As the cycles shift, what is one thing you need to invest in right now to keep your mortgage business afloat? Today’s guest says it’s primetime for mortgage technology. Join host David Lykken as he chats with SimpleNexus CEO Ben Miller about why he thinks software is something business owners need to focus on. Ben also shares how the company was recently acquired by nCino and the changes that came with it. As CEO, he oversees overall business strategy, operations, and go-to-market activities while guiding the company’s overall market leadership in streamlining the homeownership journey. His focus is innovating mortgage technology. Tune in to hear more of Ben’s insight and gather valuable advice on how to keep your mortgage business relevant and stable in this cyclical environment.
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Primetime For Investing In Your Mortgage Technology Mix With Ben Miller Of SimpleNexus
I’m excited to have Ben Miller on the show. He is the CEO at SimpleNexus, an nCino Company. We’re going to talk more about nCino. Ben oversees the overall business strategy operations and go-to-market activities while guiding the company’s overall market leadership in streamlining and home-ownership journey. It is something we all can do and needs some help in. He’s very much into innovating mortgage technology. Ben, it’s good to have you on the show. Thank you for being here.
Thank you. It’s exciting to be here. I appreciate it.
I appreciate you being an advertiser. Full disclosure, everybody, Ben is one of our proud sponsors. We’re pleased to have them. We are very careful who we select to be sponsors of our show. We’re looking for market leaders. Certainly, Ben and SimpleNexus are that. Mark Helm is joining me on the show. It’s good to have you here.
I’m glad to be here. Thank you.
It’s much fun to learn when you talk to guys like Ben on what’s going on in the market division and what we can anticipate, especially as we know, so much needs to change. I’m looking forward to it. Before we get started in getting in some of the meat of the matter here, it’s important that people get to know you, Ben. How did you get to where you’re at? What’s your journey to this place?
It’s a diverse journey. A lot of people in the mortgage industry may have started somewhere else, and then found themselves in mortgage and here they are. We’re going to go with it. It’s a career. It’s an exciting place to be. There are a lot of cool things happening in the mortgage. I started in construction management. I have a Civil Engineering degree and did that for a while.
I went through a great financial crisis with the massive pullback and construction. As you can imagine, I decided that I should probably reinvent myself. I’m trying to do something different. I wanted to go to business school and came out to Utah to go to BYU and got an MBA. There’s a lot of technology in Utah, tech companies and startups. That’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to be in startups. This was an amazing environment to learn from. I came out here and got my fancy, shiny MBA. I went out into the world to go start a couple of companies and failed miserably.
Everyone assumes that when you start a company, it just takes off. We learned so much from our failures.
I learned about what it takes to create good technology, how you test it, how you get that market validation, listen to the customer, and all those types of things. After failing at a few businesses, I was taking a small business through an incubator here in Utah. Roger Andrew was the Director of that incubator and Matt Hansen was also taking his company through at the same time. My company failed and I did not know Matt at the time, but Roger suggested he said, “You’re a hard worker and smart kid. Your idea was bad. Maybe you should meet this other guy, Matt, who has a good idea. He needs some help. Maybe you should have lunch together and see what happens.”
You guys got started early together. What is it that drew you to Matt and this company SimpleNexus?
Do you work with people that you like, trust and want to be with? It works better when that’s the case. I did not know anything about the mortgage and bought a couple of houses, that was it. I knew it was a hard process. Matt has this technology and he’s solving problems in the mortgage industry. That, by itself, did not attract me to SimpleNexus. I couldn’t wait to get out of bed and go join the mortgage industry. That was not the case. I met this guy that was a good thinker. I could tell it was a brilliant product mind, a great engineer.
Apart from that, I felt like trusting this guy. This is a guy that I could go to work with every day and feel like a friend or pal but also somebody that’s going to jump into the trenches, grab a shovel, get to work with and get it done. It’s that type of personality. As I got to know him more, I learned that he’s a wise person that thought through problems the way he thought. I want to partner with this person.
People do business bore with the person sometimes, but it’s important to have a great idea, but when you put together a great idea and a great person, that connects. I always love asking this question. How did you guys come up with the name SimpleNexus?
Nexus is this connecting point that brings things together. He had this vision of creating a platform that would bring a salesperson and a customer together in the platform, maybe some auxiliary personas. You can apply it, in this case, to a mortgage. That’s a Nexus bringing together in a very simple, easy, concise way to do a transaction. That is the thesis behind the name and the name has served us well. We continue to bring different parties together and have a simple, easy workflow to be able to create that transaction together.
A significant part of your journey has been the recent acquisition by nCino. I’d love to get a little insight as to what attracted you to them and them to you.
The fact that I’m sitting in this chair and still working attests to the goals of why we did this transaction. When we saw this company, we saw that they could help us continue our vision of dominating and being the best in class in the mortgage space. We say, “Let’s do this. Let’s stay here and continue to realize our vision.” nCino is widely known as the best in class for the commercial banking, operating system and commercial banking process flow. They also are doing other products like small business lending or retailing and things of that nature.
They did not have a mortgage offering. They had tried to build one before and it didn’t work out for them. They came to us and said, “We have all the other things and banking covered, but now with a mortgage, we can have that complete digital transformation for a financial institution. We need you guys to fill this gap, but keep being the absolute best at a mortgage. Don’t worry about any of this other stuff. We’ve got this other stuff.”
It’s fascinating to us to say it can bring us into FI space, which was traditionally IMBs and make us stronger there and some more software to that base. We don’t have to be distracted and learn some other random thing. We can continue to be laser-focused and best the mortgage. That’s what we signed up for. We merge those companies together to have much more powerful offerings together than individually. It’s very exciting for us.
You introduce me to Paul, who’s one of the Cofounders up here who I have not yet met. I’m looking forward to meeting him. I hear many amazing things about this gentleman. You introduced me to him in Nashville at the National Mortgage Banking Conference. I was impressed with him. You immediately pick up. These are real guys. They don’t come across as these arrogant investment bankers, acquiring companies and all that. They seem like a culture fit with you. Talk about that and the culture between the two companies.
I’m a young guy. I’m not a serial entrepreneur. I don’t know what I’m doing. We work hard and try to make smart decisions, but we had heard that most software acquisitions fail. Why do they fail? Number one reason is culture because you have an acquiring company that ultimately says, “You have to do it this way because we bought you.” The acquired company says, “I don’t like that,” and then stuff falls apart.The number one reason why software acquisitions fail is culture. Click To Tweet
We knew that going in and spent a lot of dedicated time with Paul, Pierre, and others in that team, and made sure that we could partner with them. I did that with Matt Hansen. He did that with me to say, “Can I work with this guy?” It’s all fun during the dating phase of getting to know each other, but eventually, we’re going to run into a problem. We’re going to have something apart to solve and solve that together. We did the same thing with nCino. Not only do we have one-hour meetings here and there, but then we took it further.
I said, “Let’s have dinner together. Let’s go spend all day long in your office, and you spend all day in my office. Let’s sit down and see how you behave for 8 hours instead of a 1-hour window and talk through a lot of things of how we’re going to work together to try to make a plan.” When you got to carry out the plan, it changes. The important thing was, “Can we trust them? Are we like-minded individuals? Can we work together?”
They have a saying that they take their work very seriously. They’re in the banking highly regulated banking space, but they do not take themselves seriously. They don’t have this high and mighty aura about them. It was like, “Come on. Let’s join in together. You can be right beside me. You don’t have to sit way in the back or be off in the corner. You sit right beside me and let’s go conquer this market together.” That was exciting for us.
There’s so much more that story we could dive into, but Mark, I know we got to get to some of the meat of the matter. I’ll toss the mic to you for your first good question about the topic for the day.
I want to do a short follow-up first if I could. I got a little pun here. I don’t mean it as a pun, but it’s going to seem like a pun. I’ve always felt that failures are the bedrock of our success. That plays in its construction piece a little bit with you. Since you did another thing before you finished your MBA and carried on and became part of SimpleNexus in division there, what did you learn from your failures that you brought into play in the creation and growth of the new company and carried it right on into an acquisition mode?
One of the first things that come to mind is that when you’re trying to build a business or do anything in life, you have opportunities to make decisions that may compromise your integrity. If you stay true to who you are and always try to operate with integrity, it doesn’t matter if it’s going to be a success or failure. You will always have who you are intact. When the business I was part of and it was trying to lead failed, at the end of the day, I myself didn’t feel like a failure, per se. I could analyze and see what went wrong and what I could have done better. I knew that I always operated in a way that I could hold my head high. I was proud of the effort I put in.
For whatever reason it failed, it failed and own those reasons, but I never had to be ashamed of how I operated. That’s very important because sometimes when things get hard, you’re tempted to make decisions that are not the right decision. You want to cut corners or do something wrong. It was important to be able to fail with grace. That gives you the energy and confidence to go tackle the next challenge. That was important.
Other failures and lessons you learned, you said, “For one thing, I have value and worth as an individual and a human being that not necessarily is tied to my professional success or failure.” It messes with your head when you fail and you’re like, “I feel like an idiot or whatever.” You’re still a great father and a great brother. Your job is somebody. You’re a son to somebody. You are a friend or husband. Those are the things that define your value. That helped when I had a failure. When we have a good amount of success, it helps keep me grounded to say I’m still a regular old Ben.
Mark, you certainly had your successes. The biggest challenges are not in the failures but it’s in the successes that we have. That’s when things can mess with our heads in a big way. We started thinking of ourselves, “Are we highly or not?”
I don’t know how well it translates on a show, but I hope that the people in the show learned about you the way I heard you because I felt the spirit of what you’re saying as much as I was hearing the word of what you’re saying. That’s very important in all entrepreneurial situations. I’m going to move on to the real topics here. we’ll make sure I go through the list. We know this 2022 was an unprecedented year in a lot of ways. We should collect to know how you feel are some of the year’s biggest takeaway lessons for mortgage lenders and your interface with them with a SimpleNexus. How are you growing your company based on that?
One of the first things that come to mind is that sound old-fashioned business principles are still good sound old fashioned business principles. It’s funny when the markets are tearing off like a rocket. You’re like, “I don’t need to think about taking some of this extra profit and putting it away for a rainy day. I need to reinvest that to take advantage of this opportunity.” All of a sudden, it flips on you. You are like, “Where’s my rainy day fund?” The time to build the rainy day fund is when you have extra.
We operated our business. We scaled in that environment. We’re still growing in this environment. We’re one of the only mortgage tech companies that are growing. That’s a solid force out there. We’re a company that people can depend on that has stability because when times were good, we did not go too far in excess. We didn’t have to cut way back like some of the other companies are cutting and sacrificing their quality when things have pulled back. It sounds like business principles did that for a reason and that’s a big takeaway.
Another takeaway is that it’s hard to scale with people alone. That’s a very costly resource, not only from dollars to go hire those heads but also training in bringing somebody online. It takes time. To the extent possible, you need to leverage software to get those efficiencies to help you scale because software can come online much more quickly and can adjust to the market dynamics more quickly and more efficiently than trying to either gain a bunch of heads or then reduce a bunch of heads. That’s a big takeaway.It’s hard to scale with people alone. Click To Tweet
In 2022, you appreciated the realities of the cyclicality of this business. It’s real. It’s cyclical. We have very good customers that have been in this business for decades they’re operating at a high level right now. They’re acquiring competitors because they knew 2020 and 2021 were uncharacteristic of a market. They weren’t going to last forever.
They took the steps necessary to prepare themselves for the pullback, then we did the same thing. He gets pegged as a doomsday, saying, “I can’t wait for the pullback. It’s coming. I can’t wait.” Everybody else is not saying that. They’re like, “Let the good times roll. It isn’t going to last forever.” You’re like, “I can’t wait because I’m going to eat their lunch when this thing pulls back.”
We don’t wish ill on anyone, but some of these pullbacks are some of the healthiest things going on. Mark and I were on a call. We were talking about David Kettle and he is part of the TMC that we are all a part of. He pre-recorded a podcast with Doug Duncan talking about the days that are ahead. He was very bullish about Doug Duncan, the Chief Economist for the MBA. He is very bullish about the days ahead. It seems like sometimes these seasons that we’re going through in 2022 are a cleansing year.
I hate to see anything terrible happens. That seems like it all happens in mortgage around the holidays. It’s a terrible time. People get laid off and businesses close. These are some of the cleansing times that are positioned for those that come through the other side for success. Let’s talk about 2023. There’s no crystal ball. No one knows exactly where we’re heading. We’re all anticipating some good times ahead, as Doug predicts. He said, “In the next several years, we’re going to have some amazing time to mortgage lending.” What are some of the ways that lenders can best position themselves for success in the new year, especially from your perspective?
It seems like we are still in a right-sizing mode of the industry, the healing mode, or wringing out of the extra capacity. Something that came to mind, our best year ever has been 2022. Before that, our best year ever was 2021. Before that, it was 2020 and then 2019. The point is that in cyclicality, you can thrive in any environment. We’re coming into an environment that is going to look a lot like 2019. 2019 was a $2 trillion something. That’s what they’re projecting for 2023.
With the right amount of capacity in the system, there is money to be made as a mortgage that’s $1 trillion a year. It’s not, “When is it ever going to get back to a $4 trillion year?” You might as well get out of the business if that’s what you’re banking on because then they happen. If you can build your business in a way that you’re right-sizing your capacity for the amount of volume that’s there, then in essence, you’re trying to outlast the next guy that needs to get out of the business but hadn’t gotten out yet.
How can you find advantages? How can you find those synergies within the company, software being a major advantage? It makes me think about the work we’re doing with eClose, where you’re taking a process from 16 days down to 8 days or fewer to ship alone. You’re saving hard dollars on a warehouse line cost or you’re reducing cash outlay on what you spend on a FedEx shipping or printing of paper. It’s hard to change management to make that happen. If you will operate with fewer costs, then the next gap. You’ll be able to outlast that other lender and thrive in 2022. Those are some of the things we need to be thinking about as we’re coming in at 2023.
It reminds me of a story about the two hikers up in Alaska. They are hiking in bear country and one of the guys starts putting on his tennis shoes. He says, “Why are you putting on your tennis shoes?” He says, “We’re a bear country. I want to be able to run fast.” He says, “You can’t outrun a bear.” “I can’t, but I want to have to outrun you.” That’s an analogy with what you’re trying to say.
We’ve heard some people say, “We need to lobby the government right now to lower mortgage rates so we can get the volumes back where they were.” We all know what happens when the government gets involved. Let the thing run its course. Let’s find the equilibrium. Let’s operate in a healthy market. Let me help you outrun the next guy.
You do that with your technology. I’m excited about that. Mark, back to you.
In my role in the past as a CEO and COO of a company, one of the hardest things for me to deal with I’m going to tell a little joke here that spells it out for you. I’m a Vietnam veteran, and it’s about Vietnam. A guy is walking down the street. He’s got his Vietnam veteran hat on and he passes the guy who has a US Army hat on. It could be a Marine hat. I like to make fun of Marine friends. The guy is dragging his legs. This guy walks by him and says he is proud about being a Vietnam veteran. He said, “Vietnam 1972,” and the guy dragging his leg says, “Dog poop three blocks back.”
Usually, somebody used another word there. What it’s about in our industry is the perception. The biggest problem that I had as a manager, going through years of massive change in technology, not as much as we have now, but one-time changes back then, not all the integrations we have was convincing managers that they need to step out of the footprint they’re in and try something new.
I learned that perception was everything. I had to not only have a reality of perception, but I had to understand where was building their perception coming from. You are selling to mortgage bankers something that can help them and help them succeed. What do you bump into about mortgage bankers’ resistance to add something new to their technology mix? How do you deal with that in the marketing of your company to these people?
As a whole within our industry, and honestly, any industry, people are bad at purchasing software. We do not do a good job of buying software. Let me give you some examples. A lot of times, we make a purchase decision, they heard the old saying that, “Nobody ever got fired for buying an IBM mainframe. Don’t think about it. Don’t analyze it. Just buy it. Pay the man what he wants.” How do you going to run a business like that? We might hear a new shiny thing over there. It’s like, “I got to go buy that because that’s the cool thing now,” or we take a software demo there’s a slick presentation, buttoned up salesperson. You’re like, “They looked cool. I’m going to buy their stuff.”
We don’t approach it by saying, “First off, what in the world are we trying to solve? What problem are we trying to solve within our company? Let’s clearly define that. Here are the pain points. Now, let’s go out and try to find something that addresses those pain points.” You may not know everything because honestly, there are some things you don’t know that you don’t know. When you find someone a vendor, that that is the world they live in, that is their expertise, you ought to be open to how we approach every customer as a partner.
When we come into a sales situation, a discovery situation, it is to partner with that company and say, “Let’s analyze the workflows. Let’s see how you’re doing business,” then identify specific pain points then I can marry those up to different attributes, features and benefits of my software, and go earn your business. Go show how this is going to work. Not just, “Here’s a slide. Here’s a fancy, quick presentation,” but, “Here’s data. Here are facts. Here’s social proof. Here are other people who have implemented it and use it this way and have realized this gain.”
When we do that, that’s a more logical approach that’s of a higher value bet on realizing success. Not only that, it’s important to have that conviction when you make the purchase to be able to see through the change management to realize that gain and that ROI. In a lot of these things, eClose or a new front-end system, homeowners platform or whatever, it’s hard to retrain the support staff on how to do something a different way and a more efficient way and there’s going to be resistance. If you purchased the software and started going down a path because the thing looked pretty, that’s going to wear off.
“It’s hard. I don’t remember why I quite bought that thing. Let’s quit.” If you partnered with that vendor, and we’re able to see the hard evidence approval, where the ROI can come from, that helps inspire you and give you the conviction you need and top-down leadership to drive through the hard things and complete the change management to go realize those gains.
Those are the types of companies that are winning. Those companies that are doing that because the ones that aren’t willing to have that in-depth analysis and the strength to power through and create change are the ones that are falling by the wayside. They’re expected to say, “I’m going to keep doing things the way I’ve always been doing it.” The world shifted under your feet. It has changed. If you’re not changing with it, you’re going to get left behind.The world just shifted under your feet and it has changed. If you're not changing with it, you're gonna get left behind. Click To Tweet
I have a bone to pick with you because you hired Bret Taylor. I finally got him to come over and help with the consulting and you found out he’s available. He works on ROI. He is brilliant in how he starts doing an ROI analysis. You are half the cost of a major competitor that’s out there in the marketplace. It means you get equal benefits at half the cost, and then, he started to go even further into that analysis.
First of all, even though it frustrated me, kudos to hiring probably one of the brightest guys of this era. He is articulate. It’s a credit to you for recognizing the importance of this stressing and focusing on ROI or Return On Investment because a lot of people look at technology as a death by 1,000 cuts. How many times have we heard that? To reframe the discussion, I’d love to get a little more color on that.
Thank you for letting us in. I love the approach. It goes back to that partnership aspect because we can come up with data elements of, “We’ve seen success in our customer base through this and other ways.” Every lender sometimes has their own flavor of doing things. You have to partner with that vendor and say, “This is how we’re doing it. How does that apply to my world?
We can build that model together. Don’t take my word for it. Let’s build it together. When you see the result, you’re like, “I was part of this creative process. I believe it. I see it.” That’s important as having the ROI study in the analysis with the different levers and knobs, you can twist and adjust to make it yours. You are the representative of your situation.
Unequivocally, if you’re looking at the cost, and you should be, we all have cost phasing. We should be. If we’re not, what’s wrong with you? You’ll be in the graveyard shortly. Everyone’s looking at costs. If you’re going to look at costs from a technology standpoint, get Bret Taylor in there. Help him walk through that ROI analysis for you. One of the networks says, “He is fair and objective at pointing out where the costs are. He’s a brilliant guy you’ll get to know.” I want to look at a little bit more about the SimpleNexus trajectory that we had seen in 2021. Do a little bit of a year in the review then also what can we expect in 2023?
Sometimes I don’t sit back and celebrate the wins enough. You’re in the battle in the heat of the moment and continue to power through. I’m very proud of how the company has performed. It’s an amazing milestone to have a transaction of that size with an amazing company like nCino, then also a transaction that is not representative of the end of the rainbow, but as another launching point and trajectory to continue powering forward. That preserves our ability to continue being the best in class, and the homeownership platform, best in class mortgage right front end technology, and bring that to more lenders out there. That’s what we’re excited about.
In 2022, we grew the company tremendously from a revenue standpoint. Every quarter, we had a net positive revenue for mortgage-related revenue. That was hard to find. I’m very proud of the ROI. You do that because you have a great product that delivers an ROI and you have great people. We have the best people in the industry that have operated with integrity that work with those that truly partner with them.
We get that repeat business and that referral word-of-mouth business. That’s allowed us to grow in this very challenging environment. We expect more of the same in 2023. We have aspirations and plans to continue to add logos and gobble up market share from our competitors. We see many of our competitors slipping up now. A lot of those companies are coming to us. It’s primarily because they’re looking for a stable partner that delivers on what they say they’re going to do.
They want someone they can count on. You got enough problems going on in the mortgage industry, “Who can I sign up with? Who can I partner with or I can set it and forget it?” It’s like the crock pot dinner like, “I’m partnering with SimpleNexus. This is going to be taken care of. I’m not going to have to worry about that part of my business.” That’s what people are looking for. That’s what they can count on with us. That’s what they’re getting. That’s going to continue to drive our growth in 2023.
You’ve had a lot of great people already with your company. You attracted them in. You went out and bought one of my favorite companies, Lori Brewer. She was on here and talking about the vision. You recognize her brilliance in product forward thinking and looking at products. She’s working on the product development, working closely with you on that. The vision that she outlined is good. She gave me a little bit of a sneak peek of some of the things that you’re working on that we can’t yet talk about. There is some real innovation taking place. How do you foster innovation in a market where there seems to be much fear of failure?
It reminds me a little bit when I failed as a company and can decouple my personal identity and worth from my professional identity and say, “I know who I am. I know my value.” That concept is a similar concept now in a market and in an environment that’s crumbling all around. There are always reasons to fear, be scared, and go hide under a rock. If you know what you have and you know the rock that you’re built on, you can operate with conviction and clarity in a market filled with chaos. Those are the winners in this environment.If you know what you have, if you know the rock that you're built on, you can operate with conviction and clarity in a market full of chaos. Click To Tweet
The people that are stressed all day in and can’t go to bed at night make poor decisions. They’re distracted in their mind. You have clarity on where you’re going to go, and the value that you bring to the market that can help you operate with conviction. We have that base and that foundation, knowing that we bring value to the industry. We know our platform delivers results. That opens us up to be more creative and to partner with our customer base and with the industry and say, “This is where we are today. Let’s create together. How do we solve more problems?”
The customers won’t run in the mortgage bank. I’m trying to build software. I don’t know all the ins and outs of running a mortgage bank like the operator does. They’re the perfect source for helping me understand what needs to be built next and what the next problem I’m trying to solve like eClose. They’re like, “I need to save money. I need to be more efficient. I need to be able to ship these things faster than my competitors so I can reduce my costs, be more competitive, and put that back into my pricing, offer better rates and better pricing to be able to get more loan volume through and whatnot.”
They help steer us in a direction then we go, do the innovating, create the workflows and the technology to make all that come to pass and then we can go into a market like this, knowing that even though it’s ugly, we know we can bring value right now to somebody. That can help stabilize their world. It helps us operate, hold our head high and go serve the industry. That’s important about where innovation comes from and how to operate in the midst of chaos.
It’s also important to know your swim lane, where to stay and who to partner with. A good example of that is one of our other sponsors you partner with, Candor. Tom Showalter and I become good friends. He was talking about how they enjoy the partnership because of the like-mindedness and the creativity on that.
It’s not just acquiring companies like you did with Lori Brewer and LBA, but it’s then saying, “I don’t need to necessarily go acquire the whole world. It’s partnering with the right world, acquiring the right ones, but partnering with companies like Candor, which is clearly a market leader in their space.” Kudos to you for the vision and strategy you have. You, Matt and the whole team are amazing.
Talking to that point, with Lori’s technology, we’re pairing that with our offering to broaden the platform experience. SimpleNexus, by itself, now partnered with compensation visibility and calculating the commission, but now making it more visible, especially now layering on Nexus vision, you have a more complete platform experience that gives you visibility, data and information that you can act on and make decisions more quickly and efficiently within your organization.
It’s the same thing with Candor. They have an amazing loan engineering system. It helps reduce those underwriting costs but brings all that forward and more closely into the front end. We can pair with them and bring that data right into Candor so they don’t have to wait for it to hit a LOS or sit on a desk for a little bit before they get it. We can make that more efficient, bring it forward into the experience and have a direct feed to that borrower. It’s going to revolutionize how loans originated in this space. I’m very excited. We’re kicking off an effort with them to bring the technologies together in a partnership. I’m very excited of what that’s going to bring in 2023.
I remember my parents said to me a long time ago when I was a young kid, “You’re going to be known by the company you keep.” When you look at the company you are keeping and who you’re surrounding yourself with are such a big part of your success. Ben, what an honor to be the time to spend time here with you. Thank you much. Mark, do you have any other questions you want for Ben?
I’d like to close it out with a couple of comments and questions. I’ll have to salute you because you’ve done one of the best drivers of answering questions that have been asked to you of any idea I’ve ever heard. T makes customers want to do business with you. It’s not much of a sales job. If they listen to you and interact, they’re going to sign up. Getting the relationship is one thing. Maintaining is the other. I know you’re a real big on communications and interactions.
Do you have things built into your program from your company where you have monthly or quarterly status calls on how the work’s going for the company? Do you survey your customers and do you have plans to have user groups where you set in and bring people in, and they can set around a table, you can pick their brain, and they can pick yours and help figure out things to do it quicker, better or faster? One of my favorite saying is, “Quicker, better, faster, and give them better service.” Could you address that as we close out this show?
All of the above. Matt and I feel like we’re pretty smart guys, but we also feel like we’re going to come into any situation and we may not have the best answer in the room. We’re always curious. We’re always seeking for more knowledge and a better way to do things. We’re never satisfied with where we are in the status quo. That means we have to listen to the customer on a constant basis.
It’s all about driving the best ROI for them. Selling them is one thing. Now you implement them and you haven’t assigned customer success. It’s in the name, Customer Success Manager. Their job is to make sure that the customer is successful, utilizing the platform and realizing the ROI. That was set out as a goal before we even started the project, and that they’re getting the highest utilization rate across the board with all of their users.
When they’re on, they have that continued clear line of communication, channel and those quarterly business reviews, also those monthly interactions and calls to see how they’re doing and check in and see if there’s anything we need to adjust, tilt or pivot because business is organic. It changes. What we set up initially may not be the next focus we need months from now. Let’s change, adapt and reinforce that. You mentioned getting together. Outside of some of those scheduled interactions, we have our user group coming up on March 13 to 16, 2023, the SimpleNexus User Group.
We love coming together in person. We have an executive advisory board where we sit around and take targeted, focused input and feedback from our biggest and best customers and try to constantly be a student of the industry. We are never going to claim that to have all the answers. We always want to learn, improve and refine who we are and what we do. A big part of success is admitting you don’t know it all. You need to always get better.
You guys do that well. I’m excited to be at the user conference and as well as nCino Conference. I’m looking forward to both because to understand SimpleNexus, you also need to understand the greater vision of nCino. The two fit well together. Ben, what a joy it has been to have you here. Thank you so much.
It is a pleasure and honor of mine because we’re here to serve the industry, and excited to be able to talk about who we are and what we’re doing. We’re very passionate about what we’re accomplishing, what we’ve already accomplished and where we’re headed. Thank you for affording us this opportunity.
Thank you for being a sponsor, but more importantly, for making a significant difference in the industry with your vision. Greet Matt and the whole company. Thank you.
Thank you and take care.
- Mark Helm
- Lori Brewer – Past Episode
- Tom Showalter – Past Episode
- SimpleNexus User Group
About Ben Miller
As a CEO at SimpleNexus, an nCino Company, Ben Miller oversees overall business strategy, operations, and go-to-market activities while guiding the company’s overall market leadership in streamlining the homeownership journey through innovative mortgage technology.
Ben joined SimpleNexus in 2014 as a co-founder following his first meeting with company founder Matt Hansen. Today, Ben’s mission is to oversee the continued growth and expansion of the SimpleNexus business and drive innovation that continues to transform the home lending industry for the better. Ben draws personal satisfaction and motivation from seeing firsthand the impact SimpleNexus has on the mortgage industry. Miller’s industry recognitions include HousingWire’s Vanguard Award and Rising Star Award.