Automation & technology

Embracing change: Paving the way for technology adoption


From the series:
Women in Mortgage Technology: Leading the Future of Industry Innovation

Change is hard, but having the right support in place can make all the difference. In episode 4 of our “Women in Mortgage Technology” series with Shred Media, we’re sitting down with executives who have helped countless lenders successfully adopt new technologies and navigate the change management that follows. Join us to hear ICE Mortgage Technology’s Janet Fell, VP Solution Engineering, and Kerri Girouard, VP Client Success, as they discuss common pitfalls lenders face when implementing a new solution, how to identify what success looks like for your organization, and advice for embracing a culture of change.

Welcome to our open house. Instead of examining hardwood floors, closet space, and kitchen layouts, we're taking you on a tour of what's happening across today's mortgage industry. During each episode, we'll hear from industry leaders and subject matter experts to give us an inside look into a hot topic, cutting edge technology, or new trend that can help accelerate your digital journey. Thank you for joining us. Come on in.

Hello and welcome to another episode of the Open House series. My name is Michaela Rosendaal, Senior Marketing Manager here at Ice Mortgage Technology. We are continuing our Women in Mortgage Technology series with Episode 4IN partnership with Shred Media, we are spotlighting the women leaders who are pioneering advancements in mortgage technology and driving our industry forward.

In Episode 4, we're sitting down with Janet Fell, VP Solutions Engineering, and Carrie Gerard, VP of Client Success, who have helped countless lenders successfully adopt new technologies and navigate the change management that follows. Without further ado, let's listen into this engaging conversation.

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another edition of the Stretch Show Live. I cannot tell you every time I get to hang out with the incredible Ice Mortgage technology team and these amazing women, these women who every single time I have a discussion with them, they inspire me. They share value, their share incredible insights into our industry, and now more than ever, change is happening. If you don't already know, you're probably hiding under a rock in this industry, but change is happening.

And today, our discussion is going to be all about that. Change can be hard, it can be difficult, but how do you embrace it if you have the right team, if you have the right support, if you have incredible people like the ICE mortgage technology be?

Staff helping you. You can do incredible things. And I've got Carrie and I've got Janet joining me for an absolutely amazing discussion today. Ladies and gentlemen, Are you ready? Are you ready? It is time to shred. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Again, welcome to the Shred Show live. We continue in Episode 4 of Women in Mortgage Technology, brought to you by ICE Mortgage Technology.

And today, like I said, change is difficult. Change is hard. It's happening. It always. It's the one constant in our industry. And I've got Janet Fell, VP Solutions of Engineering and Carrie. Carrie, I'm not gonna try your last name. I just gonna. Gerard. Gerard, You got it. Just let's go. We got we got one thing to start off. She is the VP of Clients success. And these incredible women, like I mentioned, they are continuing to inspire, continuing to help all of us as mortgage professionals.

Continue to succeed. Continue to adapt to the change. And I am so excited to have both of you ladies join me for another edition of Women in Mortgage Technology. Ladies, good morning and welcome to the show. Good morning. Good morning, Woohoo.

Yes, there we go. Janice, she's got my a little bit enthusiasm going on here. She's excited to be hanging out. So let's chat about this because I am so excited. And as we started setting up for this show in particular, change is happening. Both of you have been in this in this industry long enough to know the one concept like I mentioned earlier is change. Change is happening it we see it go up and down, up and down. So I'm excited to discuss how the Incredible Ice team is helping all of us adapt to it to really understand what changes happen.

And how we can better utilize what's going on. So, but before we do, I love one of my favorite things and Kerry and I were joking about this. I want to get to know both of you incredible ladies a little bit more before we jump into our incredible conversation. So you're both veterans of the mortgage space, but how did you get started in the industry? I'm sure both of you were not like so many of us and said, hey, as a little kid this was my dream. I wanted to be a mortgage professional. So let's dive into it. So Kerry, how did you get started in the industry?

I think like you said it was a happy accident. I actually started in in the title space, so doing some business development, learning all about title. It was specifically in the the Aria world, so quite a quite a time of change. I took that role and then transitioned into a mortgage technology vendor in the the CRM space and then through a very fortuitous acquisition I was able to end up at at ICE.

We're now my team. We help lenders better adopt and gain success across our entire suite of solutions. We really love connecting our lenders to that opportunity. So whether it's our E close solution, our consumer engagement suite or better leveraging all of our integrations across our partner network, we're really just trying to help them be more successful.

There's so many keywords that you hid in there, Kerry, that I'm excited to get into later is adopting technology, leveraging technology. So before we get into that though, Janet, tell us how you guys started in the industry. So similar to Kerry, I sort of fell into it, although I guess maybe I had a little bit of a hand getting there. My mom was a realtor and a broker and managed a few large real estate affiliated.

You know, she was affiliated with mortgage company, so I had exposure at an early age and just, you know, watched her negotiating deals and figuring out how to get people into houses and it just seemed like a real exciting thing. So I became a realtor from there, got reload after my husband got it and out of the service and went through a reload network and said, yeah, I don't want to do real estate. I got 3 little kids, how about mortgage?

You know, and and it was actually kind of a a happy fortuit just set of events that I landed at a company that was at an inflection point where they were going from. The Realtors have been putting all of their, you know, the MLS listings in their books and those binders. Anybody who's been in the industry a while probably remembers those and our company, we had a big meeting one day and the president said we're going to introduce Java and cookies.

So our so our buyers, borrowers can find those listings online and that was sort of the first, my first exposure into the technology space and you know in mortgage and and from there went from QC compliance licensing to which led to technology and I admin a whole bunch of systems over the years and work with a whole bunch of phenomenal, phenomenal women who are still friends to this day.

And ended up you know through again a wonderful set of events moving over to LMA, now ICE to be part of the solutions engineering team where we are. The art of the possible is how I like to describe our team and we help demonstrate the software. We're on the technical side of sales both from an industry perspective and also from a technical perspective.

To help lenders understand what are all the possible tools that we have in the platform that they can leverage to be more efficient to you know, be better, fill the funnel, close more loans, close them faster, quicker. And really my passion is making sure that what we do helps our lenders help their customers get into homes.

That's what it's all about. That's what it is all about. Jenny you said something about the art of what how did say that again you said something there that like gave me goosebumps for what did you say we are the art of the possible that OK now let's build on that later you go you just set up our entire conversation because that really is so both of you have had an incredible your roles at Ice Morgan's technology you've helped countless lenders we and.

Not just lenders, but all mortgage professionals right now are needing help with automation and automation can be absolutely key in business process. But in your guys's experience and in in particular general, let's start with you on this.

What is driving mortgage companies to make these changes in their workflows? Where do they choose to invest? Because right now we all know that's one of those things. Where do we invest? Where do we really find those things that are gonna help us launch into the future? So how do they choose where to invest in technology and where are you seeing these companies make these changes in workflows?

Well, I mean I think it comes down to lenders look at the the technology and I think it with everything that you said in your setup about all the change that we've been through. I mean you look at COVID work from home, record volumes, record low rates. Now we're in the flip side of the the the the wave where you know we've got high rates, home prices are up etcetera and lenders are really looking at what do they do and how do they decide you know.

What Where they're going to invest the the precious dollars and the time that they have right now And you know, it kind of reminds me of sailing. If you, if you think about, you know, sailing, they're out there that they've they've got the the tide chart they know the the wind and all this stuff. And then boom, the storm hits and now they've got to have their team ready to go and they've got to be able to make decisions about what am I going to change, what technology am I going to bring to bear. I have to trim the sails. I've got to reef the main, you know bring the gym down, all these things.

And they've got to be able to make those decisions very quickly and it could be going paperless. There still are lenders, believe it or not, who are not paperless. It could be offering hybrid eclothes because they've got customers that don't want to go to a settlement agent's office. I I think that the, the key thing is they need to be thoughtful and they are being thoughtful about the changes they're making, how quickly, how many changes are they making and before they jump on the change wagon.

You know, we really help them evaluate and coach them on what figuring out what's working well, where are there gaps, what are the issues that they're, you know, that they're trying to solve for. And at the heart of it, it's data and metrics. They've got to be able to understand, you know and know, you know where where are my problem and to be able to focus in on that so that they can figure out okay, I'm going to implement this technology or I'm going to change this process.

To automate things so that my processor doesn't have to, you know, click 10 buttons to order flood and fraud and this and that and the other thing that we can automate that and then let them focus on, you know, higher, higher functioning type tasks. But the end goal of all of it is, is how to be more efficient for the customer, to give the customer a better experience so that it's more seamless for them, but also to help the internal teams do more with less.

Oh my. There was so much I could like want to unpack, but Kerry, build on that as well because as VP of Client success you're seeing you're you're in the trenches working with these companies, helping them make these changes to their workflows, helping them say, hey, this is the best place to be investing right now. So what are your thoughts here? Yeah, we're really seeing an opportunity present itself with our lenders where instead of just focusing on the small problem solving with with technology.

They're they're able to take a pause and figure out the bigger picture, their vision for that automation and they're doing that. We really see kind of in two ways. Can I use what I already have? Am I maximizing my investment in the technology solutions that that I'm currently using today? Have I explored what else can be done or am I reimagining that workflow and it's going to require me to go to the market and find another technology solution that's going to fit that need.

But right, to get there, we have to pause. We have to be curious, are we getting feedback from our end users, are we getting feedback from our borrowers? Are we getting feedback across the organization? And does everyone at that organization know about how this change in that the downstream impact it would have to the bottom line to the borrower experience or the experience as an employee at that organization and how technology is helping them to be successful. So I think it's it's really about figuring out which path you're going to take for that solution.

But coming back to that alignment vision of what are we going to do to go forward? And we have the time now to really put some thought to that. OK, I want it real quick. I want to, I don't want to get us too far off track here. But something you mentioned, you mentioned a few things in there right now, more than ever, sometimes in this industry, we have what what I like to call the SOS syndrome, the shiny object syndrome. And we see something we're so quick, like, oh, let's go this way or let's go this way. You mentioned 2 keywords, especially when it comes to implementing, which I want to talk about here in a second because that can be a scary word.

Sometimes it's as as professionals, we want to help our clients take that pause, take a breath, say, hey, you know what, Especially in times because we're so quick, they're like, oh, let's go this way, let's go this way. We don't give enough time. But how? How important do you both feel that taking that deep breath is saying, hey, you know what, let's look at this. Let's look at all the the possibilities, Let's look at the opportunities here. How critical do you both feel that that is right now? Jenna, let's start with you on this.

I I mean, I think it's of utter importance because as I said, precious dollars, precious time and really understanding what you're trying to solve for here and whether do I have the technology already in my hands, you know, and is it a simple process change, you know, is it, is it, is it implementing something that I already own?

Or is it the SOS syndrome you know and and we don't want to do that because you don't want to go and add more cost or more time to have to implement a brand new solution when you might have something already in house. So I think it's really of critical importance to understand what you have, how your team is doing it today before you start jumping out there and and bringing in new stuff what we see so often are.

When you're jumping into that, you're not thinking about what happens after I implement this, what are the ramifications for right, this implementation? What happens do, do I really understand what this change is going to do? You know, 30 days into that, that borrower experience, 45 days into that borrower experience, what is it going to do on the secondary side? So really making sure that that pause happened so you can work through that entire workflow for the life of the loan.

So let's build on that. I mean this is literally you mentioned the word implementation and that is literally like a fear. People like cringe and all those have been there. When it comes to new technology, when it comes to new processes, new tools, we are like hold on just a second, What are some of the common challenges that lenders face when it comes to adopting new technology and navigating change management? Carrie, what are your thoughts? Yeah, I mean you said it implementation is just another word for for change management.

Software and technology implementations are already challenging where where we see some, sometimes where something would fall short is when we forget about the people side of of that implementation. So a lot of effort and resources are put into pulling in the right technical resources, the right project manager, the right compliance and legal experts that are going to green light the project through.

But what we see so often is a lender will have a technically perfect software and technology implementation and then when it goes live we get lackluster adoption. We have no one using, using the tool that we spent all this time, energy and effort exploring, researching and and why is that? We created a success path for the software and technology side. But just as critical is how are we going to help the people adopt the solution? Do we really understand and do they understand the value that it's.

Bringing to them their borrowers and down the entire loan workflow process. So I think once lenders treat and and really any kind of change or implementation you treat the adoption side of how are we enabling people to embrace this as much as we do the technology side, we're going to really start to see those adoption and those success results shift more positively.

Ooh, I I love this. And Jenna, I kind of want to the second side of this is I know there are processes for helping them overcome or avoid that. What are those processes that isomorgas technology has because again I, I continue every time we have these discussions, there are so many things that are just put into place. It's so efficient. So what what is your process for helping lenders overcome or avoid some of these pitfalls? A lot of it revolves around the methodologies that we use when we're doing implementation and we we.

To subscribe to and leverage what we call the ad car model, which is helping lenders build awareness for what is the goal and why is the change being made. You know, building desire for the change and building excitement for the change. What you know, what is propelling the change and what's it going to mean for me the with them for you know what's in it for me, for the the, the end users making sure that they have the knowledge.

You know, so that they're trained, they and everyone from top to bottom in the organization understands, you know what it's going to mean for me when I have to do this piece of the new processor, I'm involved with this aspect of a new technology, the ability making sure that they're equipped with, they have training resources, they have, you know, procedural documentation, they've got tools, they've got support that they need.

To be able to make the change and then the most important thing and carry hit on this is it's the reinforcement, you know helping lenders be prepared. You know it's one thing to go live, it's one thing to deploy the new tool or procedures, but it's not a one and done thing. You know we we, we,

we work with our lenders. We coach our lenders on you know checking in with their folks. How are things going.

Making sure that they've got you know, built in support systems. I mean one of the things that we like to do is have people from across all spectrums of the skill set involved in the change so that you've, you've got folks that are, I like to say the barefoot people who you know they're really not maybe so good with their technology all the way through the folks that can wear their slipons. And then we've got those that can do Velcro and then we got the people that are really good with technology and they can tie their shoes.

And you've got them together in a pod working together helping each other so that once the the the new processor technology is deployed, you've got built in support systems for everybody throughout the organization. And then finally I'm going to come back to data because it's all about measuring it and you know tracking how the change is going and understanding what are those key metrics that you know you're going that you're going to need and helping them identify.

What are those metrics? How do I know this is a success? And we are very good at this. This is, this is a strength that we have huge strength.

So I want to actually stay with you because you mentioned being able to truly take a look at what success means when we embark on a technology journey, when a lender embarks on that and I like, I like looking at as a journey because it really is. You mentioned along the way, Janet, you mentioned something critical is having a coach, having a team there behind you like ice mortgage technology that can help you down this journey because you're gonna come across speed bumps, you're gonna come across forks in the road. So having a team that truly understands and carries.

You even mentioned this earlier, but what how do you actually measure that success? What does success look like? How do you help them align and Dr. towards the same goal? Jenna, I want to start with you with this. So I think what it really comes down to is it in some cases it depends on what the changes is that if they're making you know if they're if they're implementing a new software, if they're implementing a new technology in into the organization.

You know and I'll I'll just pick on E close as a as a really good one because it's a it's a timely topic right now for I think a lot of lenders who were trying to achieve efficiencies and better customer experience. Understanding what that you know what we want to, you know what we want to achieve here is how many of our loans can we put through a hybrid E close process. Could that be 6070, eighty 90% you know and part of that is evaluating the book of business.

You know, working with the lender to look at their book of business and say how many, how many of the deals can go this path. And and then making sure that they've got the reports, they've got the metrics that they can see and track and measure their progress towards that where they can identify if there are maybe some folks that are not on board with the change.

You know to what Kerry was talking about, you know what it's it's all about the people And and I think that that's really what it changes is, is about people. I mean it's one thing to change nuts and bolts and plug new things in, but the people that are at the other end of it, whether it's the customer who has to be successful with using the technology or if it's the internal staff, you know that's really what it what it's about for us is helping them be able to identify for whatever that project is, whatever that change is.

You know, this is let's, let's talk about what success is going to look like and let's make sure that your staff understand that you want them successful so that their customers are also successful.

Kara, I'm excited to kind of here being that you're the VP of client success. Success is one of those metrics that can be looked at in so many different ways. So as you're having these and again, I love referencing what Janice said here is like these coaching. As you're coaching them as you're guiding them on this technology journey, how do you really help your clients decide what success looks like?

No, it's, it's really, it's one of the key parts of of helping them you know implement these changes and make make these process shifts that are going to help drive those efficiencies. So let let's play out an example that that we could have with the lender which is Janet, you mentioned you know kind of changing the way that you're ordering flood or fraud and taking it from 10 clicks to 1. So right a tale, a tale of two lenders if you will the first lender rolls out this technology they think it's amazing they they roll it out.

The team that handles the flood and the fraud ordering wasn't involved in that process. They start to feel really anxious. Are their jobs important anymore because they've automated a key piece of their role? They weren't talked to about what the end result of that automation is. What else are they doing in that process to get there? Those employees may feel really disengaged. They're not as right committed to helping that loan go through with quality and success.

And you may end up with people leaving, you have some attrition and maybe you have some people who really aren't adopting that new process. And we, we run into that lackluster adoption that we talked about, a tale of a lender who says, hey team, we're looking at making an improvement to the software. We're going to be able to take you from 10 clicks to 1.

What could you reimagine with the time that would save you on high value tasks that you can now add to the organization? What other areas can you help us grow volume? Can you help us grow speed to close? Can you help us improve the borrower experience?

That lender is going to have a much more successful implementation. They're going to have a committed team who's aligned to the vision of what they're trying to do. And in fact, you may have created many change champions throughout the organization who are going to be looking for new

ways that they can create efficiencies because of the success and the fulfillment that they now have as really feeling like they're contributing to the larger success in the organization. So that people component is important because.

The the people can help inform you of what you of what what's next and what you should next be doing. Oh, I love that you even mentioned change the change champions. Like that's something that I think that we need to be looking at because again as we all know, the one constant in this industry has changed. And I want to as we start to wrap this conversation up here, we've talked about automation, we've talked about implementation, talked about success and both of you ladies have just again you're continuing to drive all of these discussions.

Continuing to coach, you're continuing to champion the future and the culture of change. So I wanna end with that because one thing that we can all do is continue to support, continue to collaborate, have these discussions. So what advice do do both of you give to lenders on how to embrace the culture of change itself? Kerry, Yeah, change can be scary.

But I feel like if we can empower leaders in these organizations to to to truly understand that that vision and have that alignment and make sure that it's not just a best practice but a standard that they are responsible for bringing their teams along too. So everyone's job is change management, not just the project team, not just right the maybe this, the C-Suite in that organization.

And celebrate the wins along the way of both the technology path but also the people path. We had our first loan that did this new milestone. We did 10 loans that hit the workflow. We've had 80% of people log into the new solution this month. That's fantastic. Those wins are so important because it brings the team together and really tells tells that vision story and it it is really just about making sure that the people feel committed and that you're you have that aligned vision from.

Across the entire organization. Jen, I'm really excited to hear your thoughts on this too, just because again, this entire conversation has kind of led to this point. So how do you help these lenders embrace this culture of change? Well, I think it's painting the picture, as I said, the art of the possible.

And really thinking about you know what what will we look like when we get through this change and embracing and bringing in the boots on the ground folks into that process early on because they they often have a very, very strong opinion about how that change should be affected. And frequently we see at the top there may not be as big of an understanding or realization of just what some of the challenges are that are are taking place.

And I think ultimately and carry, I think you hit on this, although maybe not as directly, the most important thing for a lender to do when they're going through a change of any kind is it's all about communication, communicate, communicate, communicate timely, effectively. And you know, it comes back to building the, the knowledge about the change, building excitement about the change.

You know, helping people feel part of the change and making sure that you know, you're giving them tips and tricks along the way so that as they're, you know now using the new solution or celebrating the wins as Kerry said, you know, in in and celebrating the fact that hey we just did X number of loans through our hybrid heat close and it's only been 30 days or whatever, whatever it comes down to. But I think it's a lot about the vision and then communicating it.

And being a cohesive unit, oh man, I love you. You mentioned there that communication is part of it. Thus why we're doing what we're doing today. We're communicating, we're sharing, we're creating value for our industry. This discussion has been so insightful from, like I said, automation, implementation, embracing the culture of change, art of possibilities. You just have to be looking at it from a positive place. Stop fearing, stop worrying and just go out there and get after it.

Right now we got a comment coming in from Eric. Two of the best in the industry changes never will embrace it. Absolutely. Eric, thank you for your comment. And ladies, this has been you. I agree with Eric, two of the absolute most amazing women of mortgage technology. And I cannot thank both of you enough for joining us, for sharing all that you have and for all of you listening today, for all of you watching embrace the change.

If you have questions, leave a comment below. We'd love to get you in touch with the ICE Mortgage Technology team because as you have seen, they are focused, they are driven. They want to see all of us succeed. They want to help you, they want to coach you, they want to champion you all through this change and they can make it happen. Ladies, this was absolutely brilliant. Thank you so much for joining me and for everything you shared today. Thanks, Josh. We enjoyed it.

Thank you so much and we can't wait to see all of you at NBA Annual next week. Make sure if you have a chance to come stop by the Ice Mortgage Technology booth, meet these incredible ladies in person. It's going to be an amazing event. And with that, as always, we appreciate you. We love ya. Now it's time for all of you to go shred, go show up, hustle, repeat every day. See ya.


Information contained in this audio was obtained in part from publicly sources and not independently verified. Neither ICE Mortgage Technology nor its affiliates, make any representations or warranties, express or implied as to the accuracy or completeness of the information and do not sponsor, approve or endorse any of the content herein. All of which is presented solely for informational and educational purposes. Nothing herein constitutes an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy any security or a recommendation of any security or trading practice. Some portions of the preceding conversation may have been edited for the purpose of length or clarity.

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