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As more consumers look at the innovations and streamlined experiences in other industries, they are pushing lenders and real estate companies to adopt digital-buying experiences, expecting the same level of digitization from the housing space. This is especially true when it comes to the closing process.
“The closing experience has historically been opaque, time-consuming, and inefficient. Too often, the consumer is left completely in the dark,” said Tess Bettenay, senior director of Business Operations at Spruce. “Introducing technology-driven solutions to the process brings a level of predictability, ease, and scale that truly puts the consumers first.”
With a knack for bringing innovative, customer-centric solutions to business problems, Bettenay rose to the top early in her career. A 2021 Rising Star, she helped Spruce build a one-click checkout for real estate transactions, shifting a historically offline ecosystem to one that is more predictable, faster and less expensive for all parties involved.
HousingWire’s Rising Stars award honors young industry professionals who have become leaders in their respective fields. Each year, HousingWire’s Selection Committee selects 50 individuals for the award across a number of diverse fields in housing.
HousingWire reached out to Bettenay to learn more about her new role at Spruce and to hear her predictions on what’s to come for real estate tech in 2022.
HousingWire: Looking forward to the next five years in housing, what do you think will be the biggest changes housing professionals will need to prepare for?
Tess Bettenay: Digitization will increasingly be a focus for our industry, and in the next five years, I expect (and hope!) to see many more components of real estate transactions adopt new technologies. It’s critically important for housing professionals to remain nimble, especially as we witness companies, such as our clients at Spruce, rising to meet ever-evolving consumer expectations. How can we work most effectively together to enable the best possible customer experience? That’s a question I’m excited to help answer.
HousingWire: Your work to date has helped shift a historically offline ecosystem to one that is more automated and predictable. Where do you see the greatest need for tech right now in the closing process?
Tess Bettenay: The closing experience has historically been opaque, time-consuming and inefficient. Too often, the consumer is left completely in the dark. Introducing technology-driven solutions to the process brings a level of predictability, ease and scale that truly puts the consumers first. Together with our clients, we’ve been able to meet the demands of today’s consumer, who expects a level of transparency and seamlessness that, until recently, was unattainable. There’s no shortage of opportunity for impact when it comes to the positive influence technology can and will continue to have on the closing process and beyond.
HousingWire: You were recently promoted to senior director of Business Operations at Spruce. When you think about your professional goals, where do you want to take your career?
Tess Bettenay: I’ve been working at Spruce for 2.5 years, and it’s been an incredible experience to see all that we’ve accomplished and all that’s to come — in many ways, it feels like we’ve only just begun on this largely untapped opportunity within the real estate sector. My new role is representative of Spruce’s growth trajectory. I’ve already expanded the Business Operations team, with a focus on transformative initiatives that strengthen the foundation for future scale. The customer experience is a top priority. There’s still so much work to be done not only at Spruce but within the larger proptech industry, and I couldn’t be more optimistic about the future.
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