Dec. 11: LO jobs; LO training, CRM & recruiting products; December training still available; FHFA leadership conjecture

I’m a capital markets guy. “Bespoke luxury” isn’t in my vocabulary. First-time home buyer prices and floorplans aren’t in the cards at the new Aston Martin apartment building in Miami. If you buy one of the 47 most expensive apartments, they come with a new DB11. And, not to be outdone, Porsche also has a residential building – thanks to Jim P. for passing that along. (But owners won’t be building any sculptures to flip off town officials in the name of “art” or “expressionism” like a fellow did in Vermont.) You can bet those developers are hoping the market doesn’t sag – but it appears that the market is sagging in some areas already, or at least not going up as fast. Is that a surprise? “No tree grows to the moon,” as they say, and everyone knows house appreciation can only outpace wages for so long.

Employment & promotions

Looking ahead to a year of growth in 2019, Academy Mortgage has implemented a new regional leadership structure to provide exceptional service to the company’s hundreds of branches nationwide. The independent mortgage lender recently named 17 Regional Sales Leaders to bring enhanced Loan Officer support, expedited decision-making, and local market knowledge and experience closer to home for increased efficiency. These dynamic new leaders will oversee branch and business development, recruiting, and one-on-one coaching and mentoring in their identified regions. To connect with one of Academy’s talented and experienced Regional Sales Leaders in your area, contact Chad Melin, VP of National Business Development.

“Third-quarter profitability was the lowest since the MBA’s study got underway in 2008.” Who still thinks the answer to market compression is cutting LO Comp? While other lenders ARE cutting LO comp, Canopy is expanding a National Network of forward-thinking Loan Officers who are comfortable making more money. “It’s a no-brainer! Really, when you cut the fat from the traditional lending model there’s a lot more to go around,” per Aaron Brown, CEO of Canopy Mortgage. See how Canopy Mortgage is trimming the fat from retail, keeping LO comp intact, and creating unheard of efficiencies with proprietary tech that allowed ONE loan officer to close over 100 loans in one month! Do you believe there’s a better way to do home loans? Consider joining Canopy: Reach out to Josh Neumarker, National Hiring Director at Canopy Mortgage (888-696-9076).

Eagle Home Mortgage announced the promotion of David Todd to EVP of Production for the Company’s builder division and is tasked with national sales, operations and production for Eagle’s builder division and expanding the Company’s footprint in the industry. (David succeeds Laura Escobar who was promoted to President of Eagle Home Mortgage in August.)

Lender products and services

Not converting your leads? Hit the ground running in January 2019 with Master Mortgage Coach, Cindy Ertman, one of the industry’s Top 100 Loan Originators in the U.S. for over a decade. Cindy’s 90 Day Jumpstart to Mortgage Success Program will help you learn in 90 days what has taken other Mortgage Loan Originators years to accomplish on their own. You’ll learn to work smarter, not harder, using Cindy’s proven Connection to Conversion Lead Strategy System. See testimonials from past participants and learn more here now. LIMITED TIME OFFER! Receive a $200 DISCOUNT by using discount code 90DAY200 at checkout. As a bonus, you will also get a FREE copy of Cindy’s proven 10 Easy Steps to Secure Your Listing Agents.

“Are you tired of losing business because you didn’t have time to manually add contacts to your CRM? Now Loan Officers can easily capture and convert more leads and referrals without double data entry with Usherpa’s integration with CardTapp. This powerful integration automatically adds new contacts to Usherpa’s nurturing marketing campaigns and follow-up workflows every time the CardTapp App is shared. Never lose a referral and increase your pull-through and production by automating marketing to every lead every time. Usherpa is committed to helping you close more deals with less effort. Schedule a demo today to see all the new and innovative technology Usherpa can offer you.”

Home buyers have changed how they shop and public search sites like Zillow and Trulia are responsible for conditioning consumers to expect home and loan shopping together in a single user experience. HomeScout pioneered the first custom branded, lender-centric solution that provides consumers with an online experience where they can find and fund a home in a single location. With the recent integration of Optimal Blue loan pricing into its mortgage calculator and 100% MLS listing data, HomeScout empowers your buyers to make confident purchase decisions without additional rate shopping. Introduce your borrowers to a better online experience with accurate, real-time pricing combined with automated alerts that provides consistent engagement with your customers, helping you close more loans. Take the behemoth search sites out of the equation and schedule a HomeScout demo HERE or give them a call at 952-831-0623.

Tiz the season to recruit! “With current market conditions and a seasonal dip in purchase business, we’ve noticed many originators making transitions to maintain their income and lifestyles. Quality talent doesn’t fall into our laps or respond to job ads, and you need to have a strategic plan to identify and attract producers on the move. As the leading growth partner in the mortgage industry, Model Match can help! We provide a full range of solutions to help our partners grow their business.  Whether you’re looking to increase the effectiveness of your recruiting efforts or need a trusted partner that can attract high-quality candidates for you, Model Match is your solution. Between our award-winning Talent Management Software and seasoned recruiting professionals, we ‘Model Match’ the right people, to the right company, at the right time! CLICK HERE, let us show you the value we can create for your business!”

FHFA (overseer of Freddie and Fannie) management

Talk of Mel Watt’s sexual harassment (misconduct) claims haven’t been in the headline press lately, and his term ends next month. The Wall Street Journal reports that President Trump is expected to nominate Dr. Mark Calabria, Mike Pence’s Chief Economist, to be the next director of the FHFA, the GSEs’ regulator. Dr. Calabria has been an outspoken critic of the GSEs, but he will be implementing the administration’s agenda, not his own…right?

A more forceful move to end the conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? A reduction in the GSEs’ footprint? Reducing non-owner, high balance, cash-out refis, or affordable housing initiatives that F&F are known for? An increase in credit risk transfers and more private MI coverage? Don’t worry about those recently imposed higher loan limits: the FHFA lacks the legal authority to lower the GSEs conforming loan limits. And no one wants to disrupt the housing market, which could, in turn, hurt the president’s reelection chances.

Recall that under Director Watt, the GSEs reintroduced the 97 LTV product and have also been active in growing 43+ DTI lending. Reducing or eliminating this business could shift it back to the Federal Housing Administration. There is hope, if Calabria is indeed “the guy,” he would end the profit sweep and allow the GSEs to start rebuilding capital. The Senate would need to confirm him, which could take months, so the smart money, including KBW, is on the administration nominating Dr. Calabria but also replacing Director Watt in January with a temporary director, possibly Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting.

Training & events in Dec

Things wind down, but there are still ways before Christmas to help you learn more!

Last chance in 2018 to become a Certified Military Home Specialists (CMHS). CMHS designees are housing professionals who work with our military personnel and their families. This designation helps to establish credibility, allow the originator to build a worthy rapport and accurately guides them toward their housing and budgeting goals in a timely manner. As a CMHS, you will have a deeper knowledge of jargon, military lifestyle and the finances of our beloved military. Sign up now to participate in the live training offered by Boots Across America and presented by Beverly Ray Frase, National Director, and National Mortgage Professional Magazine’s nmpU on Thursday, December 13th at 2PM ET. Follow this link to register, download the workbook, slides, sign-up for the live webinar, pass the exam and start working with more active service members and veterans in 2019. Normally it’s $79 for the CMHS Live Webinar Training and Certification, however our daily readers only pay $49 when you register and enter the code ROBCMHS.

Join National Mortgage Professional Magazine on Monday, December 17th at 2PM EST for the complimentary webinar “How to Win Great Agent Relationships in 2019.” With the market rapidly changing, and competition growing, knowing how to win business on the front line with agents is critical to your success. Join Ron Vaimberg, President and Head Coach of nmpU, to learn the exact strategies necessary to win great agent relationships for the upcoming year. You will learn how to determine who are the right agents to go after, what it takes to get the attention of the right agents, how to deliver a powerful presentation when you meet with the agent, and strategies for keeping momentum going after the meeting. Click here to register for this free webinar.

51% of homebuyers and 75% of renters find their homes to buy or rent online, respectively. Rather than seeking advice from an industry professional, consumers are conducting their own searches online and educating themselves on the market. So how do you get to them first, and gain their trust to offer a one-stop shop for improving their homebuying experience? Join our webinar, Where Will Lending & Banking Customers Come From in 2019? on Dec. 19 at 1 p.m. CT, brought to you by HousingWire and Total Expert, and get a jumpstart on the year ahead. Total Expert Founder & CEO Joe Welu and Founder of the Basis Point Julian Hebron will disclose consumer stats, business models and their secrets for winning in this era. Interested but unable to attend? Sign up anyways and we will send you the recording.

Want to find out what Ginger Bell is doing with her list of over 1,400 vendors? Register for her webinar on Wednesday, December 12th at 1PM PT.

Black, Mann and Graham’s newest training video “Welcome to Texas” contains information that a new lender entering the Texas market should know including misnomers seasoned lenders may be confused about.

The U.S. Banks & Data Privacy upcoming webinar on December 17th will include speaker Louise Thorpe, the Chief Privacy Officer for American Express who will provide perspectives on how a large global company like American Express views consumer data and privacy, and the stance the company has taken over the years. Attorney, Tanya Forsheit, widely considered one of the country’s top privacy and data security lawyers; will be covering the specifics that financial services companies need to be prepared for when it comes to recent and pending privacy and data protection laws and regulations.

On December 20th, US Bank is offering a training opportunity in concert with Freddie Mac that will help you realize the possibilities with the HomeOne Mortgage, the new low-down payment option for first time homebuyers, which offers more flexibility while providing a 97% LTV with no income or geographic restrictions.

Capital markets

The U.S. 10-year began the week yielding 2.86% after free falling last week as Brexit-related headlines dominated markets. UK Prime Minister May announced she will be delaying the UK-EU Brexit plan vote in Parliament. The news was not a surprise but did stir angst about the future of leadership in the UK and the possibility of a “no deal” Brexit that weighed heavily on the British pound, which fell 1.5% against the dollar. No date has been set for a new vote. On the Chinese trade front, U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer stated that he sees this 90-day window with China as a hard deadline to strike a deal or tariff rate to be raised. China had some poor news of its own, as November exports and imports were both weaker than expected. And French President Macron announced a minimum wage increase and the cancellation of a tax increase for low-income pensioners in response to violent protests over living conditions.

Today’s economic calendar kicked off with NFIB small business optimism, down for the 3rd straight month. Producer Prices for November were +.1%, ex-food & energy/core +.3%, more inflationary than expected. After these numbers we find the 10-year yielding 2.87% and Agency MBS prices worse a few ticks versus last night.

Since some of the radio stations decided to pull “Baby it’s Cold Outside” from its playlist because someone was offended, I feel that these other holiday songs must also be removed as they are offensive as well.

1. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus: subjecting minors to softcore porn.

2. The Christmas Song: Open fire? Pollution. Folks dressed up like Eskimos? Cultural appropriation.

3. Holly Jolly Christmas: Kiss her once for me? Unwanted advances.

4. White Christmas? Racist.

5. Santa Claus is Coming to Town: Sees you when you’re sleeping? Knows when you’re awake? Peeping Tom stalker.

6. Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Everyone telling you be of good cheer? Forced to hide depression.

7. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Bullying.

8. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas: Forced gender-specific gifts: dolls for Janice and Jen and boots and pistols (GUNS!) for Barney and Ben.

9. Santa Baby: Gold digger, blackmail.

10. Frosty the Snowman: Sexist; not a snow woman.

11. Do You Hear What I Hear: blatant disregard for the hearing impaired.

12. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas: Make the yuletide GAY? Wow, just wow.

13. Jingle Bell Rock: Giddy up jingle horse, pick up your feet: animal abuse.

14. Mistletoe and Holly: Overeating, folks stealing a kiss or two? How did this song ever see the light of day?

15. Winter Wonderland: Parson Brown demanding they get married…forced partnership.

Visit 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. The current blog is, “Servicing: Don’t Underestimate Liquidity.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.


(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2018 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