Our takeaways from MeridianLink LIVE!

By: Carol Crawford
Chief Marketing Officer, FirstClose

We’re still buzzing with excitement from the recent MeridianLink LIVE user conference. It was incredible to connect with industry leaders, peers and MeridianLink users to share insights, and explore the latest innovations shaping the lending landscape.

Here are some of the key takeaways and insights we garnered during our time in the Music City:

1. Collaboration Fuels Innovation

One of the most prominent themes this year was the power of collaboration in driving innovation. At FirstClose, we firmly believe in the strength of partnerships to deliver comprehensive home equity solutions that meet the evolving needs of lenders. Our integrated partnership with MeridianLink exemplifies this commitment to collaboration, enabling us to streamline the home equity lending process and empower lenders with greater efficiency and accuracy.

2. Home Equity is Still Hot

At the conference, there was a palpable sense of optimism surrounding the potential of home equity lending to drive growth and innovation within the lending industry. We’ve seen first-hand the resurgence that home equity has experienced in recent years, fueled by low interest rates, rising home values and a growing desire among homeowners to tap into their home’s equity for various purposes.

In fact, we recently conducted a survey of 1,000 homeowners to better understand their level of awareness of home equity products and how they could be used. What we found when asked if they would access their home’s equity to pay off debt, the responses were almost evenly split with 49% responding yes and 51% responding no. More than half of respondents (56%) said they would access the equity in their homes for a home renovation project. Only 34% of respondents, however, said they would access their equity to finance a big purchase, such as a car, a trip, tuition etc.

3. Shift Towards Digital Solutions

Many of the breakout sessions focused on digital progression and the growing pains, triumphs and uncertainties that come with embracing these solutions that offer a more optimized customer experience.  As consumer expectations continue to evolve, there’s a growing demand for a more personalized and customized lending experience. In line with broader trends in the mortgage industry, there’s a noticeable shift towards digital solutions in the realm of home equity lending. Lenders are increasingly embracing technology to streamline the application process, enhance borrower experiences and improve overall operational efficiency. Likewise, homeowners are seeking tailored solutions that cater to their unique financial needs and allow them to quickly tap into their home’s equity.

Our integration with MeridianLink enables lenders to seamlessly leverage our cutting-edge digital home equity solution from their LOS and deliver a personalized home equity lending experience from application to through delivery of funds, facilitating a smoother home equity lending process and ultimately fostering stronger borrower relationships.

Our very own Josh Livingston hosted a one-on-one fireside chat with OnPoint Community Credit Union’s Chris Folkert to discuss how they are using digital home equity application to continuously improve their processes to gain market share. “Our philosophy is to keep it simple and using an insured product, like FirstClose, makes it easy.”

4. Everyone loves a good boot.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth and  “filled yer boots!”. We loved meeting each and every one of you! With nearly 300 boots in the box, here are the three lucky winners (insert Nashville drumroll):

  1. Samantha Erlitz with First Commonwealth Bank
  2. Jamie Friesen with Everwise Credit Union
  3. George Morrison with First Mutual Holding Company

Overall, our time at the MeridianLink Live was incredibly insightful and inspiring. We’re grateful for the opportunity to connect with industry peers, share our expertise and learn from the collective wisdom of the lending community. As we look ahead, we’re excited to continue our collaboration with MeridianLink and our shared commitment to driving innovation and excellence in lending.

Didn’t have a chance to catch up at the show? Let’s schedule a time to meet with our team and learn how you can take your home equity lending operations to the next level.