Daily Mortgage News & Commentary

Dec. 6: Sales mgt., LO jobs; subservicing, correspondent, non-QM, sales products; education & training this week

“Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.” There are plenty of bright speakers at mortgage conferences, and be sure to sign up (I did!) for the MBA’s Independent Mortgage Bankers Conference in San Diego next month, 1/23-26. Despite travel budgets, salaries, and personnel continuing to be cut back, at this point “double bunking” at the conference appears not to be widespread. And yes, owners of vendors and third-party providers are looking at painful cuts to middle layers of management and unproductive salespeople. But hey, a lender or vendor should always belong to their state or regional MBA organization. Don’t know how to reach out? Here’s a handy-dandy map and links. One topic at any gathering is volume: Is your pipeline down about 70 percent versus a year ago? That could be about average. Total mortgage acquisition volume plummeted 62% in the third quarter according to a new Milliman report. Of course refi activity drove most of the decline in volume: On a year-to-date basis, refi originations were down 87% in Q3. (Today’s podcast is here and brought to you by SimpleNexus, an nCino company and award-winning developer of mobile-first technology for the modern mortgage lender, and today’s features an interview with Arrive Home’s Tai Christensen on how diversity, equality, and inclusion benefits your business and can actually benefit your bottom line.)

Employment & promotion

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Opteon’s EVP of Growth & Strategy, Lee Trice, has been promoted to Managing Director, continuing the Company’s vision to innovate the mortgage industry. Opteon, one of the fastest-growing international providers of valuation, advisory, and property services, announced today that Lee Trice has been promoted to Managing Director, Opteon USA, to lead its strategic initiatives in its journey to revolutionize the industry through innovation and best-in-class customer service. The promotion comes less than a year after he joined Opteon USA’s Strategic Leadership Team as Executive Vice President of Growth & Strategy. Opteon’s announcement comes on the heels of an impressive year: business growth of over 80%, investment in an industry-leading leadership team, expansion to new markets, and piloting technology to produce two-day turn times. Learn more about Opteon.

 

“Are you a top producer who knows you’re not in the best situation, but the comfort of being busy the last 2 years has stopped you from making a move? “Success can lead to complacency, and complacency is the greatest enemy of success.” (Brian Tracy) It’s not uncommon for a veteran top producer to fall into the trap of comfortable inaction. We provide our branches access to raw pricing, a low transparent corporate margin and we encourage our branches to build their own brand/branch the way they want. We provide our originators a plug and play opportunity to join an existing branch, utilize a dedicated operations team and access to some of the best coaching in the industry. It’s time to learn about the platform you’ve earned. Contact Anjelica Nixt to forward your note and schedule a confidential conversation. YOU deserve better!”

We are working with US Mortgage Corporation, a Nationwide Direct Lender, who has been in business for nearly 30 years to grow its C-Suite with a new Chief Sales Officer. The CSO will report directly to the President & CEO and work alongside a Senior Management Team that has been together for almost a decade. The ideal candidate must be ready to roll up their sleeves and jump right in with focus on Leadership, Coaching, Business planning, Goal Setting, Product rollouts, Technology, and overall Sales Management. This is an incredibly unique opportunity to join a company with a deep rooted #usculture and help drive them into the future. When so many companies are contracting US Mortgage is expanding. Learn about what makes You & US so special, please send your resume.

Lender and broker software and services

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NEW EBOOK: Planning for 2023: How to Recoup Revenue, Save Costs & Drive Loan Volume in an Uncertain Market. The new year is right around the corner: Are you ready to hit the ground running? If you’re looking for fresh strategies to boost margins and open up new areas of opportunity, mortgage solutions provider Maxwell is here to help. To arm you with confidence, Maxwell interviewed four mortgage veterans (Maxwell’s Jim Smith, CMB, Alan Parris, and Peggy Rubadue, along with Thrive Mortgage’s Donielle Geiser) on best practices to tackle 2023’s market. With this free 12-page download, you’ll receive actionable advice to better use technology to improve efficiency and drive borrower leads, grow product and channel offerings sustainably, and flex your business to changing borrower needs. Ready to view 2023 as a call-to-action instead of an insurmountable challenge? Click here to download Planning for 2023: How to Recoup Revenue, Save Costs & Drive Loan Volume in an Uncertain Market.

Verus Mortgage Capital stands ready to help you usher in 2023 and successfully navigate today’s challenging environment with innovative non-agency solutions. As the largest buyer and securitizer of non-QM loans, Verus is uniquely qualified to help originators enter the non-QM market so you can open new doors for underserved borrowers who need alternative loan solutions. We have programs for self-employed, higher-balanced loan amounts (JUMBO), foreign nationals, investors, credit challenged, and more. Put our experience, deep knowledge of the non-QM sector and exclusive commitment to it to work for your lending operation. You’ll see that not only do we work transparently with our partners, we are also adept at managing this shifting market by identifying emerging needs and creating non-agency products that you can leverage to grow your business throughout the coming year. To schedule a meeting with Verus, contact Jeff Schaefer, EVP – Correspondent Sales, or call 202-534-1821.”

Need a new full-service lender? NexBank is part of a financial services company with $14 billion in assets and has been recognized as a top performing bank and mortgage lender. Our Mortgage Banking division is a key driver and reached record volumes in 2022 due to our great service, unique products, fast turnarounds, and highly competitive rates. We support all channels (wholesale, non-delegated & delegated correspondent) and all products (portfolio, conventional, FHA and VA). Plus, we offer warehouse lending. Our goal is to help you grow your business and stay ahead of the changing market by rolling out exciting new product and service enhancements and some of the industry’s lowest start rates. Get started today and be ready for 2023. Contact our team. NexBank | Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender | NMLS 672886.”

As the holidays approach, Optimal Blue wants to take a moment to reflect on the accomplishments and perseverance of our clients. It’s no secret that our industry faced many challenges this year, including rising interest rates and market downturns. As reported by the MBA, mortgage bankers lost, on average, approximately $624 per loan last quarter as the cost to originate a loan rose above $11,000. These results prove it is even more critical for lenders to lower costs and maximize margins. As such, it’s been our privilege to provide our clients the pricing, hedging, loan sale, and data and analytics tools they need to surmount these headwinds. In fact, our solutions are used by over 65% of the top 500 lenders. On behalf of the entire team at Optimal Blue, thank you for trusting our technology, data and service teams to support your business. We wish you a happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year!

“Outperforming Industry Benchmarks for Customer Service! At Cenlar, we are always looking to improve the homeowner experience through our investments in people and technology. The results of our efforts are clear, with the kind of progress that is measurable. Our call center is consistently outpacing industry benchmarks. This performance reflects our philosophy to “think like a homeowner” and we have committed ourselves to anticipating homeowner needs. Through proactive communications like our chat bots and website, homeowners can get what they need, when they need it, in a manner they choose. While it is important to us that we are among the best in our industry, it’s an even greater importance that we are always improving the service we deliver to our clients and their homeowners. Let’s discuss how Cenlar can meet the mortgage servicing needs of your organization. Call 1-888-SUBSERV (782-7378) or visit here.”

Education, training, and events

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Video is one of the most powerful marketing tools you can use in 2023! And, as we move forward, it looks like this trend is only expected to increase in the coming years. It’s important for Loan Originators to stay ahead of the curve by creating videos that will inform potential clients and get them excited about becoming homeowners. If you are not sure where to start, contact Ginger Bell at Edumarketing.com. Her team has produced thousands of videos for loan originators, frequently resulting in new business! She gives you the scripts and coaching so that all you have to do is record your video. They will edit, produce, and post your videos weekly onto YouTube and social media. If you’re interested in learning more about how video can revolutionize your social media marketing strategy, Click HERE to sign up for a free consultation.

Thursday night, ESPN will announce its annual College Football Awards winners, acknowledging that having the right people on your team can make all the difference. In a tight market, Sales Boomerang + Mortgage Coach is the game-changing platform lenders need on their team. On Thursday, December 8, at 2 PM ET, join Alex Kutsishin and Dave Savage along with Watermark Home Loans’ Regan Hagestad as they share how Sales Boomerang + Mortgage Coach empower Watermark’s mortgage advisors to engage leads within just five seconds of them indicating homebuying intent. Get your ticket today.

Are you ready for 2023? With the new year quickly approaching, it’s pivotal to start off right by surrounding yourself with a high-performance team. XINNIX CEO and Founder Casey Cunningham knows that excellent culture doesn’t happen by accident. It is intentional! Join XINNIX on December 14th at 12 PM ET for Building a Culture of Excellence. In this live webinar, Casey will share her invaluable insights and the vital steps necessary to build a culture of excellence. Reserve your seat today!

Today, the 6th, Mortgage Pros 411 join me, Audrey Boissonou, and Kevin Casey: Two LOs discuss all things mortgage with industry leaders every Tuesday at 11AM PT: register here.

Join Lenders One and CHLA for a mid-term election results round up on Wednesday, December 7 at 4:00 PM ET. During this session, industry experts Dave Stevens, CMB, CEO – Mountain Lake Consulting, and Scott Olson, Executive Director – Community Home Lenders of America (CHLA), will discuss the mid-term election results to date and provide insights on the anticipated impacts to mortgage lenders, with a Q/A session after the discussion.

December 7th is your last chance of the year to attend Fannie Mae’s manufactured housing webinar. Learn about manufactured home (MH) mortgage options with an overview of programs and policies that can support your MH financing business, including MH Advantage®, financing for single-width manufactured homes, and MH subdivisions.

Join Silicon Valley CAMP on Wednesday, December 7th 11:00am–2:00pm for a Holiday Luncheon at Maggiano’s Little Italy in San Jose. Come celebrate the season with special guest, Rob Chrisman, Daily News & Commentary. Members admission fee $40, non-members – $59, includes a 3-course meal (no host bar) Pre-registration is required, available space is limited. Note to Attendees: In the spirit of giving, CAMP will be collecting Toys for Tots donations, your generosity to this cause would be appreciated.

Join MCT for an upcoming webinar on December 7th at 10am PT when MCT’s Phil Rasori and Justin Grant, and Mr. Cooper’s Chis King introduce BAMCO, discuss the new BAMCO co-issue executions via agency integrations, and show you how co-issue loan sale transactions are now integrated into MCT’s whole loan trading platform, making the process of selling co-issue more convenient and transparent. Register for the webinar.

Join Optimal Blues’ John Dumonsau, Product & Pricing Solutions Specialist, Mike Vough, Managing Director, and Rick Allen, Vice President of Business Strategy, to hear easy-to-understand data can inform quick decisions in chaotic markets. Learn how data can help you make every basis point count in turbulent environments.  Register for the Optimal Blue Webinar: Using Data to Improve Processes and Boost Business on Wednesday, Dec. 7, noon CT.

There’s the upcoming National Mortgage Professional webinar Local Search 101 for Mortgage Brokerages. On Thursday, December 8 at 2:00 PM ET, join Erika Cox, Product Marketing Manager at Podium in this free webinar she busts the local SEO myths and covers 5 ways to up your local search strategy.

Friday at 3PM ET is the next edition of The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown with Rich and Rob. We’ll will be covering current events in the mortgage market for 45 minutes starting at noon PT in “The Rundown with Rich and Rob”!

Capital markets: expect a .5 % hike next week

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The bond markets drive interest rates, and bond yields climbed yesterday as the November Institute of Supply Managers services survey came in better than expected, fueling speculation the Federal Reserve will keep rates higher for longer in the fight against inflation. The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index for November increased to 56.5 percent, marking the 30th straight month of growth for the services sector. The central bank has begun telegraphing in the past few weeks that it will be shrinking the size of its rate hikes.

 

More germane to lending, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller House Price Index for September showed prices were 0.8 percent lower than in August however, home prices were 10.6 percent above last year’s levels. Although price appreciation is easing, housing affordability remains challenging especially when combined with elevated mortgage rates.

In other news, recall that Personal income increased significantly more than analysts had expected in October, rising 0.7 percent. Consumption, however, met expectations for a 0.8 percent monthly gain. Spending came at the expense of saving with the personal savings rate falling to 2.3 percent, one of the lowest levels dating back to the 1950s. Meanwhile, employment continues to outperform with 263,000 jobs added in November. While a trifecta of respiratory infections was cited as a reason for a drop in labor force participation, workers with multiple jobs increased 60k each month over the last six months. Wages continue to increase and were up 5.1 percent over the last twelve months. Despite the higher wages, there seems to be enough easing of inflation for the Fed to hint they may slow the pace of rate increases following their meeting later this month.

 

Today’s calendar is a bit of a snoozer with just the international trade deficit seen widening to $80.0 billion. After the close, Agencies will release MBS prepayment data for November. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices are better by .125 and the 10-year yielding 3.55 after closing yesterday at 3.60 percent. (Yield curve fans know that the 2-year versus 10-year spread is at -81 basis points.)

With about four weeks until the college football playoffs, and eight weeks until the Super Bowl, let’s have some clever football quotes. (Part 2 of 5.)

First, thank you to Dave K. who corrected me that it was Bobby Bowden who said, “He doesn’t know the meaning of the word fear. In fact, I just saw his grades and he doesn’t know the meaning of a lot of words.”

“It isn’t necessary to see a good tackle, you can hear it!” (Knute Rockne / Notre Dame)

“At Georgia Southern, we don’t cheat. That costs money, and we don’t have any.” (Erik Russell / Georgia Southern)

“The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it.”

(Lou Holtz / Arkansas – Notre Dame)

“When you win, nothing hurts.” (Joe Namath / Alabama)

Visit www.robchrisman.com for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. Supply and Demand are Still Driving Mortgage Pricing” is the current blog. The Commentary’s podcast is live and at any place you obtain your podcasts (like Apple or Spotify).

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(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. This newsletter is for sophisticated mortgage professionals only. There are no paid endorsements by me. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2022 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job & product listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold, or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)