Jan. 20: MI, MLO jobs; webinars today; training, automation, broker tools; write up on MLO purchase focus write up

While there’s plenty of chatter out there about the return of Better.com’s CEO to its helm, and its interesting business model how LOs are supposedly not paid for closed loans but for how many they lock, I could tell that my cat Myrtle was miffed a few days ago. And I knew why: She figured out that I was not going to spend several hundred dollars to nominate her for some forgettable award. Now that a new year has begun, offers to nominate employees and producers are everywhere, and in some cases, lenders can nominate dozens of their employees at discounted bulk prices. I thought about explaining to Myrtle that she’d be better off with me spending those doubloons on line-caught salmon, or, in my opinion, that every lender would be better off spending their money on training, client retention software, or pricing concessions, rather than telling the world which producers their competitors should pick off. Of course, I was never big on giving a child a trophy just for being on the team either, but that sounds pretty curmudgeonly.) Along those lines, if you haven’t seen this video satire on hiring a millennial, you should check it out. Fortunately, the people I’ve met in our industry in their 20s and 30s don’t fit that mold. Speaking of people in their 20’s in our biz, today’s audio version of the commentary is available here and this week’s is sponsored by Sagent. Today features Interview with Sagent’s new Chief Product Officer, Courtney Thompson, on her career in the mortgage industry and how this move accelerates Sagent’s vision to remake loan servicing from the consumer perspective and deepens Sagent’s relationships with customers, regulators, and the fintech community. Give this mortgage modernization lesson a listen, and read about her new role.

Employment & appointments


“We are looking for experienced loan originators with a desire to grow. This position will be exclusive to one of the largest real estate teams in Jacksonville FL with over 140 agents. If a serious career in the mortgage industry is what you’re looking for contact Kelly Wolfe. We will be at our Jacksonville office on Tuesday, January 25th conducting interview all day. Looking for experienced loan originators with a desire to grow. This position will be exclusive to the number 1 real estate team in Reno, NV with over 170 agents. If a serious career in the mortgage industry is what you’re looking for contact Kelly Wolfe.

Planet Home Lending is designed for success… your success. That’s why our volume has grown faster than 70% of the top 20 lenders’ YTD, according to Inside Mortgage Finance. Put that growth mindset in your corner and come join us while we expand in the face of market transformations. With our committed leadership that understands what MLOs need, Planet ensures our branches work with the same dedicated processors, underwriters, and support team, every day and every file, so you can concentrate on reaching more borrowers and closing more loans. Additionally, our in-house marketing team dedicated specifically to DR helps you get the word out. Watch our Retail Sales Leader Caleb Mittelstet talk about why originators are moving to Planet. Then send a note to Cmittelstet@PlanetHomeLending.com or SVP Talent Acquisition Brian Miller. Grow your business with Planet Home Lending – Right Place, Right Size, Right Now!”

Known for being a leading mortgage insurance provider and recognized as an American Business Award ‘Company of the Year’ and Triangle Business Journal ‘Best Place to Work,’ Enact (formerly Genworth Mortgage Insurance) is hiring for a Field Account Manager (Wisconsin) – Sales. The Field Account Manager (Sales), based in Wisconsin, is key in creating new customers and building on current customer relationships. To learn more about this position and apply, visit the Enact Careers page here or contact Enact’s Field Sales Senior Manager Chris Garagusi.

Out of King of Prussia, PA, comes news that Sagent appointed Consigliera Founder & Mortgage Servicing Vet Courtney Thompson as Chief Product Officer where she will lead and expand product development to refine and grow Sagent’s vision organically, as well as through partnerships and M&A.

Open Mortgage has named Scott Harkless to the newly-created position of Chief Revenue Officer, overseeing all sales functions within the company including wholesale and retail in both the reverse and forward divisions.

Broker and lender products & services


Today, I would like to tell you about AREAL’s new Closing Disclosure Document Comparison Product. With its CD Comparison engine, agents can automatically, at the touch of a button, compare two or more CD’s and check discrepancies and automatically approve the changes. Both AREAL’s new Closing Disclosure product and AREAL.ai’s Tasks for Mortgage and Title Documents, from which agents can go through a list of tasks they need to complete for title documents within AREAL.ai and start to completely automate this process, are available for demo and proof of concepts tailored to your company’s specific needs. To learn about how AREAL is leading the way to automate processing time from hours to minutes, please reach out to Bill Hajjar for a demo.

ACES Quality Management software analyzes more than 4.5 million audits, while company achieves record new client growth in 2021! 2021 was a record year for ACES Quality Management. With a 60% surge in new clients, ACES processed more than 4.5 million audits through its software. In addition, the company released ACES CONNECT, added 30 vendors to its network, were recognized for prestigious industry awards, and so much more. ACES CEO Trevor Gauthier said, “The uncertainty and turbulence of the financial markets over the last 24 months has underscored the need to maintain quality and mitigate risk, and our tremendous growth in 2021 reflects how serious lenders and financial institutions are taking these obligations. With the expected market shift to purchases in 2022, our primary focus is to help as many lenders and financial institutions as possible.” Read more.

At Richey May we dig in and go deep. We have been focused on the mortgage banking industry for over 35 years. It’s where we came from and it’s what we know. This singular intent has created a full suite of services and products designed specifically for mortgage banking leaders by people who truly know the ins and outs of your operations. Our goal is to equip mortgage leaders with the best, whether that means you are utilizing our game-changing platforms or utilizing our experts as an extension of your team, so you can accomplish your goals more easily and stay ahead of the curve. From audit and tax to accounting services, cybersecurity to intelligent automation, and business intelligence, we have you covered. Contact our experts today to learn more about how we can help you reach your goals.”

AmeriHome is the largest bank-owned correspondent investor in the country, and as a subsidiary of Western Alliance Bank, one of the country’s top-performing banking companies and the go-to business bank for mortgage companies, the combined entities bring a unique value proposition to mortgage originators. AmeriHome continues to roll out its new Portfolio Suite of Non-Agency programs to its clients: Portfolio Express, Portfolio Jumbo and Portfolio Expanded. Distinct advantages include in-house underwriting, meaning clients receive the same service levels as Agency business, and loans (in all Portfolio programs) do not have to meet QM or Appendix Q requirements. AmeriHome also expects to bring Western Alliance’s warehouse banking platform to their client base in 2022. Western Alliance is already a Top 10 warehouse banker, so being able to offer traditional warehouse lines, MSR and Note Financing as well as Treasury Management solutions to AmeriHome’s existing client base will be a home run. If you are not currently doing business with AmeriHome, email CLsales@amerihome.com for more information.

Lenders: With extreme housing market conditions and more competition than ever, you might be looking for ways to replace lost revenue. That’s why the experts at Matic Insurance, a digital insurance agency built for the mortgage industry, created a free guide to help you differentiate your mortgage process, stand out to borrowers, and close loans faster. You’ll get insights on what modern borrowers are looking for and actionable steps you can take to deliver exceptional value and create loyal customers. Better yet, you’ll learn how implementing these simple steps can help you drive revenue, increase pull-through rates, and decrease loan cycle times. Download the guide here. Matic’s embedded insurance solutions were built for mortgage lenders and LOs. Through our network of 40+ A-rated insurance carriers, we help your customers save time and money by matching them with the right policy. Contact us for information on partnership opportunities.

Rocket Pro TPO is ready to help you increase your product knowledge, originate more efficiently, and exceed the expectations of your clients and referral sources with the industry’s most elite training program – Pro Performance. Rocket has customized a program just for brokers to create live virtual trainings to take your business to the next level. This world-class training will fall under three pillars. SALES: The Rocket training team will help loan officers sell different products, overcome rate and shopping-around objections best use mortgage calculators and amortizations schedules to paint vision. PLATFORM: brokers can learn how to best use Rocket’s technology, tools, and products to help their clients. ALL ACCESS: contact your AE to get sign up for an exclusive, in-person experience at Rocket’s Detroit offices where brokers can learn about the company’s history and culture, experience in-person trainings, and meet the leadership team and other successful brokers. The first training, focused on debt consolidation refis, is on January 27. Contact your AE or go to RocketProTPO.com/training for more details.

This week, XINNIX announced the promotion of Michael “Go-To” Norton from EVP to President. In his new role, Norton will oversee XINNIX’s Sales, Marketing, Training, Client Success and Product Development as well as business strategies and goals set to help grow the company. Read more here. In other exciting news, XINNIX EDGE™ graduates in 2021 exceeded expectations with a more than 61% lift in production within 90 days of starting the program. The Program, which equips experienced loan officers and producing branch sales managers with sales and marketing strategies and tactical solutions to grow purchase production in ANY market, was designed to lift production of an experienced LO by 40% within 90 days of starting the program. For more information on the EDGE™ Program, visit XINNIX online or schedule a call with a XINNIX Account Executive today.

We’ve been talking to leading LOs and getting their ideas about production challenges in 2022. Every one of them is doubling down on their Realtor outreach. They know that Realtor relationships are king. Now is a great time to remind your partners of the ways you can add value to them. You should find out how you can use your CRM to tap data intelligence and utilize SmartScore™ technology to build your referral machine. You’re going to need it this year. Supercharge your Realtor Relationships with SmartScore™ – tech that helps you determine which clients in your database are most likely to purchase in the coming months – so you can refer purchase business to your Realtor! Demo Usherpa SmartScore™ today.

Attending MBA’s Independent Mortgage Bankers Conference next week? Maxwell will be showcasing its suite of mortgage solutions, and the team would love to meet you. Maxwell provides local lenders solutions that address the entire mortgage process, including point of sale, processing workflow technology, outsourced fulfillment and QC/due diligence, and secondary market trading. Lenders can utilize these solutions a la carte or together as a powerful mortgage optimization platform. Plus, Maxwell employs a team of experienced veterans who understand industry challenges and partner with forward-looking lenders to find innovative solutions. Maxwell will be demoing its solutions at IMB on January 24-27 and we’d love to meet with you. Email meetmax@himaxwell.com to schedule a meeting or click here to learn more about Maxwell’s solutions.

Webinars today


Join MCT and NAMMBA today at 10 a.m. PT for a webinar about Driving Profitability with Secondary Marketing Strategies. In this webinar, MCT’s Justin Grant will join NAMMBA’s Tony Thompson to examine key business strategies, operations, and technology that amount to over 100 basis points of potential improvement to margins based on the experience of lenders who have put them to use. Learn how to improve profitability through these strategies that have been identified through studying the trends of the secondary market, such as digitizing and automating manual processes, taking advantage of software like BAM Marketplace, and managing your secondary exceptions. Register today for the webinar at 10 a.m. PT and join MCT’s newsletter to be notified of future events and webinars.

American football was invented in 1882, but huddling up between plays didn’t become commonplace until 1894 when Gallaudet University’s deaf QB, Paul Hubbard, implemented the practice as a way to prevent his opponents from watching his ASL and anticipating the next play. Like Hubbard did to the game of football, mortgage professionals hope to innovate the mortgage industry with fresh new ideas. At noon ET today, Sales Boomerang’s Alex Kutsishin and Transformational Mortgage Solutions’ David Lykken will tackle the subject of purchase market-crushing tools and strategies with industry power players Katherine Campbell from Assurance Financial and Michael Guidotti from American Pacific MortgageRegister now and huddle up with these industry experts.

Join Josh Friend and me at 1PM ET, 10AM PT, for a look at what is in store for the mortgage industry in 2022.

Customer satisfaction: Job #1


A lot of lenders have made a New Year’s resolution to do more purchase business in 2022. Unfortunately, resolve will only get you so far: Did you know that 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by mid-February? Turning a broad vision into an executable strategy takes a lot of small steps. In other words, the question lenders and originators should be asking themselves is not “How do I change my overall focus to purchase loans?” but rather “What daily changes do I need to make that will compound, pick up momentum, and propel us towards purchase success in 2022?”  In his January Customer Experience Tip, STRATMOR Group’s Mike Seminari suggests small-but-powerful habits that will help lenders and originators thrive in a tough market in 2022. Don’t miss “What New Habits Will Bring you Purchase Success in 2022?”

Capital markets


Despite inflationary fears and talk of shrinking volumes, yesterday saw the release of better-than-expected housing starts and building permits for December. Housing starts rose 1.4 percent month-over-month to 1.7 million units on an annualized basis. Building Permits ticked up 9.1 percent month-over-month to come in at 1.87 million. Increases were driven by multi-unit dwellings, meaning that despite beating expectations, housing starts are still too low to make up for the supply shortage as single-unit starts were down 2.3 percent and single-unit permits were up just 2.0 percent with little to no growth in the two largest homebuilding regions (the South and the West). However, rising mortgage rates, labor costs, and commodity prices (lumber is up 85 percent over the last three months) have helped erode builder confidence. “Higher material costs and lack of availability are adding weeks to typical single-family construction times,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke. “NAHB analysis indicates the aggregate cost of residential construction materials has increased almost 19 percent since December 2020.”

Today’s economic calendar is already underway with weekly jobless claims (up to 286k, continuing claims 1.635 million) and Philadelphia Fed manufacturing (+7.8 to +23.2). Later this morning brings December existing home sales, which will be followed by Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey and a Treasury auction of $16 billion 10-year TIPS. The Desk will purchase up to $3.4 billion of conventional MBS while today’s Treasury purchase operation will target $1.6 billion 10- to 22.5-year coupons. After Treasury yields rallied for the first time in a week yesterday, we begin the day with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged as is the 10-year yielding 1.83 percent.

There’s a man trying to cross the street. As he steps off the curb a car comes screaming around the corner and heads straight for him. The man walks faster, trying to hurry across the street, but the car changes lanes and is still coming at him.
So the guy turns around to go back, but the car changes lanes again and is still coming at him. By now, the car is so close and the man so scared that he just freezes and stops in the middle of the road. The car gets really close, then swerves at the last possible moment and screeches to a halt right next him.
The driver rolls down the window. The driver is a squirrel.

The squirrel says to the man, “See, it’s not as easy as it looks, is it?”

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, “Opening the Door to Consumer Direct” about the pros and cons of the CD channel. 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 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.)

Rob Chrisman