How Do You Not Be Blockbuster?

    I received a lot of feedback yesterday in response to my blog “Netflix vs. Blockbuster.”

    Some asked what I meant, and some asked how to find the next Netflix.

    What I meant is that we all need to make sure we don’t wake up one day to find that our industry has changed so much that we are obsolete (like Blockbuster did).

    On the lending side, new technology will make pre-approvals almost instant and rates much lower. Lenders that don’t embrace the new model won’t survive.

    On the real estate side, I am not sure what technology will win out, but rest assured that there are tech changes on the horizon that will massively disrupt everything.

    Here is what I recommend doing to avoid being the next Blockbuster:

    1. Meet with company owners constantly and ask them about their vision. No one owner will have it dialed in. But over time you will get a great picture of where your industry is heading and what changes are on the horizon. This is something we do constantly and it provides wonderful perspective.
    2. Demo software. We do this constantly too and the multiple demos provide as much education and perspective as anything else. The demo providers are often less than truthful about coming changes, but they nonetheless are often great educators b/c they know what is on the market.
    3. Join a trade group of successful, producing peers. We are part of several coaching and peer groups, and the info and updates we receive from our peers are invaluable b/c they are all in the trenches.
    4. Attend conferences and symposiums where new tech is offered. This is something we don’t do enough but our peers fortunately do, and they share what they learn with us. And again – it is invaluable.

    Here is what not to do: Don’t join a company with a lot of grandiose promises of things to come, limited capital, and far too few producing agents or loan officers working on the technology.

    We have watched numerous fintech lenders go belly up over the last several years, after burning through millions, b/c they relied entirely on engineers and not enough on “producers” in the trenches.

    Two of them actually came to us for advice b/c all of their fancy tech wasn’t generating any business. In other words, they built it and nobody came (to paraphrase the line from “Field of Dreams”).

    Finally, I realize that much of what I typed above is fairly obvious. So, this is really just a reminder to do it a lot more to avoid the “Blockbuster syndrome.”

    Jay Voorhees
    Founder/Broker | JVM Lending
    (855) 855-4491 | DRE# 01524255, NMLS# 310167

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