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Polly CEO Adam Carmel: ‘Agility is the Name of the Game’

July 29 2022

Adam Carmel is Founder and CEO of Polly. He experienced firsthand the fundamental gaps that existed in legacy software solutions. After recognizing that a modern, cloud-native alternative did not exist, Adam founded Polly and developed the industry’s first vertically integrated, data-driven capital markets software solution that allows for unlimited flexibility, configurability and scalability.

MBA NewsLink: The mortgage industry has recently experienced quite a shift. What’s the most important thing lender leadership can be doing right now?

Adam Carmel: Regardless of the current industry temperament, it is recommended lenders remain flexible and place an emphasis on long-term resilience. One way that lenders can stay ahead of the competition when the market is in flux is through innovative tech adoption, and now is certainly the time to be thinking about and evaluating all aspects of a mortgage operation.

As lenders navigate through 2022 and beyond, so much will be dependent on the technology in use–specifically, the LOS and PPE. When it comes to these primary components, it is important to know that modern, cloud-native options now exist.

By utilizing vertically integrated, cloud-native solutions, lenders become more agile and are able to flex up or down with the market. This enables lending teams to automate and optimize the capital markets value chain to maximize workflow efficiencies and profitability down the road.

NewsLink: Lending is traditionally a cyclical business, with ups and downs. Why is it so difficult to level the hills and valleys?

Carmel: When it comes to keeping in lockstep with lending cycles, agility is the name of the game. Implementing tech solutions that are scalable and customizable will give lending teams the confidence they need to weather the storm: rain or shine, hill or valley.

NewsLink: Mortgage lender profits are down, MBA has reported. Where can lenders cut costs and improve efficiencies?

Carmel: There is a lot of room to save time and money by leaning into technology that works with the lender, not against them. Historically, legacy solutions have required an abundance of spreadsheets and tree- or folder-type hierarchies. This is a flawed design, as this structure can be a hugely limiting factor in a lender’s ability to configure products, eligibility, and pricing on a dynamic or multi-dimensional basis. It is all but inevitable that somewhere along the line, there will be a break or impact on a preceding layer, making an already inefficient and time-consuming process even worse. That is just one example.

The right technology solution will evolve with the user. It will enable them to dynamically configure products and margins with an infinite number of dimensions. As a result, workflows become automated, speed to market is increased, and lenders can truly optimize the margins and revenue on every single loan.

NewsLink: How can technology refine and enhance processes and procedures?

Carmel: The right technology stack can help streamline processes and procedures, making the day-to-day operations and overall business more efficient. With the right stack, it is possible to save as much as 3-5 hours daily on configuration and product maintenance. That’s nearly two full workdays back every week, at least!

Here is an overview of additional elements that contribute to a solid tech stack for lenders:

Integrated systems by design: Vertically integrated, data-driven capital markets software solutions that are cloud-native allow for unlimited flexibility, configurability, and scalability. The most advanced solutions enable lenders to remain agile and flex up and down with the market.

Bringing mortgage tech up-to-date: While various industries have been quick to adopt modern, cloud-native technology to streamline internal processes and workflows, specific categories within the mortgage space have historically gone untouched. Interesting, in an era where homebuyer research begins online and all but demands quick action across the board. Lenders looking to optimize and accelerate their mortgage operations should look to modern tech vendors dedicated to constant and consistent innovation, delivering the functionality needed to satisfy borrower demand and keep in lockstep with evolving market conditions.

Customization: One size doesn’t fit all, and every lender’s strategy is unique. Whether the mortgage operation is a community bank, large credit union, top 25 independent mortgage company, or a mortgage broker, the right PPE can accommodate lenders of any type and size–and support those unique business strategies.

NewsLink: Is the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach an endangered species?

Carmel: One-size-fits-all customer SERVICE is an endangered species, full stop. We have seen customer behavior drive change across most traditional commerce industries, and the mortgage industry is no different.

Collaboration is key. There is no better source for innovation than the end user themselves. It is important that mortgage tech vendors employ a customer-centric approach to ensure the value of cloud-native technologies to a lender’s business will continue to increase over time. Further, the most advanced solutions run on a high-performance infrastructure that enables the rapid deployment of these new innovations and functionality at an unparalleled pace.

NewsLink: Going forward, what strategies can ensure lenders remain agile and flexible?

Carmel: “The way we’ve always done things” no longer works within the mortgage industry. Today, the forward-thinking lender should maintain a renewed focus on their tech stack and where they can adjust their approach. Specifically, as it relates to a lender’s LOS and PPE. By implementing a modern stack, lenders can better address the needs of individual customers and set their internal teams up for long-term success.

This executive conversation was originally featured in the MBA NewsLink.

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