In reviewing recent trends in the real estate and mortgage industry, the word that keeps coming up is “convergence.” It came up again in a Housing Wire interview of Cathleen Schreiner Gates, CEO SimpleNexus, who previously served as EVP of sales and marketing at cloud-based mortgage technology provider Ellie Mae.

https://www.housingwire.com/articles/what-does-mortgage-tech-disruption-actually-look-like-simplenexus-cathleen-schreiner-gates-answers/

When asked What are two trends in the mortgage and real estate industry that you’re closely watching?

Cathleen Schreiner Gates responded 

I would say there’s a convergence going on of two markets that have historically been separate verticals but sort of collide in positive ways and that’s the real estate market and the mortgage market. I think those markets are converging because to the borrower, they want a seamless journey from their point of thought. Like, maybe I’m going to buy a house and then start looking through the real-estate alternatives and then need to flow straight into their mortgage process.

Historically, these have been two separate plays that are now coming together and integrating and weaving together into a seamless borrower experience. And guess what the enabler for that is? Technology.

I think the other thing is just the speed with which the manufacture of a mortgage is happening. There will be a point in time where the mortgage will happen before you can organize for the movers to come move your stuff. So, I’m looking at all the different emerging technologies and these small companies that are playing with a piece of the process and automating it just a little bit more, bringing intelligence to it a little bit more, taking eyeballs off of things that automation can help with. I think that’s the other significant trend — investments in technology to speed up and take cost out of the process. The convergence of a lot of these. Those are the trends we’re looking a lot at.

In another segment of the interview, “The past two years have been filled with a lot of uncertainty; what factors do you think will define 2022?”

Cathleen Schreiner Gates responded: I think everyone’s talking about this to be honest and the reason is it’s real. The lenders out there have to compete for the borrower more than they’ve ever had to do. We have this massive bubble of borrowers coming into the market, and a lot of these homeowners coming into the market are what I call digital natives. They grew up in a digital world and so some of the conventional ways that lenders might’ve attracted borrowers are going to fall a little bit to the wayside. And the refis are going away, so it’s sort of how do you attract that borrower? How do you differentiate yourself from the digital natives to the millennials, and frankly, all the different demographics out there who are actually adopting more and more of a digital approach to their lives? So how do you compete for the borrower? I think that is massively important to the lenders.