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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   October 2012

A Matter of Perspective

Learn to use technology for its systems —not its solutions

Technology has long been a major part of mortgage brokers’ and originators’ lives, with each passing year witnessing a growing array of tools for improving marketing tactics, lead collection and sales. It seems safe to say that properly implementing the right technologies can give your bank or brokerage a sizeable competitive advantage in this industry.

This said, it’s important for mortgage professionals to have the right perspective when it comes to the various technologies they employ. A given piece of technology shouldn’t be perceived as a solution to a problem, but rather it should be perceived as a tool — one piece of a larger system for automating your workflow, organizing your data or marketing your business.

All too often, mortgage professionals are keen to ask for their colleagues’ advice about which technology is best for a certain problem or which software program will help them generate more leads. In asking such advice, however, brokers and originators always should be sure to reflect on why they need such a technology in the first place. Frequently, reflecting on this will reveal that there’s some discipline missing in the business or that a certain organizational system or strategy isn’t working anymore.

In those cases, adopting new technologies won’t necessarily solve the problem. A new customer-relationship-management software program won’t endow you with greater organizational skills; it will only amplify the skills you already have — or stall if you lack organizational skills altogether. Similarly, a loan-origination system won’t create more loans for you; it will only organize the data on the loans you already have. A redesigned website will not generate leads for your business; it’s only a channel for the communication you already have with potential prospects and clients.

Technology, in other words, doesn’t deliver solutions in and of itself. It organizes and automates the systems you’ve already determined are necessary to grow your business, and this helps to make those systems more efficient. Many technology or marketing vendors will go to great lengths to convince an organization that it needs a specific tool, system or gadget to be more successful in its business. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The success of your business doesn’t lie in any one technology or tool. Your success depends on your ability to ask the right questions and to identify your system’s shortcomings and your work flow’s inefficiencies. Even more, when it comes to learning how to use a new technology, your success depends on having the discipline and patience to power through the learning curve. Without being able to visualize the light at the end of the tunnel, you’re likely to give up shortly after you begin, all the while blaming the technology for your failure.

In short, if you find yourself drawn toward a new technology because of what it promises to deliver, pause for a moment and ask yourself what you specifically want this new technology to accomplish. If the answer is anything other than to automate, calculate or track systems that are already in place, ask more questions about why your challenges exist in the first place.

Be honest with yourself: Identify your efficiency and organizational problems from the start. If these problems are due to being disorganized or uninspired, technology is only going to exacerbate your problems. With a clear understanding of your organization’s systems and a desire to make those systems more efficient or automated, technology can become your best friend.


 


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