We are officially halfway through 2023, and it’s safe to say the stable markets and economic predictability business owners were hoping for have not materialized.
Inflation is still wreaking havoc, mortgage rates are high, housing inventory is low, downtown offices are vacant, and the stock market is sending mixed signals. Oh, and AI may or may not be about to totally reshape life (and business) as we know it.
In other words, things look a lot like they did in January.
So what’s a responsible business owner to do? How on earth are you supposed to navigate this economy and balance growth and goals with risk and market realities?
Many mortgage and real estate leaders we’ve talked to over the last couple of months are choosing a “wait-and-see” approach. They’re expecting the markets to bottom out later this year before rebounding and stabilizing in 2024, and they’re delaying decisions, changes, and technology investments until they see what happens.
We’re here to tell you that, while it seems like a good idea, “wait-and-see” is the wrong approach to the mindful market of 2023.
The Problem With the “Wait-And-See” Approach to Market Uncertainty
Business leadership is always challenging – years like 2023 make it even more difficult than usual.
You want to lead your business forward confidently, but you don’t know what will happen, and you certainly don’t want to make the wrong move.
When everything seems risky, taking a “wait-and-see” approach to market uncertainty feels natural and sounds reasonable.
After all, it’s only prudent to hit pause and avoid big decisions until things settle down and get back to “normal,” right?
Here’s the problem: this “wait-and-see” strategy sounds good and feels safe, but it won’t work out how you think.
Technology investments and strategic pivots take time to implement – and to start producing ROI. If you wait to act until the market settles, you’ll be too late to take advantage of the recovery.
Why Now Is the Right Time to Invest in Strategic Data & Technology Initiatives
If you want to be in a position to capitalize when the markets eventually shift, you have to resist the temptation to wait and see and start taking strategic action now.
In our experience, most technology projects (which are often part of a larger data transformation or strategic initiative) take about 6 months to start providing value.
If that seems like a long time, stop for a minute and think about what’s involved in a major project such as CRM implementation or data integration. Planning, implementation, testing, troubleshooting, user training & process transition all take time – at least if you do them right.
With that in mind, let’s go back to the situation we mentioned in the intro for this blog: many experts are expecting the economy to stabilize and improve in early 2024.
If you want to be ready to hit the ground running when the market shifts … and most strategic technology investments take at least 6 months to provide value, the right time to invest is … right now. Otherwise, you’ll be left scrambling to catch up instead of capitalizing on the opportunities the new year brings.
Three Things You Should Be Doing Now to Make Sure You’re Ready to Take Advantage When the Market Recovers
Let’s make something clear: we’re not encouraging you to run around spending money and kicking off risky projects.
We’re advocating for well-thought-out, strategic investment in things that will help your company grow and succeed no matter what the economy does or when the market shifts.
And we’re arguing that this kind of intentional action is the best approach to the mindful market we’re seeing this year.
So what should you be doing now to make sure you’re ready to go full speed ahead when the economy recovers?
Here are three suggestions for no-regrets, right-now investment:
1. Invest in Data
The best time to invest in data is always “as soon as possible.”
Data has the potential to be your most valuable company asset, but you’ll only realize that value if you invest the time and money required to make sure it’s accessible, accurate, secure, complete, and ready to support deeper customer insight, more efficient processes & better leadership decisions.
2. Embrace Integration
Integration improves efficiency by eliminating hand-offs, manual data transfer, and other time-wasting tasks associated with siloed systems.
Why is it worth doing now vs. later?
Because “efficiency” translates to faster loan processing, shorter time-to-close, rapid onboarding, accelerated claims processing, and quick customer service – which drive ROI no matter what the market looks like.
3. Focus On Customer Connections
Strong customer connections matter whether you’re trying to retain customers in a downturn or attract new ones when the market heats up.
There’s no reason to wait for a better market to start spending time and money on better communication, personalized marketing, next-level customer service, and other things that strengthen customer relationships. The sooner you invest, the sooner you (and your customers) will start reaping the benefits.
One More Action Recommendation: Talk to Platinum Cubed
Platinum Cubed helps mortgage lenders, real estate companies, investment firms, and other financial services companies succeed with Salesforce.
We’re industry experts and experts at using Salesforce to help you get maximum value from your data, strengthen customer relationships, and improve core Sales and delivery processes. We’re also really, really good at helping you integrate your systems and boost efficiency.