July 18: National Broker Day; letter about current lender concerns; vendor updates; Saturday Spotlight: Sales Boomerang
On a side note, a lot of people ask how I can write six commentaries a week. At first, I thought they were impressed by my industry, but lately the question has taken on a different inflection, along the lines of, “WHY do you put out six commentaries a week, each one about 2,300-2,500 words in length?” The reason I write six is that it’s easier than writing, say, three. When you do three, they have to be pretty good, maybe even checked and double checked. When you do six and produce a mediocre commentary you hope that some nice people out there are saying, “Ol’ Rob was pretty bad today but he’ll probably have a decent one tomorrow.” These nice people have been saying that for many years now and tomorrow never comes! On with the show.
Saturday Company Spotlight
This week we highlight Sales Boomerang’s focus on the founding, growth, employee mentoring in a work from home environment, entrepreneurship, and charity work.
In 3-5 sentences, describe Sales Boomerang (when was it founded and why, what it does, where, recent growth, and plans for near-term future growth). The company slogan “No Borrower Left Behind” was born from a time in 2015 when Alex Kutsishin, Co-founder of Sales Boomerang and CEO, consulted at a mortgage marketing company, and learned that only 10% of leads were converted into loans. When informed those remaining leads were flushed from the system he was stunned. “Those leads were asked to fix their credit score and apply for a loan at a later date. I couldn’t believe they were being discarded.”
Sales Boomerang notifies Lenders when a Borrower is ready for a loan. The company’s suite of alerts track borrower creditworthiness, equity in their home, debt levels, and all the pieces of information that go into the making of a loan. The company is experiencing meteoric growth, because of the value it is providing to clients, who experience a 24X average ROI. The next evolution of Sales Boomerang turns to Prescriptive Scenarios, which take into account the full picture of a borrower, and matches the best loan the specific lender should offer them. These are smart loan scenarios designed to identify the ideal loan for each borrower. It is an industry game changer.
Tell us about company culture and what type of volunteer work employees are encouraged to engage in, or charities your company supports, and why. Sales Boomerang is currently working with a non-profit organization, TurnAround. TurnAround is an organization that provides support services to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and sex trafficking. Our team is looking forward to (once it’s safe) helping out and giving back to our community. Some of the ways we plan on giving back are planting trees in surrounding neighborhoods, helping out at local food banks, and continuing to make monetary donations to help those in need.
Tell us how your company maintains its culture in the office, or in a work-from-home environment if applicable. Sales Boomerang is committed to enriching the lives of our team members and growing together. Our company engages in daily conversations and weekly virtual check-ins that include both work and non-work-related topics. We are committed to supporting, uplifting, and celebrating each individual on our team. We join together to do mental and physical team exercises
What is your company most proud of that doesn’t have to do with sales? Our company is most proud of the love and respect we share for each other.
Is there anything else you’d like to share along these lines? Employee quote: “I personally am beyond grateful to be a part of a team that has so much passion and dedication. The level of commitment from each member of the team is truly inspirational.”
(For more information on having your firm featured, contact Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt.)
National Broker Day
Today is the Third Annual National Mortgage Brokers Day! Brokers have been responsible for closing nearly 25% of the mortgage volume in the first half of this year and have continued to be a bright spot in the economy. At the height of the pandemic when many industries were dropping workers from their payrolls, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported mortgage brokers added 1,100 full-time jobs in May. From May 2019 to May 2020, 8,500 new mortgage broker jobs were added to the economy. Mortgage professionals are encouraged to use the hashtags #brokersarebetter and #nmbd in their social media postings and download shareable graphics here.
On lender’s minds
STRATMOR Group’s Jeff Babcock has a ringside seat to what is going on in our biz, and he sent a note this week on current conditions. “How is mortgage industry management dealing with the subjective issues like prolonging employees working from home, plans for returning to the office, teamwork in this volume-overload climate and the possible fraying of corporate cultures? STRATMOR asked these questions and more while conducing two (remote of course) regional MBA Executive Forums: One with the Colorado Mortgage Lenders Association in early June and the other last week with California Mortgage Bankers Association.
“Assuming the collective response of these 30 mortgage company executives is a reasonable sample, there were a handful of takeaways which provide a fresh perspective on the unique management challenges engendered by the pandemic. It’s important to note that these forums were conducted 30 days apart. During this one-month span, origination market conditions transitioned from optimistic to outright euphoric. When asked to describe in a single word the current mortgage banking environment, the Colorado group responded with ‘overwhelmed, scared, crazy, transformative, anxious and unprecedented.’ Thirty days later, the California group expressed their feelings as ‘epic, robust, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, profitable and dynamic.’
“Remote work was top of mind for all. When asked about their favorite element of working remote, the most cited benefits were ‘informal dress code,’ ‘no commute,’ and, ‘proximity to family.’ (Reconnecting with pets was a close fourth).
“Although everyone seems to have adjusted to and is enjoying working remotely, forum participants cited a handful of negatives, from social isolation such as ‘difficulty sustaining culture,’ to ‘challenging to train green employees,’ and, ‘uneven internet connectivity.’ Productivity appears to be up across all functions, and this factor has enabled many lenders to exceed their loan closing capacity (‘staff doesn’t have much else to do’). Burnout was cited across the board as the most compelling management challenge, and it was noted that this issue is compounded by diminished summer vacation plans.
“Plans for orchestrating employee returns to the office were uniformly slow and cautious with some lenders delaying any returns until 2021. Most anticipate a combination of continuing remote with occasional days back in the office.
“When asked about pandemic-related pain points in operations, staffing was the most frequently cited issue. Other pain points cited were changing investor guidelines, capacity strains causing origination errors and developing effective communications/connectivity across the organization.
“The message here? Record production volume and unprecedented prosperity are masking some fundamental go-forward risks. If you believe that corporate cultural is the secret sauce that binds your human capital and is critical to your success, it’s time to pay extra attention to these subjective risks. Mortgage company senior management are confronting challenges for which they have minimal experience, including maintaining corporate culture in a scattered organization, encouraging work/life balance in a climate where there are few recreational options, upgrading effective communication skills within a remote organization, and avoiding the temptation to throw people at capacity constraints while preparing for the reality that this fantastic cycle is not a permanent condition.”
Jeff’s comments wrapped up with, “When ‘normalcy’ returns, the actions lenders take today in regard to their people and culture should soften the distress of the next downcycle.”
Playing catch up on a sample of vendor news
This week Karen Deis and her business partner, Jenna Lindseth have transferred ownership of www.MortgageGirlfriends.com to Cyndi Garza, a long-time mortgage girlfriend and VP of the National Retail Western Division for Union Home Mortgage. Cyndi Garza is an owner of multiple businesses, a speaker, a trainer, and executive coach. Cyndi’s coaching career began when she joined a national mortgage firm to build a sales team in Michigan. Cyndi is the founder of Optimized Success, a coaching and training company with a focus on helping women find success in business and to rapidly grow in their business and mindset. Karen will continue to promote the hiring of more mortgage women speakers for both live and virtual events thru www.MortgageWomenSpeakers.com.
Credit Plus announced that it is an Authorized Report Supplier for its income and employment verifications which are now accessible through Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriter (DU) validation service. Electronic verifications of income and employment are available from Credit Plus through The Work Number. Manual verification of income and employment is also available and to ensure the data is accurate, Re-verifications can also be performed just before closing to ensure that the applicant is still employed. The DU validation service streamlines and automates the origination process, eliminating unnecessary documentation requirements right from the start which helps increase speed, quality and efficiency while reducing the risk for errors.
Mitek and KYS-Tech have partnered to bring Mitek’s Mobile Verify to the KYS-Tech remote online notary platform (RON). This solution enables companies to meet the most stringent eNotary documentation standards across all industries. In response to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, many states have issued emergency measures allowing notaries to perform remote online notarizations. At the same time, Congress is pushing to pass the new Standardization and Secure Notarization Act. This act would authorize every notary in the U.S. to perform remote online notarizations as companies turn to digital services in the wake of social distancing regulations under COVID-19. KYS-Tech services can virtually notarize any file online, reducing the time and cost required to execute company documents. If they prefer, companies can also continue to use their own notaries, a collaboration option unique to the industry.
IDS announced it has expanded the capabilities of its eClose platform to include eNotes. Recently branded as Solitude Solution, the platform’s eClosing capabilities allow lenders and borrowers to execute loans digitally. Solitude Solution offers midnight automation capabilities, allowing documents to be sent to the borrowers early for review and automatically become active for eSign on the closing date. Additionally, Solitude Solution is built to deliver documents to the appropriate parties, ensuring that borrowers and settlement agents only see the documents they are required to acknowledge, sign, or review.
NotaryCam Founder and CEO Rick Triola hailed the efforts of the American Land Title Association (ALTA), Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and National Association of Realtors (NAR) to provide guidance and standardization for states seeking to temporarily authorize the use of remote online notarization (RON) for real estate closings. To date, all but seven states have some form of RON legislation or executive order in effect. The MBA has developed a RON Resource Center, which includes the model executive order as well as a sample letter for governors explaining the benefits of RON and an FAQ on the model state executive order.
Persado has signed a long-term agreement with Mr. Cooper to help customers uncover more cost-effective options when managing their finances. Based on early testing, Persado’s multi-channel engagement delivered a 74% average conversion lift, including helping Mr. Cooper’s customers turn on paperless communications in a “go green” initiative and discover new ways to refinance at lower rates. As priorities shift due to the current pandemic and market conditions, AI-based language can be used for all forms of communication, including helping Mr. Cooper better convey forbearance options, set up payment plans and keep their customers engaged during this difficult time. By coupling a customer-centric approach with data-driven analytics, Mr. Cooper is helping their customers take proactive action toward managing their finances when they need it most.
Plaza Home Mortgage now accept remote online notarization (RON) for purchase and refinance loans in its Wholesale and Correspondent channels for eligible Fannie Mae® and Freddie Mac purchase and refinance loans. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac accept RON in a majority of states and where county jurisdictions accept electronic filing of closing documents.
Mutual customers of SimpleNexus and Optimal Blue can now run pricing scenarios and request rate locks directly from the SimpleNexus mobile or web application. “To handle today’s unprecedented level of activity, lenders need to leverage integrations that create efficiencies and make rate locking processes more scalable and effective” explained Optimal Blue VP of Marketing and Strategic Alliances Bob Brandt. “Optimal Blue’s integration with SimpleNexus puts accurate mortgage rates at the fingertips of borrowers and loan officers, no matter what device they’re using.”
For over 14 years, MBA has recommended participating in the annual Residential Mortgage Banking Compensation Survey Program to its members. “This exceptional market research tool allows firms to develop and implement their individual compensation strategies. We are pleased that the program will continue to be designed and administered by world-class compensation advisory firm McLagan, a part of Aon plc.”
Most children threaten at times to run away from home. This is the only thing that keeps some parents going. (Phyllis Diller)
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, “Mortgage Outlook: What if it is Cloudy?”, focused on the current political climate. If you have the 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. This newsletter is designed 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 2020 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.)