InsightsDave Howard featured on HousingWire Daily Podcast

The power of partnership in today's market | ServiceLink

ServiceLink’s Dave Howard, executive vice president, origination services, sat down with Sarah Wheeler, editor in chief of HousingWire, to discuss the power of partnership in today’s housing market for a HousingWire Daily podcast episode. Read a portion of their conversation below – with some responses edited for brevity and clarity – or listen to the full episode on

Sarah Wheeler:

Welcome, everyone. My guest today is Dave Howard, executive vice president at ServiceLink. And we're going to talk about the power of partnership in today's market. Dave, welcome to the podcast.

Dave Howard:

Thank you for having me, Sarah. It's a pleasure to join you today.


It is great to have you on. We have a lot to talk about. This has been such a challenging couple of years, so I'd love to get your perspective. Describe how the market has changed in your time at ServiceLink.


Wow. That's about all I can say. It's just been a dramatic, dramatic few years. As I came and entered into ServiceLink it was just before the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic and a rather dramatic shift in business profile of folks having to work from home or work in a hybrid operation, as well as specifically in our industry. The interest rates, which took a dramatic tumble and created some legendary volumes for all of our industry – through the roof. So, it was a couple of real big significant shifts and changes there in a very, very short period of time. And then obviously since then, within the last year or so, we've had rates rise at historic levels, not to necessarily historic levels, but a historic rate of change in rates going back up and having the opposite effect on volume. So, it's been really kind of a push and pull within these last few years that have created some serious dynamics in our industry that has certainly been something for us on the provider side and certainly our lender, clients and partners to work through. It’s been a big, big challenge for the industry.


So with all that volatility and things changing to your point so fast, it's not just, you know, things change, but the rate of change. How did that impact how ServiceLink works with its lenders?


Well, really, it's required a tremendous amount of flexibility on our part, as well as being able to scale to the highs and then to be adaptable for changing requirements that our lender clients have had in order to either deal with the extreme volumes or, when volumes have become lower as they are now, they've needed creativity as they go after the business that is out there. Either trying to appeal to new customers or to be just creative to compete and win with their target markets where they're trying to establish and create pipelines of their own. So that's put, you know, requirements on us to a greater degree. It's put a shift in an emphasis on what's been important to them in terms of updating their processes and streamlining the processes and trying to make a difference as it relates to the customer experience or the borrower experience. And as they're figuring that out, that puts a lot of pressure on organizations like ours. To try to adapt to that, not just keep up with them, but then also anticipate where they're going and what they're trying to do so they'll be competitive. And then of course, we'll be competitive as well.


You know, that adaptability is so important when you consider this market, this volatile market. What other things make a good partner right now?


You know really, Sarah, it's foundational stuff because at the end of the day, as a technology enabled service provider, we're there to facilitate the lenders’ transaction and to get their customer to this place that they want to be. In order to do that, in the volatile environment, like you mentioned, it’s really about being stable, having stability. Having the experience of having been through these types of cycles before, I would say one thing that's been crystal clear from our clients is the service focus and really the care and feeding for their customer and making sure that their every transaction counts, every transaction matters. You know, Sarah, since the year is just started I’ve been out in the field quite a bit visiting with a lot of our clients and certainly over the holidays when volumes are a bit lower, they're still critical transactions to these lenders and probably the impact ends up being higher when somebody is trying to complete a transaction through the holiday season. Our lender clients were sharing with me – and I'm so proud to hear this – just how thankful they were to our team and the accessibility of our team at some really odd hours and through the holidays and other challenges and that service focus and depth of experience really helped carry them through with some challenging transactions, which, you know, from a borrower perspective, that experience makes a huge difference. It’s all about their experience with their lender and how we contribute to make that as positive as possible so that they want to come back. When we're in a low environment like we are now, or a lower environment like we are now, the opportunity to gain customers for a lifetime – and repeat customers – is really driven by the experience that they have and everyone is trying to do that to a degree.

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