As the Chief Operations Officer of the premier lead generation software company in the wholesale mortgage industry, Rosa Romaine has seen how tech innovation and consumer marketing have shifted how brokers do business. Luckily for the wholesale channel, Romaine knows what it takes to roll with the punches.

What’s a career highlight you’re most proud of?

Successfully shifting from a top producer to a mortgage tech expert after the Lehman Brothers crash.

How has technology evolved and improved in the mortgage industry over the past decade?

Reputation technology has evolved to focus on proactive validation with online reviews. This has evolved and has improved how brokers are perceived on the internet. They can earn the trust of potential consumers by getting their past clients to leave a review. Without them, there is no way for borrowers to tell if they can trust you.

What is your process for developing new services that can be most useful to the mortgage industry?

We have a new tech advisory council made up of power users and top marketers. We share the product roadmap, share trial demos, and soft launch with a pilot group. This council also helps nominate future enhancements and functionality.

What do you think is the next big step in technology/services for mortgage professionals?

Fintech will play a role and the next big step will be big data and analytics. This industry will be using big data to analyze and manage risk. There are platforms out there that sift through data and focus on decision-making tools for the industry.

What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve faced in your career?

Building a technology center in a castle in Eastern Europe and overcoming the stigma that only men conduct business in tech. To break down this obstacle, I learned more about the culture and respectfully presented my case with conviction. I also explained how my goal was to help people and provide them with an opportunity, so we ended up with 200 developers and 100 help desk agents. To manage this project, I commuted for three years from San Diego to Bucharest, Romania.

Who (or what) has shaped your leadership style?

My love for sports has also helped shape who I am. I believe my leadership style is a mix of democratic and coaching. You need to put in the work, practice, watch the tape, and get better – it’s important to future proof yourself and never stop learning.

What are the biggest challenges facing mortgage brokers & what’s your advice for overcoming them?

I would say the need for an internet presence (digital footprint) has evolved significantly. Everyone needs to embrace digital marketing to stay competitive more than ever before. Understanding how the internet works, lead generation, and social media is now non-negotiable. Brokers need to make sure they are found, they have reviews that are credible, and that they generate and capture leads.

If you could go back to your first day in the industry, what advice would you give yourself?

Set aside money for marketing and invest in yourself and your local market.

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