In the latest episode of Thrivenomics, James Duncan interviews Kristin Messerli, CEO & Founder of Cultural Outreach. Messerli, a contributing author to HousingWire, recently published an article discussing the changing landscape of consumer behavior related to real estate and homeownership. In their discussion, Duncan and Messerli cover a range of topics related to how consumers (namely Millenial and Gen Z consumers) view the opportunity for homeownership. Is the housing market ready to accommodate the desires of those who seek alternatives to the 3 bedroom-2 bath suburban lifestyle? That and more questions discussed this week on Thrivenomics!
This is Thrivenomics presented by Thrive Mortgage. Well, thank you very much for joining the Thrivenomics podcast again. We've got our latest episode today, and as a special guest, I have invited Kristin Messerli, the CEO and founder of cultural outreach, to be with us. Hello, Kristin. Hello. Are you two doing
me? Do good Korean team and day and healthy
and social distancing and and, ah, washing hands religiously and all that. Yeah, for good. Yeah, but
maintaining social contact with video. So this
is fun. They are. Well, thank you very much for taking time out your schedule. I know that you're especially busy this time of year, where we are as well. Everybody in the mortgage industry is busy if you're in the mortgage industry or in real estate, and you're not busy right now than, uh, then you need to really re evaluate evaluate your business practice because there's there's plenty to do in Plant Planet to latch onto. Well, the reason why I had wanted to have Kristen on this week's episode is because she published an article in housing wire recently that really caught my attention was very, very good writer. Very insightful, always gives really great analysis. But a few weeks ago, Kristen you posted an article about adapting with consumers and you you like and what's going on in the housing industry to what recently happened Thio Victoria's Secrets and we could. We could also probably throw into into that analogy Sears and Circuit City and every other big name company or big name brand that has kind of gone by the wayside in terms of their past. And and it's just it was just kind of a shell of there, their past self. So ah, what was it that that kind of drove you to, uh, to riding this this particular article? And what what inspired your what were some of the trends that you're seeing that led to what you what you wrote?
Well, I am always thinking and talking. Writing about consumer, uh, are adapting to consumer shifts and how consumers of thinking about things differently were evolving in terms of how we approach community and housing. Um, but when I read about Victoria's Secret, I would just totally shocked because I didn't realize how many years had passed, which really wasn't that that many years. But when, um, since victory cedar it was such a huge thing, you know? I mean, everyone would watch the fashion show. And it was, um I don't I would always Billy always came to my annual sale, like what I'll go. And then suddenly I thought, men, they're they're selling for opening a $1,000,000,000 like what in the world happened. And then I thought about it was like Men I have not shop there in a long time, would not have any interest in shopping there. And then I thought, What happened to me? You know why? Why am I feeling like that? And then I realized I have zero interest in there. There. The way that they're depicting beauty I don't want to go into their store doesn't feel like it was made for me in any way. And so I started talking to other women about this, like, you know, what are your thoughts on this? And one woman told me, and I quoted her in the article that, you know, she used to go to Victoria's Secret, find something nice for her husband, but now she wants to find something nice for herself and and I just I realized that we've had a huge shift with the meat to movement and just women's empowerment overall over last year, years where we don't want to look like the you know, the same models that we saw in the fashion show. We want to be authentic, and we want to be crazy thing diversity in terms of bodies and style. And and we want to feel good and feel comfortable and so on. And I thought about how quickly that shift happened and how in how Big Trade Center just didn't adapt. They didn't didn't have that there. Yeah, they weren't listening to their consumers. And of course, that's my whole thing in the mortgage industry and in housing is how are we listening to consumers? Are we seeing where consumers are? What, what kind of things air about housing? Are they being driven towards? And I think it could be very easy. The same business is good. We're fine, you know, and then suddenly realized business is over, you know? And I think a lot of mortgage companies could usually find themselves in the exact same situation If they don't listen. Thio, where the pocket watch where the fuck is going, You know, in terms of consumer consumer shift,
that that's a very, very good point. I've always liked that analogy. Go escape to where the puck is going. I'm not a huge hockey fan, but but you can't say the same thing about about baseball. My boys play, play baseball. So whenever there's a line drive out to the outfield, you don't go to where the ball is. You go where it's going, if you want to keep him on second base. So uh so, yeah, it's It's really interesting seeing ah, seeing those ships. And I think that's one of the things that really gravitated me, Uh, and our company in particular to the analysis that you provide, because those are very important things. You're you mean you hit the nail on the head, Those very important things to focus on because it's not. It's not so much that you're adhering to the customer is always right. But if you're not listening to the consumer's voice and to and to consumer preferences, then you're gonna miss out on a lot of opportunity, and there are a lot of big name lenders out there who have known this for a while. Of course, they're marketing budgets are are vastly, vastly bigger than a lot of other companies marketing budget, so they can afford to do all this research. But there's, oh, there's definitely a shift, And I think it kind of started shortly after the crash. And, oh, wait where where folks were, like had just completely abandoned the whole concept of I'm going in. I'm going in to get a mortgage, and I'm completely at the mercy of the person on the other side of the desk. That whole mentality was completely shattered because there was a there was a trust that was broken. Um, there are a lot. There was a lot of finger pointing happening back in a way about what was the cause of the crash and and this or that. I mean, there's plenty of blame to go around, but the people that bore the biggest part of that brunt, where loan originators and realtors and and that that really kind of had a negative impact on the way that we were perceived by consumers. We spent a long time kind of haven't overcome that, and so and kind of tracking, tracking the changes in consumer perception and unfortunately, for a large swath of the company, it was the online lenders that kind of took that over because they made it seem like the consumer. They did a good job of helping giving the consumer the perception that they were in control, whether it was true or not. And so consumers kind of gravitated to that immediately. And, um, then there over the last 24 months, I think there's been a massive shift with with lenders, but brokers and mortgage banks, where they're starting to kind of realize you know what way, miss the boat for way too long. And let's get back into that one on one relationship. Let's get back into being that local expert and the and, uh, thrive, thriving in particular is has a knack for developing those relationships and developing our loan officers and our our branches to be seen as that local expert. So but this particular what you were writing about in particular was a complete shift and the way that people are choosing to live, especially younger generations. Millennial Jonesy And it's really interesting seeing this kind of play out So let's talk a little bit about that. That was a whole bunch of rambling right there just to kind of tea.
Uh, I want to add No, we're gonna talk about more on how we live. But I do think you're touching on a really important point there about the customer experience and expectations around the customer experience. Um, at one of the biggest shifts that I think has happened over recent years is that shift towards personal value for personal in power mons. And because consumers do not trust, they don't. It's not just that they don't trust Biggs or lenders. They don't. They don't really trust civic institutions of government, and there's a lot of, you know, any time, position of power. They don't trust that. But being specifically, there's even financial study that was done that showed that 92% of millennials don't trust banks, so that's really, really rough. So anyway, they want to take that that power back for themselves. And so we have Teoh be in a mortgage. Professionals need to be in a position to be able to give them that power while still providing the customer experience in a way that is guiding them and is in a, you know, is helping to make the right decisions for themselves. But I think you know, it's shifted toward away from okay, You're the professional. You know what you're doing. You just, you know, tell me what to do here, Thio. I'm the consumer. I want to have clear information about what you're telling me. I want to understand all of this and make the right decision for myself. And so actually, in a different article that I wrote about, um, I think the title was millennials. Don't trust lenders, and and so it's all about that. But I talked about how, um e was social worker before I got into this business. And I am Brooke. I worked always with traumatized populations. And so as millennials, having entered adulthood, Ziering or right after the financial crisis, they have kind of a traumatic response to financial service is I mean, they're they're they're in the spider flight kind of response, and what they need is to feel safe, like they need to feel the need to build that trust and whether you're working with traumatized populations or you're working with consumers today, Your first goal is to build that trust and help them feel a sense of psychological safety and working with you. That means being really transparent. That means being collaborative and empowering with, um, So anyway, I think that's a really important point to talk about in terms of that shift.
Absolutely. And that's one of the reasons why we take a We definitely don't want to be seen as far started. Mortgage is concerned. We definitely don't want to be seen as a transactional lender. We want to be seen as a relationship building lender or a relational lender because we don't want to. I am not going to dictate to any of my clients that this is the loan program that you need to get into, and this is the rate that you need. I'm going to take the time to actually educate them on the whole range of options that they have open to them and talk to them about strategy, not about loan programs and not about rates. I'm gonna talk about long term strategy and that goes especially with with younger audiences, that really I mean you nailed it. That really resonates with them when you empower them with the information to make their own educated choices in their own educated decisions. If you're just saying okay, we've got an effort. Today we got, uh, 10 to conventional options for you. Which one you want and you leave it at that, then you have not helped them whatsoever because you haven't taken the time to educate them on what the strategy is behind choosing one program over another so that that is a huge. That's a big burden on a lot of hellos, and especially if they happen to be an older generation like they're if they're gen X or or a baby boom generation and have been in the industry for 30 some odd years, that that takes a mental shift because it's probably not how they were trained when they first got in the business, or it's probably not how they made their name, but one of things that I find very interesting. And yes, I promise audience, we will get to Kristen's article here in a second. But we're just having a really good conversation right now. One of the things that I find very interesting about the way that the industry has shifted is how much collaboration there is between lenders. I mean, there's so many Facebook groups out there that I'm a part of, or just other organizations or collaborative that I'm a part of where we spend a good deal of time telling other sharing with other lenders are best practices. I mean, if you grew up in, if you came, came of age in your career and working for a big bank or working for the Bank of America or Chase or Wells Fargo and you went to a conference and you were sitting there having that conversation, your bosses would look at you like you're nuts, like Why are you giving away our secrets? But instead it's There's really a prevailing mentality that if we are working with each other, if we're collaborate, yes, we might be competitors outside of this conference. But if we're working together to move the industry forward and to help the ah ensure that the consumer is benefiting and that they are, ah, that they're having a more engaging in, we're enhancing their their experience. The industry wins and no matter who's getting credit for for closing that loan so that it's Ah, so there's not only, ah mentality shift among consumers. There's a huge shift going on right now within the industry, and I personally like that and s o. Anyway. Okay, so enough about enough about the industry. Let's talk about consumer behavior when it comes to, um, how they're choosing to live. So one of things that I thought was really fascinating was, how was your take on the It's not so much that the nuclear family is breaking down as much it is as it's just kind of shifting and that there are shifting priorities and what younger generations are wanting to do with their lives as soon as they come of age, I was going to say as soon as I graduated college, but even that is now becoming a ah, quickly dissipating concept of you have to go to college when you graduate high school. Well, no, not necessarily. So what is it that that's driving some some of this change?
Yeah, I think. I mean, I wish I could remember the statistic. I think it's in the article I wrote, but it about how how many people are growing up in two parent households That's decreased significantly. I mean, I want to say it's like half of what I was. I don't remember that ready now.
You wrote a majority of next generation consumers, and many baby boomers no longer need a three bedroom house, according to the Census Bureau. And you cite the statistic from 1970 to 2012 the number of people married with Children was cut in half from 40% to 20%. In the same period, the number of a number of single person households grew by 10% rising to nearly 1/3 of the population. Is that what you're referencing?
All right. Yep. There we go. And I think I mean, the idea of what the nuclear family looks like has changed significantly. Also, our perception of family has changed over time. I mean, for millennials who are postponing having Children in a family. They're having them, but they are are having them later in life. And so they're forming a family even though they're not there yet. You know, they're not having actual physical kids yet, and a lot of people are rooming with people either out of financial necessity or a lot of times are finding that emotionally, that is, that's the kind of family that they want to have, and also this generation is a whole lot more diverse. So nearly half of millennials identifies ethnic minorities, and Asian, American and Hispanic and Latino Americans are twice two or three times as likely to have to live in multigenerational households. And so just the very idea of you know where where a lot of people are looking for smaller spaces because they want to have more time in community spaces or they're living in with their their families for longer it longer periods of time so that they could help care for their aging parents or grandparents as well. Um, so anyway, the idea the the family with a three bedroom house white picket fence. This is what the nuclear family is supposed to look like has changed a lot over the last 50 years, but especially even in the last 10 to 10 to 20 years on, and I think we're seeing that reflected and the types of homes that millennials are looking to buy or it's what you've been reading right now.
Okay, so at, and still keeping with your with your article, Um, one of things that you talk about our wedding things and I'll quote you again. Re examination is needed in all aspects of the industry, from sales and customer experience to production and supply. So where do you think the this shift or this? This change in the in the way that the industry thinks Where do you think is really gonna be the impetus or or the start of the origination? Or, I should say, the starting point of meeting that change in the demand. Is it gonna change with on the lending side and making programs and products available, that meat, the needs of the consumers? Or is it going to be on the actual product side? Because obviously, if they're gonna jump into this way of this new way of living or code, uh, I was gonna say cohabitating, but that's not really, um, the right term, but in how they're going to define where they live and where they work. Does it start with the builders so that we have inventory for to put him in? Or is this start on the backside were with lenders o. R. With investors to finance that kind of those kinds of projects.
I mean, I think it I would hope, I guess, that it's a joint effort. I mean, I think that we have a ton of housing stock that is available. That's not meeting the needs of this generation. And so I would like to see a lot, lot more renovation loans and a lot more renovation projects with builders and developers as well. I think that, um, you know, we talked about the customer experience and how that has has shifted and needs to shift. But on the on the supply side, I mean, if millennials like, if you look at where a lot of people, a lot of types of communities are propping up, we have from Airbnb. As the I started writing a follow up article to this, I'm I'm thinking about the way that I was framed at this follow up article on Then Corona virus it and decided not to publish it yet. But, um, but in this home where we have this concept of home for a day and that you know, temporary housing that is community oriented, we have ah, Arian views that people are really comfortable staying with other people or people's homes. And then, um And then I was talking with an architect as interviewing an architect that worked on a project called Citizen. Mm, That. And we see similar products out there when, um, hotels are creating smaller spaces for the rooms. But then really investing in the space of the community space and having really trendy, you know, kind of, um, bars and even community oriented activities. You're seeing a lot more of encouraging people to come together for things. And I think that really reflects this need for community. I mean, if we're not having, we're, you know, we're redefining. We're in the process of redefining family, and I think we can, either as a society move toe further towards isolation in our hyper individual is, um that we we you know, we bought technology and that that allows us to be free on social media and just further isolate through that. Or we can use technology as a way to further connect and a wayto build more communities. And I think we're seeing some of that through the Corona virus. Time of being, you know, it's easy digital on, like movies pop up but also in terms of housing where you're seeing. I'm seeing a glimpse of hope, in my opinion, where community spaces are popping up co living spaces and I most people have heard of. We work. But there have. We live in some of the major cities and a ton of cool living spaces in areas like D. C in New York and L. A, um of variety different there. There's one here called Eddie that I know about. It's just there, their communities where you rent a space like a room and you have. It's as if you're living with a roommate, but you're joining a community by living there. So you have shared living stay shared pigeon and, um and it's kind of like a grownup dorm in a way. And, uh, E um, some of them are a lot nicer than others, and some of them feel like Okay, yeah, but adult living here and I have never made for young professionals and some of them, like I would never live there, but But they also have these community set up where the type of family that you want to be involved with, so like they have co living spaces for single mothers and have cool living spaces. Four young families. And I think that's just fascinating to think that we are. You know, some people are deciding Thio reject individual is, um, to some degree you can still have your own space, all the kinds that but you're you're looking for some element of collective. Um, just kind of experience, a collective experience. And I think that's really important to our overall human experience and the health of our are even are bodies, our society and our planet to be thinking as the community a little bit more. Um, I'm interested to see where that goes, but I think in terms of like general housing, stock is well, we're seeing arrived in duplexes and multi family units. And the more that we can convert some of those, um, the existing housing into a duplex or multi family, the better that we're able to accommodate some of the needs and desires of this generation.
I just heard in my head a whole bunch of Gen Xers and boomers se I don't want to live like a hippie. Um,
totally. It's like a commune that they're not everyone wants to live in a commune. But I think it's interesting, like what we want to look at are some of the trends and where there's that unique things popping up. And, um, it doesn't mean that everyone wants to live that way. But it does mean that there's something to that like, Why are we seeing more people look for that? It's because we don't value space as much as previous generations. And it's because we do value having, ah, more of a community. And, um, I think those types of things or what we can incorporate two into the more mainstream housing development.
Yeah, so it's I'm sorry,
I under a video. I was just gonna say one more thing I forgot to mention is also the location, and then we can talk more about that. But, um, but I think we're again seeing that community space, even in suburbs where people are wanting to live, not necessarily in a big city center, but in proximity to amenities of their their neighborhood and and that kind of thing,
right? Yeah, I, um I just had a thought for those of you listening, who recoiled at the thought of not having control over the cleanliness of your own kitchen. Kristen's exactly right, or the or the control of view your common area. Kristen's right, that it's not gonna be a situation that's for everybody, just like as it currently exists. Not everybody wants to live in a condo yet that there's still a market for for condominiums. Not everybody wants to live in a subdivision controlled by an H away. Yet those communities still exist because there are by borrowers or buyers out there looking to live in those spaces. So this is just making a This is just a kind of a new concept of how we evolve sociologically and also physically in terms of where we live, how we live and, ah, basically covering those those bare essentials on the hierarchy. Maslow's hierarchy of needs and I have to throw that out. There is a former teacher. Uh oh, my Oh, my teacher. Former teacher colleagues. Well, understand that joke, but basically it's one of the bare necessities that's having as shelter and security and the basics covered. This is another way. This is basically introducing another way of meeting meeting those needs, and I I for one find it very fascinating, and I'm really interested in seeing how it all shakes out because this is you and I were talking before. This is more than just like the mixed use communities where you've got retail on the first floor and then condos and apartments up above them. It's it's even more. It's even more of a transformation from from Even that, because you could kind of you could make an argument that that that type of development is in and of itself, a community of sorts because everybody's living very closely together. They but they all have their own divine and interest on on what's in between the walls. This is going a step further and allowing you to have kind of that communal feel of of being together as, ah, essentially developing your own tribe. You don't like the tribe that you're with or the tribe that you grew up in. Pick a new one. And this is a way of of accomplishing that effect effectively.
Yeah, definitely. And I think it's interesting to think about, um, continuing that location aspect. I mean, it's not just about yeah, the commune. It's about the city that you're living in. It's about the, uh, like what? You know a lot of cities and thinking about how do we how do we get more young people into our cities and you're seeing zippy? I mean, millennials just, um, flood cities like Minneapolis and Austin. And these the cities where you you see a lot of community activity. And so even in areas I think and talk about that in the article that in Dallas they have a lot of really trendy neighborhoods that have been, um, built around a small community within a large one, you know? And so I think we're gonna see a lot more of that. Well, if you're saying that, of course, in the buildings, the buildings themselves, but also the cities
Yeah, you're right. I mean, this is this is something that will would play very well and said, He's like Austin and Minneapolis, where there is a a younger, younger crowd or a more tech focus crowd, or even a more transient crowd. In terms of there's a lot of people who, uh, either because of work or because of life choices, or just want to be closer to ah, a hip happening town like Austin is who just transition here for a short time and then move on to the next place that that that interests them. Um, so we're set. We're seeing a lot of that. Um, now, as faras from the ah, I think you refer to it as hipster bia in your article, that was a pretty clever, doesn't believe trademark that in the
t shirts, But, uh, anyway, I mean, it's it. It really is interesting. And the economist mind, part of my mind goes to okay, how we pay for it or how How does have his development of places like this happen? And one of the questions that you and I kind of better back and forth earlier was Is there an opportunity for ownership in these places? Because the way it's set up, the easiest way to do it sounds like it would be for a developer to come in, build out this, build out the spaces and then rent it out. But from, ah, mortgage lender perspective, I see we are we see at the opportunity of I mean, we're constantly preaching the message of Don't pay somebody else's mortgage or Don't throw away your money on rent. Build equity for yourself. Build wealth for the long term. Do you see there being any, uh, any potential for, ah, for mortgage origination Thio effectively create a new market in paying for and helping people to purchase and finance on their own. So they have ownership interest in that living space. Do you see that as a potential?
I mean, I personally would love that. I don't I I don't know if it's gonna stick. I mean, I would imagine that it it would, but I think what's important to think about is again like whether consumers looking for and I don't think and a lot of consumers are going thio choose to rent over, choosing to buy just because it's their only option in order to get those basic needs met, you know, I mean, if they're either the home's air too big and too expensive or too far away from their work or their community, or they're going to feel isolated, that you know all these things like it's not checking off any of those needs. And so, of course I'm gonna rather invest my money in the stock market where Something that is, If I'm thinking about a strategy around money, um then I'm going Thio sacrifice a lot of my needs in orderto have that met. Um, thanks really important. Thio, I love that you keep focusing on strategy I think is important. Thio, um really talk through what that strategy looks like for for consumers and then as an industry, I would love to see a movement there. You and I have talked about fractional ownership, and I think, um, I know that that was something that I was not familiar with. But I have talked about shared equity models and I think, um, you know, that's something that is I I think really needs to be in place in order to meet what consumers today are looking for him.
So let us
know your thoughts on that, Actually,
Well, yeah, and and and you're right, the fractional ownership for any of the listeners that don't have never heard that term before. Fractional ownership was a something that was really popular in the real estate industry and investing in real estate. About 12 to 15 years ago, it kind of came to its own has been around a long time. Um, it's completely different. So when you hear fractional ownership, do not think time share, it's not the same thing. Fractional ownership basically means that you have a divided ownership interest in a piece of property. Back when, when that when it was something that was really trendy and and kind of up and coming as a concept in real estate, it was mostly for destination type properties or vacation homes. Eso imagine buying a villa in Tuscany, but you don't have the, ah, two million lire that it's gonna take to an order or purchase it. You could purchase it through a fractional ownership agency relationship where you and then 10 other people, maybe 10 of your best friends I'll go in and have a divided interest in it s O. You have ownership in it interest, and this is where it differs from time. Share with timeshare. You're just renting time. You're not. You don't have any ownership in the property, but with fractional ownership, it's exactly as it applies. You own a portion of that particular piece property, and if something comes along, you want you want out, then you either sell your share to the rest of people or sell your ownership portion to the rest of the folks that do have ownership or you sell it somebody else. And they stepped in to take your place, eh? So that's effectively. What? What that means. I like your, um, you mentioned the concept of shared equity. Ah, I think that there there is a way to make that model work. But it's only gonna work Number one if consumers are educated on what the process actually means. What are the benefits of doing that? Because when you rent a property, it's It does offer you a bit more flexibility and and that you don't own the property, you're not responsible for maintaining it, just cleaning it, and then you step in. You pay your monthly monthly fee, and then when you're ready to move on to the next location, you get out and provided there's not a heavy term in the contract termination fee or something like that. But with ownership, there's a little bit more involved. However, you're not taking that money and just flushing it down the toilet. So the the real question the answer is the economics of everything because if that If if the if the cost or the process for getting into the owners for owning a shared living space or co living spent your section of a co living space. If it's too burdensome or two expensive and you don't recoup the upfront costs that it takes for you to to be in it because you're not in that property long enough, then it's not gonna make sense. And it's not. So it's gonna be something where the traditional model of what we've got. A processing fee and underwriting thing. Administrative fee, an appraisal fee and fi fi, fi fi fi that goes into a house that you're typically in 5 to 7 years. It can't be. It can't mirror that same process, and the expenses and the costs associated can't be the same as what they are in getting a home because you would not be in the property long enough to recoup those costs. And so I think that that whatever the model, whatever the business model becomes that that would make that a viable, ah, viable alternative for consumers. It's gonna be vastly different than with processes right now, and it's probably not gonna involve Fannie and Freddie.
Yeah. Um, yeah. I mean, I think it's an interesting time to be thinking about this, though, because I just wonder, after this time of being in quarantine, I know a lot of employers are figuring out that their employees can work remote, you know? I mean, a lot of people are figuring out the right technology and the right systems and processes to be ableto make it a really effective thing. And a lot of people are scared of buying a home because they are worried that they are are gonna get a job that takes them to a different city, you know? Or they want to be able to take. You take a job somewhere else. And I think you know some I wonder if people will feel more settled because they know that they couldn't get remote jobs and they can work remotely from whatever neighborhood or community they decide toe to settle into.
Yeah, it's very, very a point. So let's talk about the article without ah, let the cat out of the bag too much and dis incentivizing people to read your next article. Uh, tell me a little bit about about your follow up to this article that you that you publish a couple weeks ago?
Well, I started to talk about this evolution of, Ah, kind of already talked about this a little bit, but I talked about this search for community and so and how you know we have we've through social, media and technology. There's a lot of ways that we have, um, really isolated ourselves and removed ourselves from David a community involvement. And so I think, um, but I like I said before, I think we're on the precipice of either becoming further isolated or leveraging technology and social media. All these things to better connect when I'm really that's one huge silver lining. I think of this quarantine that is that I think people are discovering how to build those social interactions because people are talking about being intentional about it. I mean, I just did a whole webinar about how to use social media for good and how to, you know, instead of like, scrolling is pretty badly. There's proven research about how bad scrolling is for your mental health and for your physical health, even and and, of course, during these times where there's a lot of negative news out there. It's always really rough on you. But individual connections on social media and commenting and connecting with people is really good for your health. Actually, they've proven that. So it went. You know, the question of its social media, good or bad for us, it can be good. And I think we're discovering some of those things without a lot of unlike movies and, um, and the way that we're using social media right now and video interviews and, uh, affections. I'm doing virtual happy hours with friends and employees, and I think in learning about that, maybe we have an opportunity there. Um, but a few of the outlines the this idea of where home and community is moving in, and I talked about it as, ah, home for months, our home for gay, the Humber Month in a home for years and so home fruit days. I talked about the shift in hospitality, so we already talked a little bit about Airbnb and how some of the tighter like, reduced safe hospitality industry, where there's hotels of smaller rooms but bigger immunity faces, um, and then a home for months is this idea of the co living space this And so, um, not only co living as then you're coming into a community and and being there, but also choosing to live with roommates. Um, again, a lot of people are doing that, not just because of their like affordability. It's also because they are defining their their their family through that, um and then a home for years. That's where we've been talking about some of the ships and how we're approaching where we choose to live and settled into. And I think, um, a lot of like you see a lot higher degrees of isolation in area suburbs with lower amenities. And so I think we're gonna see a lot more, um, of the city to 10 cities concept where you have suburbs, that our cities of themselves or small neighborhoods that are, um, you know, exists amongst a very dense city itself. And people are gonna really enjoy living there, being closer to community connection and reduce, you know, driving Todd commute time, all that kind of stuff.
This'd be I'm sorry. Um, this is a really, really interesting conversation, tohave and, uh, and one that I've actually, I've enjoyed it thoroughly because that's what it is. One of the things that I tended is when the reasons why I read a lot of the commentary or the columnist articles that housing wire produces because a There's so much out there that is just really good to kind of ruminate on and just just sit and think about and have conversations like this and talk about not necessarily what can we do today, but what's possible to do down the road. And, um and and you're absolutely right with with this article, this industry that mean the death knell for the vast majority of lenders would be to go the way of Sears or Circuit City or Victoria Secret and not listen to the, uh, to the voices of consumers because as the younger generations are coming into play, they're going to dictate, uh, what, uh, what what the industries are gonna be doing? They're going. They're going to say we want this, and if nobody chooses to provide, provide that form. None of the traditional folks choose to provide that for for them, somebody's gonna one of them is going to get a hair hair brained idea, and they're going to start a company that's gonna put the rest of the other competitors who didn't shift and didn't pivot out of business.
Exactly. That's when last point. But I I wanted to emphasize here is that it's not just that, you know, like people didn't stop buying lingerie. Other competitors entered that space and took that business, you know, and so we were not going to stop buying homes. But I and I feel like that that happened overnight. It feels like the seers think happened overnight, and it's it's not happening overnight but in. And competitors could easily come in and just take a lot of the market share or a few competitors that really understand this market. So that's why it's so important that, um, that we're paying attention to that and making those shifts, as as consumers make them
absolutely well, Kristin, thank you so much for this conversation was really always a pleasure chatting with you and having used ah, part of kind of consulting with us and and sharing sharing your ideas and your your perspectives with us s oh, really love the relationship that that thrive is built with you and cultural outreach. So let's set. Let's kind of wrap things up by talking about culture outreach and probably should turn in the beginning. But, uh, but let's talk about cultural outreach real quick and why you started it. And what kind of what was what was driving you to or motivating you to Thio to begin that organization?
Well, I started cultural outreach Ah, 60 years ago for over six years ago, and I was a social worker previously working primarily an immigrant, communities a lot around housing and financial education, and but I grew up in the mortgage industry. So my dad owned a mortgage company, and I, um, I Just as I was working at the social worker, I thought, there's a huge gap here and in terms of how there were only payday lenders in the neighborhood, So I was working in You know what I thought? We need to build better captions. And so I started the company with the mission of really bridging the gap between lenders and the communities. I was serving underserved markets. Um, and then as I got down that path, I realized that also my generation was completely disconnected from, um, from the home ownership and the lending industry. Overall, some started it. You know, again, it's just a path Thio bridging that gap and it's evolved into we do a lot of marketing content, and, um, we're about to release packaged social media content. So this is a really good time to check that out because a lot of people are working on the digital social strategy and we create a lot of financial, literacy oriented content that is, um, targeted towards these populations. And then, um and then we d'oh. Yeah, like, consulting and, um, some individual mortgage type of work as well.
Excellent. Well, you're definitely a huge value to to the industry and the and the education that you provide course educating consumers. Very dick neared, as we've discussed, is very near and dear to my heart too. Um So how can people find other than going to your website culture outreach dot com? How can people find you?
Um, best thing would be to follow me on lengthen connected me on LinkedIn or follow me on instagram um, a link Deniz, where I'll always share all of the industry contents that we produce and webinars and all that kind of stuff, so I definitely kept me there. Christians mess really
very cool. Sorry. I just had to snap a quick little photo of me interviewing you.
Speaking of putting it on special. So Hee went well. Kristin, thank you so much for, uh, for spending time with With us today and and, uh and and Yeah, I saw you just did the same thing. I just
did. I did.
I thank you very much for spending time with us. Really? Appreciate. Appreciate you taking time out of your day and tell all of our listeners and a Christian as well. Thank you for listening. And Kristen, thank you for your time. Everybody stay safe as they healthy and stay socially distanced. But keep engaging and And check in on your loved ones and and your family that even if you can't see him, you can still talk to him. Uh, this is cool. New technology called a phone. Use it. Um, Anyway, you'll have a great afternoon
for having me.
Absolute. Our pleasure. We'll definitely be having you back on at some point in the near future. Hopefully is to talk about are the new co-living space that were investors in that vehicle. Yeah, We'll have a wonderful day. And, uh and, uh, I appreciate your listening.
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