Apr. 22: Sales & processing jobs; What do Realtors want from lenders, Millennials from their banks? Q1 solid lending numbers

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd and this year marks the 45th anniversary. (President Barak Obama is visiting the Everglades in Florida while I am at a bank in Kansas.) Leave it to the Census Bureau (known as “The Bureau with a capital “B” to those that work there) to tell us that there were 2.4 million households in 2013 that used wood as their central heating system and 50,235 housing units were heated solely off of solar energy. In 2013, it took an average of 26 minutes for workers to commute to work, and 882,000 people rode a bicycle to work compared to 4 million who walked.


In the job market? Eustis Mortgage Corporation is expanding, and announced the formation of a new wholesale & retail division headquartered in Houston Texas: Finance Home America. The division President Jerry Alred and SVP Mylena Alred will run sales and operations respectively for Finance Home America and are searching for both wholesale AEs and retail LOs in Texas. The division offers a local wholesale platform to select established brokers as well as retail branches in Houston and McAllen, Texas. Finance Home America is approved as a Texas Veterans Land Board lender. Interested loan officers or branch managers should contact Jerry Alred via e-mail or at (713) 305-4620.


Glendenning Mortgage Corporation has an opening in its corporate headquarters in Toms River, NJ, for an experienced Loan Processor with a high degree of competency in current consumer disclosure requirements. Founded in 1989, Glendenning is a self-contained, direct lender with a proven track record of delivering customer service excellence through technical expertise and ethical business practices. From inception, Glendenning’s marketing approach has been driven by merit-based referrals earned from satisfied customers. To be considered for a career opportunity with the Glendenning Success Team, kindly forward your resume to gmcopportunities@gmail.com.


And 1,500 miles away, Southwest Bank is seeking to add a Dallas-based National Account Executive to its Warehouse Lending Program. “With a rapidly growing share of the emerging correspondent market, Southwest Bank’s warehouse group specializes in preparing mortgage brokers for transition to mortgage lending without exploiting captive or affiliated relationships. The ideal candidate will have at least 5 years’ experience in wholesale or correspondent lending and a proven track record of building quality relationships. This is a high-profile position with extensive travel anticipated. Southwest is FDIC Insured/EOE and EOE of Vets and IWD.” For more information, please contact the program’s President, David Frase, CMB.


Congratulations are due to Casey McGovern, the new president of San Francisco’s Bay Equity LLC. And to Katie Brewer who Green River Capital LLC (a provider of REO asset management and loss mitigation services for mortgage servicers) announced has joined the company as chief operating officer.


Walter announced that it’s wholly owned mortgage servicing subsidiary, Green Tree, has settled with the FTC and CFPB in regards to violations of various federal consumer financial laws related to the company’s servicing practices. Green Tree will pay a total of $63 million in the settlement ($48 million for consumer redress plus a $15 million civil money penalty). The full amount was accrued for through a reserve in 2014, so it was not unexpected. The settlement is related to an investigation dating back to 2010 when the FTC and CFPB recommended taking action against Green Tree Servicing for alleged violations of federal consumer laws.


I am often asked what Realtors seem to want from lenders, and some folks lump LOs into two categories: those that will change their model to accommodate real estate agent demands and those that won’t. There’s a wide gap between wanting a relationship with agents and brokers and building a successful one. Inman released the top-line findings from a new study entitled, “What Real Estate Brokers and Agents Want from Lenders,” that examines why real estate professionals choose to recommend a particular lender, what kinds of lenders they prefer and what behavior puts a lender in the penalty box. The study also explores the ineffectiveness of lender marketing, the chilling effect that RESPA is having on broker/lender relationships and their early opinions on big bank “listing” apps. The results of the survey will be presented today at the RESPRO Conference in San Diego.


Commissioned by Inman, the survey was conducted by 1000watt, a real estate brand, marketing and strategy firm, in April. Respondents were mostly real estate agents (74%), but 26% of respondents identified as real estate brokers. Nearly half of the Realtors surveyed said they prefer working with mortgage brokers over banks and non-banks. Cultural fit and breadth of products are the number one and two reasons for selecting a mortgage partner. Agents are mainly monogamous: 77% say they have one lender who they refer most often to clients. Speed and responsiveness are the most important considerations to refer a lender. Leads are not a two-way street: 79% aren’t getting leads from their lenders, but 74% would like them—from lenders they know and trust.


Inman/1000watt found that the largest percentage of respondents was unsure as to whether lender marketing was effective. More than 35% felt marketing wasn’t effective in building relationships with agents; less than 30% felt it was.  And operations with in-house lenders believed that on-site presence was the most effective way to increase capture rates; followed by technology and training; less than 10% of respondents felt print or email marketing was effective.


Only 24% of brokers have Marketing Service Agreements (MSAs) with lenders. Only 2% of brokers have Affiliated Business Arrangements (ABAs) with lenders. 42% are now reluctant to enter into MSAs and/or partnerships with lenders due to RESPA concerns.


And what about the internet? Inman points out that “Increasingly, clients are doing their shopping for a lender on the Internet and don’t need a recommendation from their Realtor. Big bank efforts to promote mobile apps, like Chase’s MyNewHome or Nationstar Mortgage’s HomeSearch.com get mixed reviews (38% were very uncomfortable with them while 30% were somewhat uncomfortable with these proprietary mobile apps). The complete study is available to Inman Select members at www.Inman.com/mortgagereport.


Whether you are talking about them as clients or employees, youngsters matter. (From Ohio John S. wrote saying, “Our company has a dilemma with training the new generation of LOs in the business. We find that before we can even have the debate about giving a fish or teaching to fish we find that we have to figure out how to make them understand why having a fish is important!)


It’s called Uptalk (or High Rising Terminal; HRT), and it took Google 0.19 seconds to find a list of sites to explain to me why many young people have started ending their declarative sentences with an inflection, which traditionally would indicate a question is being asked. “I was driving to work yesterday? When…..” How should I know if you were driving to work yesterday? What may be even more “millennial” than ending your sentence with a question (or starting your sentences with “So”) is peer-to-peer lending. It’s so hip, and people are so busy these days, they’ve even shortened the term down to just “P2PL”, which I guess is easier to text…is texting still a thing? Many would argue the lending platform has grown substantially over the last few years due in large part to changing demographics, and San Francisco-based Social Finance Inc is at the forefront of this lending. But don’t expect to see SoFi going public without accomplishing a few goals first; one being to beat their competition. Matt Scully and Jody Shenn of Bloomberg write, “Chief Executive Officer Mike Cagney, who said he will take the online lender public only after overtaking LendingClub Corp. to become the ‘largest’ in its expanding industry. “They are in the lead, but they haven’t won,” Cagney said in an interview. “I’d like to be the largest, or at least on the trajectory where it’s clear we will be the largest, when we come to the public market.” SoFi is the second-largest online consumer lender ahead of Prosper Marketplace Inc., and it originated more than $600 million of debt in the first quarter, consisting of student loans, consumer loans and residential mortgages.


Data from Javelin reports that this year total millennial income will exceed that of Baby Boomers. Further, by 2020 millennial income is projected to exceed that of both Baby Boomers and Generation X. By 2025, millennial income is expected to account for 46% of the nation’s income. For community banks, figuring out exactly what millennials want from financial institutions has been no easy task. There’s an industrywide presumption that younger customers care the most about new age services like mobile and alternative payments, and couldn’t care less about staid services like bank branches and checking account features. That’s not so, at least not yet. Millennials do want mobile technologies, there’s no doubt about that. But they also very much want access to “old school” services like bank branches.


They want the branches they use to reflect their own needs and values, just like their parents did. One recent study points out 49% of respondents see their parents as their primary influencers in shaping their banking and financial views. Another 40% of respondents say they turn to parents and family as a source for financial information. Younger banking consumers want bank branches near their homes or work, especially in urban areas. Also, when this group says “near their homes,” they mean the closer the better. Younger consumers drive less than their parents and often prefer to walk, bike, or take public transportation to their bank – less need for drive-up windows. And skip lots of counters and desks: the new age bank branch should have self-help kiosks where consumers can tap away and cut time-consuming tasks from their trip to the bank. Meanwhile, banks can cross sell at those kiosks while transactions process, giving banks another way to offer services to customers. Nimble and more efficient bank branches will be better positioned to reach millennials where they work, shop and socialize.


Yes, Millennial Madness! Since Day 1 never has a generation been so watched, studied, and anticipated. Tammy Butler with Optimal Blue covers the topic in this article.


At the end of last year the experts predicted volumes in 2015 would be somewhere between “OK” and “not-so-OK” with a better chance of being “worse”? Mortgage analysts have nothing on Vegas odds makers who always seem to know the quarterback didn’t pass his Chemistry mid-term even before the head coach does; there’s probably a life lesson to be learned about market prognostication in there somewhere, but as everyone already knows Q1 could have been worse. As we all open the door to our panic rooms and peak out into the heart of 2015, Compass Point’s Kevin Barker and Jesus Bueno write, “The first quarter 2015 is setting up to show marked improvement from 4Q14. So far in the first quarter, we estimate that gain on sale margins expanded, originations estimates were increased, and mortgage applications volumes moved higher.” Their bullish position lies with four observations: (1) Gain on sale margins should move higher. The primary-secondary spread was roughly 10% higher (average) and the Compass Point Gain on Sale index is up ~25% in 1Q15, (2) Originations estimates move higher. On average, originations estimates for 1Q15 have increased 12% from the end of 2014 to just over $300B. In the past few months, estimates for 2015 and 2016 were increased by the MBA, Fannie, and Freddie, (3) MBA applications indicate improving mortgage market. On average applications during 1Q15 were up 33% from 4Q14, and (4) Markdowns in MSR, prepays picked up for 2013 vintages. Mortgage rates were down 20 bps from 3.99% (per Bankrate.com) at the end of 4Q14 to 3.79% at the end of 1Q15.


China lost its position as the largest holder of U.S. Treasuries for the first time in six and a half years in February. The People’s Bank of China is selling US Treasury securities to raise dollars and buy yuan to head off a sharp drop of the latter currency. The yuan is under pressure because of China’s economic slowdown and speculation that the US Federal Reserve is closer to raising interest rates.


That isn’t particularly good news. And yes, perhaps the U.S. economy is doing well enough for the Fed to raise rates – yet long term rates are determined by supply and demand and they continue to be low. Speaking of supply and demand, originators continue to produce a steady stream of Agency MBS while jumbo loans flow into portfolios while the Fed continues to use early pay off money to buy a billion or two of MBS every day. Steady as she goes.


Today there isn’t much in terms of scheduled market-moving news. We’ve had the MBA’s application index (+2.3%, purchases +5%, refis +1%). Later we’ll have February’s FHFA home price index (seen higher from the previous +0.3% increase), while 9AM Kansas time we have March’s Existing Home Sales (4.88M last). We closed the 10-yr Tuesday at 1.92% and this morning we’re at 1.91% with agency MBS prices a shade better.



Computer folks love to talk about passwords. This two minute exchange between John Oliver and Edward Snowden is particularly interesting. “Passwerd” just doesn’t cut it.





(Copyright 2015 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

Rob Chrisman