My strategic checklist in a crazy market
Things you should be thinking about and moving on
Today’s email will be short and sweet but packed with many things to ponder.
I’ve been asked for my strategic thoughts a lot lately. Don’t worry; I don’t attribute it to my genius but rather the volatility and uncertainty in the market.
It has been a good exercise to stretch me to think deeper about the trends I see at the ground level.
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash
Who is Bill Rice, and what does he do outside of writing this newsletter?
If you’ve stumbled into this newsletter or blog without knowing much about me, I take a quick side road.
I own a lead generation agency, Kaleidico, focused on consumer direct mortgage lending.
I own a lead generation business, MyPerfectLeads.com, home of MyPerfectMortgage.com.
I’m a fractional CMO for two FinTech companies: ProPair.ai and Databowl.com.
I take that quick detour to add credibility to the following strategic checklist.
What should I think about, and how should I react (or not) to the market?
First and foremost, understand that this is a unique market in that most driving forces surround the sentiment that good news is bad news (WSJ).
And, often, our fear causes us to forecast inherently conflicting outcomes (The Basis Point).
Given this environment, here’s my short list of strategic talking points.
1. Product-to-market fit
Ensure that your loan programs align with economic conditions and pockets of strong borrower demand.
One of the best ways to monitor this is to monitor reporting around consumer debt, housing costs (i.e., rents and affordability), and real estate trends (Calculated Risk)(i.e., home sales and construction).
I also like to watch the hot new loan programs (HousingWire) rolling off the press from large wholesale lenders.
2. Getting leverage from my data
Our sales operations, lead management systems, CRMs, and other parts of the sales and marketing tech stack are full of opportunities — hidden in the data.
Layoffs and budget cuts have intensified our need to do more with less yet still harvest the gold in these data troves (VentureBeat).
AI and machine learning seem to be the natural answer, and the hype around generative AI and ChatGPT only intensifies the pressure on CIOs to deliver solutions (WSJ).
This pressure is leading many executives to scramble to find data scientists and AI talent anywhere (PYMNTS) they can find it, even on Fiverr.
Don’t go there. Instead, look to solution providers who are already where you need them to be:
ProPair - AI and machine learning plugin for any lead management or CRM system. They even have solutions for call center operations, aged leads, and direct mail.
Capacity - AI for the mortgage back-office from originations to servicing and capital markets.
TrustEngine - A merger of SalesBoomerang and MortgageCoach that gives you proactive insights into customers in your database who are starting to move through credit triggers, rate watch, and equity monitoring.
SDP Solutions - A professional services team that can optimize your lead management system to get the faster and highest return from your technology investment.
3. Developing a lead generation capability that allows you to quickly reposition with the market
Our industry has long relied on buying leads to source the demand to fuel our sales operation and revenue engine.
Most of these providers are slow to move. Their demand engines (SEO, PPC, and social media) are built on years of investing in generating refinance leads.
At the same time, regulators are mounting an assault on third-party lead generation.
Together, this builds a compelling case to hedge your demand generation by developing your in-house lead generation capabilities:
The brand website is optimized for lead generation,
SEO and content that is tailored to the current market demand, and
Expertise in PPC to move swiftly with changing market and loan program opportunities
Again, don’t spend much time and resources building this from scratch. Move fast and get the off-the-shelf capabilities from experienced solution providers and agencies, such as LeadPops or Kaleidico (my agency).
This still allows you to continue building your own custom solutions but gives you an early mover advantage in this crazy market.