know where it’s going, and you have the team to implement it.” 

Investing in technology that saves time and increases output can help teams do more with fewer resources. It can also help lenders scale their operations when volumes inevitably increase in the future. Peranio provided a few key recommendations for lenders looking to get the most out of their technology. 

  1. Remove ineffective technology tools. Peranio said that lenders should evaluate the ROI of their current technology and get rid of any unhelpful and/or underused tools. Lenders can then use these savings to invest in technology that works better for their employees and borrowers. 
  2. Invest in employee training. Focusing on employee training (especially during periods of lower volume) can help employees become trusted advisors to borrowers. Peranio explained that additional training can improve borrower experience while also making employees more efficient at their jobs. 
  3. Create more standardized processes. Peranio said that it can be challenging to establish standardized processes across a company, but this upfront effort can result in greater efficiency and better transparency. Both of these characteristics can establish trust with consumers during the overall borrower experience.

Peranio shared that increased operational efficiencies from investments like these can help teams be “more human and connect better” during transactions. By focusing on operational improvements that deliver a better borrower experience, Peranio also said that lenders can create “raving fans” for their business. And a consistent focus on borrower satisfaction is the name of the game when navigating challenging markets. 

Click below to watch the full interview and get more executive perspectives on navigating challenging markets.

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