Dec. 18: Books & videos for last-minute gifts; great anti-hacking tips… disposable emails? Saturday Spotlight: Consolidated Analytics
I was out cocktailing the other night. (Yes, that is a verb for people in mortgage banking.) I asked someone if they were a member of a wine club. The person replied, “Wine club? Nah. I belong to a pot club!” I guess nearly every business has a competitor, and now California weed businesses are complaining to the governor that he needs to cut their taxes because they can’t compete with illegal marijuana channels! (You can’t make this stuff up.) Money talks, and mortgage-backed securities aren’t the only thing to monetize a cash flow. Bruce Springsteen sold his masters and his music publishing to Sony Music in a deal worth around $500 million, a huge coup for the Boss. His catalog has earned 65.5 million sales in the U.S. and since 2018 alone has racked up 2.25 million album consumption units. Springsteen got a great deal on this sale: Billboard estimated the catalog masters generated around $12 million in annual sales on average over the past three years, and the publishing catalog brought in $7.5 million, which would value the catalog at $415 million. He joins David Crosby, Bob Dylan, and Stevie Nicks in cashing out. Economics! But let’s get back to mortgages, and related topics.
Saturday Spotlight: Consolidated Analytics, an end-to-end mortgage services provider
Describe your company (why it was founded, current offering, future plans)
Consolidated Analytics, an end-to-end mortgage services provider, has not followed a traditional path for business growth. Starting out as a small Appraisal Management Company (AMC) in 1996, Consolidated Analytics was purchased in 2009 by Brian Gehl, a serial entrepreneur with a passion for real estate. Only four years later, a severe health diagnosis altered the company’s trajectory and pace of growth.
In 2013, Brian Gehl, a non-smoker, was diagnosed with Stage Four Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the throat. Ordinarily, such a serious health challenge might put a business at risk or force the owner to close its doors, but Brian and Consolidated Analytics are not ordinary. In fact, one could argue that Brian’s health challenges catalyzed Consolidated Analytics’ growth.
Shortly after his diagnosis, a friend introduced Brian to Arvin Wijay, a successful entrepreneur who had recently sold his mortgage services company, Retreat Capital Management, to a sizeable Indian Public Company. In a recent podcast, Brian stated, “it was as though Arvin fell from the sky” because Arvin volunteered to help Brian lead and grow the company without pay, allowing Brian to focus on recovery. Whether Brian was undergoing chemo or sleeping under his desk, Arvin gave Consolidated Analytics the leadership and stability needed to continue operating and helped form a strategy for future growth. Moreover, Brian and Arvin forged an unbreakable friendship and business partnership.
Arvin Wijay is currently CEO and Brian Gehl is President at Consolidated Analytics, which, today employs nearly 500 talented mortgage professionals and has four divisions: Property Valuation Services and Analytics; Mortgage Consulting and Advisory; Due diligence/ TPR; and Business process services. Over the last two years the company grew 119% and plans to offer FinTech solutions in the coming years.
What does your company do to help elevate your employees’ growth and development?
The University Program is Consolidated Analytics’ most successful program. We partner with universities and colleges to recruit ambitious graduates looking to gain experience in financial services. Seniors and new grads are hired as Analysts within our due diligence division and learn to evaluate the underlying assets of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS). Program participants have access to experienced mentors and can cross-train with other departments within our organization, such as marketing, human resources, and accounting.
We also provide leading technology platforms to foster employee, brand, and client connectivity, optimize workflow, and inspire innovation.
Lastly, our interactive eLearning modules drive the company’s diversity and inclusion program and provide lively training opportunities to maintain a healthy and diverse workforce.
Things you are most proud of that have nothing to do with sales.
Consolidated Analytics’ company culture is unrivaled! We call it our RISE culture, which stands for Reach, Innovate, and Succeed with Excellence. When one employee thrives, we all thrive! We are proud to support employee wellness and inclusivity through a hybrid and remote workforce; this balanced approach keeps employees engaged and motivated to support the company’s values and client expectations. We are hiring!
(For more information on having your firm, employee growth, and your charitable side featured, contact Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt.)
It is hard to resist clicking on an attachment labeled, “Changes in health care benefits” or “Your Social Security Benefits.” Not everyone double checks the email address to see who sent it, and looks for other telltale signs of phishing. I received several emails regarding the relatively simple scam I published last week, but one from Gayle was particularly instructive. Thank you, Gayle!
Consider using a VPN. If you are unfamiliar with this, you sign in to the VPN (virtual private network) and it connects you to the internet. Your browsing is hard to track as your internet can be routed from country to country before it reaches you.
Get a disposable e-mail. Go to www.fakemail.net and you can get an e-mail that you can use to fill in that field. You can’t access the account and neither can anyone else.
Get a fake phone number. Go to www.fakenumber.org and pick one from the list. These are unallocated phone numbers that are commonly recognized as “spam.” Again this is a place holder that fills in that field if you don’t want to hand out your legitimate one. You could also get a “burner” phone or see if Google Voice still has that function for personal use. It used to be free but I believe there’s a charge now.
Set up a separate e-mail just for your “shopping accounts.” I have one e-mail address for those but a different password for every account. I go “old school” with this, and they are written down in an Internet Password Book.
Set up a separate financial e-mail accounts. I can’t tell you how many times I get a notification that my PayPal has been “locked” and my PayPal is not associated with that e-mail so I know that is probably a scam.
Password Hints: most people use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols and keep them around eight characters. I do something different. I pick three unrelated words and mix in capital letters, numbers, and characters. Choose longer words that are not associated with each other. An example is: Apple-concerT-jUstice25. This has example has most password requirements and would be harder to crack but not impossible. If you only use it on one account, however, then there is less chance of it being discovered.
Enable Two-factor authentication whenever you can, preferably with an app versus your phone number. The code on the app is an algorithm and changes frequently. Believe it or not, you are shopping safer if you have your charge and debit cards in your Apple Wallet or Google Pay as those algorithms change every frequently as well. If you can only enable two-factor authentication with a phone number this is where a burner phone or Google Voice number comes in handy.
FREEZE YOUR CREDIT REPORTS NOW! Even if they get your personal information and SSN, if your report is frozen, they can’t get credit and you are notified. The criminal will probably move on to the next possible victim.
Hardware authentication keys are a step up from two-factor authentication and I’m researching those now.
Last, but not least, Cyber Crime should be reported to the FBI. They have an Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) that investigates. Naturally, some of these crimes can originate offshore but everyone once in a while they have a stateside accomplice.
Literary presents for staff and family
Support home-grown authors! For something completely different, looking for a holiday gift for your staff since you’re not spending much on travel and entertainment? Congratulations to anyone who can write a book, and there are several (that I know about) in or close to our biz. And with the reasonable prices, good gifts for your staff. Or for your boss! No, these are not paid ads, and the books are written by folks in our biz, about our biz, or close to it. In no order, we have…
Ivy Zelman, renowned housing analyst, is the author of her new “Gimme Shelter.”
Uncle Brice— a Killing, a Trial, a True Story: Rob Couch recently published Uncle Brice recounting a true story of a family secret he uncovered about the death of a great-uncle in a Southern town in the 1930s. The deceased was a white banker who was shot by an African-American janitor during an altercation over past-due rent. The janitor confessed to pulling the trigger and was charged with first-degree murder. The case was scheduled to be tried before an all-white, all-male jury in Texarkana, Arkansas in 1937. An experienced prosecutor was matched against a retired Jewish judge who took on the killer’s case without pay. For Uncle Brice, an often-overlooked confluence of social, economic, and geopolitical influences led to fascinating developments and intriguing results. The overall impact of this true case causes the reader to reassess preconceived notions about the operation of the criminal justice system in the South during the Depression and challenges current narratives.
If video marketing is in your plans for 2022 then you want to get the Leadership Video Planner. Long time industry professionals, Carl White, CEO and Founder, Mortgage Marketing Animals and Ginger Bell, CEO & Founder, Edumarketing Media, have come together to write a video planning book that will be a must if you are doing videos in 2022. The Leadership Video Planner gives you 52 weeks of leadership quotes combined with a video planning template that will help you create a plan and strategy to record weekly leadership videos.
Someone you know interested in pursuing a career in health or who is in the field and ready for a change? Check out my friend Jeff Oxendine’s new book, You Don’t Have to Be a Doctor: Discover, Achieve and Enjoy Your Authentic Health Career. Jeff, CEO of Health Career Connection and a longtime faculty member at UC Berkeley School of Public Health, shares his proven 9 step framework, practical tools, inspiring stories, and hands-on exercises that he has used to help thousands of students and health professionals choose and succeed in the health career that best suits them. While many students enter college on the premed track, only 17% of premed freshman end up in medical school and only 40% of medical school applicants are accepted. Jeff’s book doesn’t dissuade anyone from being a doctor, it provides practical guidance for people to critically assess their options and develop an action plan for success. (Have your college students interested in health pursue internships through Health Career Connection.)
Eric Mitchell is the EVP for Gold Star Mortgage and oversees nationwide business development strategies for its 500+ employees through innovative purchase market strategies proven to revolutionize the way Loan Officers and Realtors partner, generating their unprecedented success and market reach. Eric has written “The Why of Money”. The Amazon page is live and for pre-orders, a 25% discount is available (promo code E87WVZCP); delivery date will be 2nd week of January.
Russ Van Buren’s Falling, inspired by the true events of 9-11.
There’s “Surviving Sosebee: A Lesson Plan On Life” by Mary Lee Gilchrest with First State Bank Mortgage in Kansas. (“I self-published so the book can be purchased from me by emailing me your address. My book is $15.00 with shipping and I enclose a return envelope for payment on the honor system that buyers will send money. My book talks about some that I have been through in my life and refers to my job many times, and the small profit I give the profit to ALZ and lung cancer research as those are the illnesses my mother and mother-in-law suffered with.”)
“My Client the FBI: How a real estate appraiser assisted the FBI before and after the mortgage crisis in cleaning up a broken system.” Written by Donald Gossman, you can read more about it here along with thank you notes from the Feds.
Michael Rosser and Diane Sanders penned “A History of Mortgage Banking in the West,” a “book that should be read by politicians and business leaders everywhere.” Order here and use promo code ROSS17 to knock 20% off the price.
“Buy Your First Home Today” was written by John Mallett is a good book for LOs to give their clients. “Empower your life, build your wealth, own the home of your dreams.”
Anne Elliott composed “Mortgage Risk: A Blueprint for Smarter Origination.” The book is meant for underwriters, sales managers, LOs and appraisers.
“Hacked. Screwed. Gone.” By Jim Deitch is an “A-Z blueprint to protect your business from accidental & malicious information security threats.”
Jason Myers authored “Becoming the Successful Mortgage Broker.” Jason also wrote “The Successful Mortgage Broker.” “Becoming a millionaire in the mortgage industry doesn’t happen by chance. When you lay the proper foundation, you create the opportunity.”
“Demystifying Mandatory” by STRATMOR’s Jennifer Fortier is a good read for anyone starting out in capital markets.
From Texas comes Michael Jones (Georgetown Mortgage) with his tome, “Reset” about a loan officer who is bumping along the bottom and re-ignites his career with some simple process changes and effort.
“The Uncommon Commodity: A Common-Sense Guide for New Managers” was composed by Doug Thorpe. “A collection of many thought-provoking stories, tips, anecdotes, and life hacks to help you grow as a manager.”
Here’s a primer on the capital markets sector from SIFMA…a fundamental overview of U.S. capital markets and financial institutions including an overview of capital markets, role of financial institutions, investment banking, markets & securities, and more.
Quiz your family on the name of the carols described in each riddle.
1. Oh, member of the round table with missing areas (Oh Holy Night)
2. Boulder of the tinkling metal spheres (Jingle Bell Rock)
3. Vehicular homicide was committed on Dad’s mom by a precipitous darling (Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer)
4. Wanted in December: top forward incisors (All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth)
5. The apartment of two psychiatrists (The Nutcracker Suite)
6. The lad is a diminutive percussionist (Little Drummer Boy)
7. Sir Lancelot with laryngitis (Silent Night)
8. Decorate the entryways (Deck the Halls)
9. Cup-shaped instruments fashioned of a whitish metallic element (Silver Bells)
10. Oh small Israel urban center (Oh Little Town of Bethlehem)
11. Far off in a hay bin (Away in a Manger)
12. We are Kong, Lear, and Nat Cole (We Three Kings)
13. Duodecimal enumeration of the passage of the yuletide season (The Twelve Days of Christmas)
14. Leave and broadcast from an elevation (Go Tell It on the Mountain)
15. Our fervent hope is that you thoroughly enjoy your yuletide season (We Wish You a Merry Christmas)
16. Listen, the winged heavenly messengers are proclaiming tunefully (Hark the Herald Angels Sing)
17. As the guardians of the woolly animals protected their charges in the dark hours (Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night)
18. I beheld a trio of nautical vessels moving in this direction (I Saw Three Ships)
19. Jubilation to the entire terrestrial globe (Joy to the World)
20. Do you perceive the same vibrations which stimulate my auditory sense organ? (Do You Hear What I Hear?)
21. A joyful song of reverence relative to hollow metallic vessels which vibrate and bring forth a ringing sound when struck (Carol of the Bells)
22. Parent was observed osculating a red-coated unshaven teamster (I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus)
23. May the Deity bestow an absence of fatigue to mild male humans (God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen)
24. Rose-colored uncouth dolf is aware of the nature of precipitation, darling (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer)
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. The current blog is, “The Personal Touch” about MLO compensation and motivation. The Commentary’s podcast is live and at any place you obtain your podcasts (like Apple or Spotify).
(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 2021 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.)