3 Major Takeaways from ICE Experience 2024

The recent ICE Experience 2024 in Las Vegas revealed renewed energy in the mortgage industry. As the spring selling season kicks off, home buying activity is beginning to slowly recover—and after years of challenging conditions, lending professionals are welcoming new signs of life.

“At ICE Experience this year, there was an acceptance of a new normal within the industry,” says Amy Jo Plummer, Maxwell VP of Customer Success. “Lenders realize rates aren’t going to drop significantly just yet, so they’re channeling energy towards improving their margins, attracting borrowers, and making the most out of the current uptick, even if that rebound is smaller than desired.”

Didn’t get to attend ICE this year? Don’t worry: The Maxwell team spent a lot of time talking to lenders, industry leaders, and vendors at the show. We excitedly shared ideas for making the most of today’s changing market—but mostly, we listened. Here’s what our team learned.

1. Lenders realize the importance of data-backed decision-making.

A central them of this year’s ICE Experience was proactivity: Increasingly, lenders understand that writing off 2024 will result in lost opportunity that could prove disastrous as market recovery progresses. Still, budgets remain conservative, and lenders don’t have extraneous cash to throw at new business strategies that might not translate into margin improvements and lead generation.

The answer? Accessing business intelligence to drive more informed decisions.

“Lenders are open to investing in technology right now, but they’re being selective in their search for smart solutions that truly drive ROI and uplevel their ability to pursue opportunities as volume picks back up,” explains Emily Ward, Maxwell VP of Marketing. “Particularly, lenders are interested in business intelligence solutions—especially those that integrate the power of AI.”

Maxwell, for instance, unveiled its AskMax feature at ICE. A part of the Maxwell Business Intelligence solution, the AskMax feature leverages innovative artificial intelligence to make analytics highly accessible to lending teams. Acting as a data concierge, AskMax provides answers to loan-related questions in straightforward, plain language. If your Head of Operations, for instance, wants to dig into loan officer performance last year, rather than pulling individual reports, she could simply prompt, “Show me the top 5 loan officers by volume in 2023.”

As lenders look to work smarter and spend strategically to position their businesses for growth in 2024, forward-looking, tech-driven solutions like these will become an integral part of decision-making.

2. Borrower experience will only become more crucial as the market turns a corner.

As an industry, we talk quite a bit about borrower experience: how it changes alongside consumer expectations, ways to improve it, and the role technology plays in its evolution. Still, the emphasis on borrower experience sometimes takes a backseat to loan officer efficiencies and operational improvements.

As 2024 progresses, expect the home buyer to take center stage: Coming out of several tough housing market years and off the back of a groundbreaking NAR ruling, borrowers are emboldened to demand a better home buying process. And to fully capitalize on the coming volume uptick, lenders would be wise to double down on a top-notch, industry-leading borrower experience.

“One thing that stood out at this year’s ICE Experience was the growing emphasis on borrower experience,” reports Bryan Mecsey, Maxwell VP of Sales. “Our partners are looking at new ways to improve the overall experience their borrowers have with their organization. To achieve this, they’re leveraging technology to improve automation and provide a frictionless mortgage application process.”

In particular, to stand out to borrowers, lenders are going beyond tablestakes to provide above-and-beyond functionality within the home buying process. For instance, features such as a Spanish-language loan application help lenders differentiate themselves from the competition in the eyes of today’s borrowers.

3. After a tumultuous few years, industry relationships matter more than ever.

At its core, the mortgage industry has always been built on relationships. And after slogging through quarter after quarter of brutal market conditions, solidarity among lending professionals is stronger than ever.

“The lenders I met with at ICE were loving the in-person interaction,” says Amy Jo. “Similarly, I found many vendors looking to explore possible partnerships and ideating ways to collaborate for mutual benefit. In general, there was a ‘stronger together’ sentiment at this year’s event.”

The emphasis on human-led interactions extended to the customer service realm: In today’s complex, changing market, lenders increasingly expect top support from their solutions partners.

“Since lenders are spending their hard-earned dollars with technology vendors, they expect responsive, top service,” Amy Jo reports. “Today, lack of prompt communication and baseline support doesn’t cut it. Lenders need a true partner that will guide them through the market reset, helping to position them for success once conditions recover.”

Looking for a partner to help your lending business hit the ground running as the market resets? Click here to schedule a call with our team.

Get the latest and greatest industry news, delivered straight to your inbox.

By submitting this form you are agreeing to our Privacy Pledge and Terms of Use. At Maxwell, we’re committed to your privacy. You may unsubscribe at any time.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.