Have you ever seen Silicon Valley? Show on HBO walking through the journey of a couple guys in an incubator turning a widget into a technology unicorn. The show does a great job making light of just about every scenario. The trials and tribulations of partnerships. The quirkiness of investors. Working to exhaustion to beat the competition and stifle all the noise. That is an extremely brief breakdown of the show, but my point is that the mortgage tech industry is a whole lot like season one. I’m going to break down exactly what the majority of your mortgage tech companies really look like behind the zoom camera. It ain’t pretty. However, they are all working to provide a new kind of value, service, and solution that may revolutionize your mortgage business.
1. The exceptions are NOT the rule. Very simple. If you can’t find them on Crunchbase then it is likely that these other rules apply. Of course, there are several mortgage technology companies that have raised millions of dollars and appear to be massive. The majority, even if they have been in business a couple years, probably can relate to the remainder of topics below.
2. Staff. High probability you can count them on one hand. The dedication and work ethic of these individuals aren’t normal. They will wear 7 hats at once. They will manage 5 different email accounts. Info@, Support@, Sales@, Ops@, and Steven@. Yeah, that’s one person. Double and triple book meetings. Zoom, Google Hangout, and GoTo all in the same hour. Getting shit done. It’s hard to find folks that will work for free, but a lot of these techies do. Nonetheless, they will work extremely hard to help you meet your objectives.
3. Customers. Don’t be surprised if you are the only one. It’s worth a whole separate article, but mortgage is extremely…SLOW to try stuff or invest in new ideas. Being theI first at bat for a new service/technology can have several advantages. Introduction pricing, having something your competition doesn’t, and ultimately supporting a tech company. Yes – you could be wrong and the tech suck. Anyway, don’t be surprised to learn that a mortgage tech/service company only has a handful of customers. Remember, being a master Sales/tech/customerservice Rep is a tough gig and it takes time for these technology company to grow.
4. Revenue – Budget – Money. If they have customers, they should have some revenue. Please believe that costs to building new technology, staff, Ops tech (Zoom, Hubspot), and any kind of travel is f$&*ing tough. If the mortgage tech company hasn’t raised capital or have a substantial number of customers, they are likely on the struggle bus financially. So, when you are negotiating for a 20% discount try to remember that these entrepreneurs are likely working in a basement, eating ramen noodles, and living on credit cards to develop technology that will help you sell more loans.
Realty is rarely like a TV show or what we see on social media. It is always impressive to witness the true grit and courage of the tech entrepreneur in the mortgage space. Taking an idea from concept to MVP is pretty amazing. Then to have the audacity to get in front of mortgage professionals with a MVP and ask them to pay for it is next level. The whole process is painstaking, humbling and always involves some kind of personal sacrifice.
Mortgage tech entrepreneurs stay encouraged and never quit. Keep fighting for innovation. You will definitely get your ass kicked. Some will get up off the mat and others will let the count hit 10. Know that even challenging the mortgage industry with new ideas will make a difference. It keeps everyone on their toes. Creates Disruption.
Mortgage Professionals, we know you aren’t running a charity, but stay supportive however you can. Go to demos, do a little networking when you discover something new and innovative. Stay open minded. Mortgage technology is in its infancy, and one of these basement living, Ramen Noodle eating, out of the box thinkers is building the next unicorn. Be the one that new about it when it was just getting started.