What will YOU Do if Refinance Lending Falls by 24%?

According to the MBA industry forecast for 2020, refinance volume is projected to drop by 24% from last year. The MBA predicts that refinance volume will decline even further in 2021 and 2022 with a decrease of up to 29% from 2019. These numbers are eye-opening and should serve as a wake-up call for sales leaders to make the adjustments needed to compete in a more difficult marketplace. Now is the time to implement selling strategies that match to consumer demand in the new world of retail lending.

Regardless of the degree to which these projections will become a reality, it is clear that refinance volume will not provide the cushion that it once did in the year ahead. Currently, there are external factors that do not bode well for an over-capacity lending industry including a declining U.S. birth rate; current homeowners staying in their homes longer; and the student loan debt crisis. These are real issues that hurt mortgage origination.

While some experts have announced that 40% of lenders might disappear in the next five years, others contend that a “return to basics” is all that will be needed in the coming years. With predictions all over the map, it can be hard for sales leaders to determine their next move but in my opinion, the riskiest sales strategy is to stay the same. Today, change is the only constant in the retail landscape and lenders who fail to adapt accordingly will be left behind.

Here are four predictions that were recently published in Inc. magazine that I think should be front and center for sales leaders in 2020. In my view, these are the critical issues that will determine who survives in the next decade.

  1. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality and big data will become even more pervasive in retail.

“Retail is consistently one of the most dynamic industries in the world, constantly changing to better serve the rapidly evolving needs and expectations of an increasingly diverse consumer base. As we head into a new decade and shoppers continue to move deeper into a digital-first lifestyle, \’Personalized, Connected, Now\’ will be non-negotiables for retailers of every size. To deliver on this and ensure consistent, convenient and engaging brand experiences at every touchpoint, next-gen technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality and big data will become even more pervasive throughout the on- and offline shopping journey,” said Jan-Christopher Nugent, cofounder and CEO of Branded Online, one of Inc. magazine\’s 2019 fastest-growing companies and an e-commerce technology provider.

  1. Consumers will become more demanding.

“The consumer revolution will continue to rage on in 2020 with the spotlight shifting to c-commerce. All different types of industries — be it retail, real estate, e-commerce and more — will be making drastic changes to the way they do business in order to attract consumer attention and purchasing power. More than ever, consumers in 2020 will demand the ability to get their goods where and when they want them. To survive and thrive in 2020, we\’ll see more companies rolling out flexible solutions to meet the minute-by-minute needs and lifestyles of the ever-evolving consumer. Technology is transforming the way we use goods and services and, in the end, are significantly impacting and elevating our expectations as consumers. More convenience. More speed. More access. More security. More personalization. That is the name of the c-commerce game in 2020,” Said Colleen Lambros, CMO of Parcel Pending, a secure parcel locker provider which delivers 1.6 million packages monthly.

  1. Profitable growth will require loyalty.

“Next year, we\’ll see brands reprioritize what matters most: profitable growth, not just growth for the sake of growth. Historically, growth has meant spending more to build market share on the hope that market dominance will eventually translate into pricing power and eventual profits. But that model will shift. As the cost of user acquisition continues to grow, 2020 will see marketers place a greater emphasis on loyalty. Mary Meeker cited this in her last Internet Trends Report, noting customer acquisition costs might be \’rising to unsustainable levels.\’ Building long term relationships with consumers, learning how their affinities for things ebb and flow, and delivering constant improvement in marketing messages will be key to 2020 business success,” said Adam Singolda, CEO at Taboola, a technology company that with more than 20,000 companies to reach over 1.4 billion people each month.

  1. It will become clear that execution is about teams.

\”Businesses, whether startups, tech unicorns, or established corporations, will focus on the intersection between success, execution and the people. If there\’s anything we should garner from the recent stories about WeWork and Uber, it\’s this: people matter more than anything else, including the boss or the business plan. With the right people, you can turn an idea into a thriving organization that\’s not only profitable but also impactful. Without the right people, all you have is a failed idea. This will be the year tech companies place an emphasis on operating to a higher ethical standard (call it ethic-lash) — focusing on honest execution in large part by treasuring their people who create value for each other, the company, its customers, and society at large. Getting this right has always been paramount, but 2020 will be the year it comes to the fore,” said Will Glaser, CEO and founder of checkout-free technology startup Grabango, a CNBC 100 world\’s most promising startup of 2019, and the former CTO and original co-founder of Pandora Media.

Our new decade has already started. While it is still early, now is the time to implement the best ideas that will win customers and keep them. Failing to do so can be the death of a lender.