As we head toward the Autumnal Equinox on 9/22, places like Seattle and Minneapolis are losing four minutes of sunlight a day. Something else that is losing ground almost as quickly are monthly rents in expensive, crowded cities like San Francisco and urban New York. Six months ago I don’t recall anyone predicting a flight from urban cores and a corresponding increase in housing values in outlying areas. If you can work from home, and the kids are going to school (hopefully temporarily) over the internet, why live somewhere you don’t want to live? And then the question is, “New or used?” New homes account for biggest share of U.S. sales in 12 years. Americans rushing to take advantage of historically low mortgage rates are finding few previously owned homes to choose from because listings are so scarce. A growing share of buyers are turning to homebuilders, which are now left with a four-month supply of properties, the lowest since 2013. Your place doesn’t have to be bougie!
Careers & transitions
A national, privately held mortgage lender, seeks an experienced SVP, Consumer Direct, (CD), responsible for the build-out and growth of a newly formed lending division, with proven track record of revenue generation and management of a Profit/Loss (P&L). The position requires effective sales and management skills with the “know-how” to develop and present strategic growth plan for all aspects of the new platform, with focus on digital technology platforms, process, customer service, unit cost efficiency, and retention of a strong fulfillment team. The position requires a minimum of 15 – 20 years’ experience managing a CD platform, sales leadership, and originating loans. Proficiency in Encompass, MS Office Word, Excel, Outlook, Teams, etc. Experience with CRM’s and any other technology that would allow for an efficient process for consumers and staff. Competitive compensation and wide range of benefits plan. Send confidential resume to Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt.
“Trinity Oaks Mortgage continues to lead the way in today’s digital marketplace by partnering with tech leaders FormFree and SimpleNexus to deliver the most hassle-free loan experience for customers (AND our Originators!). By empowering our sales and ops teams with the latest technology, we are streamlining the application process for our customers, cutting down on processing time, decreasing time to close and ultimately creating raving customers for life. If you spend more time apologizing for delayed closings than you do thanking your customers for their 5-star reviews, we should talk. Contact Todd Reynolds for more information.”
Nationwide Mortgage Bankers, operating as NMBNOW.COM, was ranked No. 8 on the 2020 Inc. 5000. For the 2nd time in a row, NMBNOW.COM appears on the Inc. 5000; in 2019, they were ranked 51. This is the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies and represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment: independent small businesses. “NMBNOW becoming the #8 fastest growing company and the #1 fastest growing mortgage company two years in a row would not have been possible without every person in the organization collaborating and supporting each other,” Jodi Hall, President of NMBNOW, states. “We are building an organization on our core values, and Inc 5000 is proof that we have the most passionate, driven, dedicated, and innovative employees not only in the mortgage industry but in the country and across all sectors.”
Attracting Operations talent is big news in the industry lately. “Joining Thrive is absolutely the best career move I have ever made.” This is the most common sentiment expressed by new Ops Team Members after their first few months with the company. After laying an incredible foundation of best-of-breed technology solutions, perfecting its Quality & Efficiency workflow, and building one of the best leadership teams in the industry, Thrive Mortgage is crushing production numbers and is positioned to maintain this growth for years to come. “Our Operations Staff is unmatched. We simply have the best people across all our teams,” stated Selene Kellam, COO for Thrive. “When you have great leadership, it simply breeds a culture of excellence from the top down.” To inquire about open positions within Thrive, contact Jamal Chubb or Josh Harvith to begin a conversation. You can also visit us at Join.ThriveMortgage.com to learn more.
Gateway First Bank’s Board of Directors has appointed Scott Gesell as Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel. Prior to becoming CEO, he was Gateway’s Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel. Gesell has served as interim CEO since April. Gesell has been an integral part of Gateway, leading the merger with a 100-year-old community bank. The company is now poised to go from being a mortgage company to a full-service regional bank with a national mortgage. In addition, Gateway is on pace to fund over $10 billion in mortgages this year which is far and away a new record. Under his leadership, Gateway has shown remarkable commitment to high-level service despite turning most of Gateway’s1459 team members into a remote workforce. “Gateway has an amazing team, and it’s an honor to serve alongside them,” said Gesell. “Together, we’ll continue to deliver the best services to our customers in a compliant and efficient manner. I am excited about what the future brings for Gateway, its customers, communities and team members.”
Verity Global Solutions has brought on Chetan Patel as COO. Patel has over 25 years of mortgage industry leadership experience and co-founded MortgageHub.com, which was rebranded to ISGN. “Patel plans to grow the company from 600 employees to more than 3,000 over the next 24 months.”
Lender products & services
When the market is booming, competitive differentiation is more crucial than ever. As the high volume persists and the market remains saturated, lenders must find ways to sharpen their competitive edge and loudly articulate their differentiators to continue their success when volume slows, and normalcy returns. A new eBook from the digital mortgage platform, Maxwell titled, “The Case for Outsourced Fulfillment,” goes into detail of how leading lenders are highlighting their strategic advantages and most valuable assets while providing a higher-quality experience to borrowers. An excellent read for all lending managers and professionals. Download your free copy here.
TCF is now accepting HELOC submissions for simultaneous close purchase transactions. “Our experienced Home Equity Solutions team is excited and ready to meet our customers’ individual needs through competitive rates and a personalized approach. Contact us at [email protected] to get started or visit our website at tcfbank.com/brokerloans to view rates, current guidelines, and other helpful resources.” ©2020 TCF National Bank. Equal Opportunity Lender. Equal Housing Lender. Member FDIC. For approved brokers only. All loans are subject to credit approval.
Sales Boomerang notifies mortgage lenders when someone in their database is ready for a loan. ‘Look at the opportunity cost you have by not having Sales Boomerang. Last year we closed over $72M in loans that we would have lost from not having Sale Boomerang.’ (Stephen Barton, Eustis Mortgage) ‘In the first 4 months we took in $180M in applications and we have about 100 LOs. That is a significant impact to our business. My top performing LO attributes 25% of her business to Sales Boomerang alerts.’ (Katherine Campbell, Assurance Financial) ‘Sales Boomerang gives us a conversion that is 2 ½ times better than our normal conversions.’ (Tim Lewis, Castle and Cooke) The numbers speak for themselves: 20x Avg. ROI, $240 Avg Cost Per Acquired Loan, 10-20% Avg Lift to Loan Volume. Want to see exactly how much you lost this year? Request your report today. We will show you which competitor took your deal, what was the loan amount, what type of loan it was, the term and much more.
Vendor & LOS news: unabated
Who/what is wemlo? I’d never heard of it until RE/MAX Holdings, parent of Motto Mortgage, bought this provider of third-party mortgage loan processing services.
On Tuesday Insellerate is offering up “Process Automation In a High Velocity Organization” at 10AM PT. “In today’s rapidly changing lending environment, it is critical to identify solutions that are working and producing actual results for lenders. Pipelines are full; employees are working remotely, and communicating with your prospective borrowers is more critical than ever.”
Altisource’s Vendorly has signed a reseller agreement with risk management company Secure Insight to help protect Vendorly clients against wire fraud, a key risk to the lending and banking industries.
United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) announced the arrival of Blink+ which now offers loan officers a point of sale (POS), loan origination system (LOS) and customer relationship manager (CRM) all-in-one package. For example, brokers can integrate Blink+ into their website, email signature, social media pages and will receive an automatic notification every time a borrower submits an application. The LOS can generate disclosure packages quickly, preset fees so they will automatically transfer over to EASE, create mortgage call reports that can be exported into Excel so it’s audit or compliance-ready, run credit, e-sign documents, verify assets, upload and download conditions and more.
Kind Lending LLC, a new wholesale lender and mortgage banking company led by Glenn Stearns, chose Docutech’s ConformX and Solex Platforms to streamline processing.
Glenn Stearns, founder and CEO of Kind Lending, LLC, stated, “Docutech’s legacy in the industry, coupled with their spirit of innovation and collaboration, aligns perfectly with our mission to deliver a new and refreshing experience to the mortgage community and their customers.”
Built is launching a tool that allows lenders to track construction projects in counties where an open FEMA disaster declaration is in effect or was reported in the last three years. Currently, 2% of loans in Built’s system totaling nearly $300 million in construction projects have been impacted.
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, a long-time Tavant customer, deployed FinXperience Broker to provide its ever-expanding broker network a seamless digital lending process with improved loan fulfillment efficiencies, faster speed-to-market, enhanced communication capabilities, streamlined experience, and significantly lower costs per loan.
a la mode released a new, free tool, PropertyAssist, designed to help appraisers retrieve information safely from homeowners straight into their Workfile during this COVID-19 situation. a la mode is offering a free trial along with its desktop and cloud-based tools that also included full access to its support and training.
Mortgage lenders currently using the OptifiNow platform can utilize DoublePositive outbound calling services due to the recent integration between the two companies. This joining provides accelerated customer acquisition utilizing DoublePositive’s eight domestic call centers.
Wyndham Capital Mortgage is in production with AI Foundry’s Agile Mortgages solution to leverage the cognitive robot’s mortgage expertise to accelerate its loan origination process.
The AI-based solution will help Wyndham Capital Mortgage improve scale on new loan volume, lower costs to pass savings onto the consumers and remove menial work from operations employees. Agile Mortgages is being successfully used by banks and other lenders to dramatically improve the speed of back-office mortgage processing while improving accuracy by reducing loan defects.
A while back Cherry Creek Mortgage Company and Yext announced their continued partnership to enhance CCMC’s company’s website with Yext Answers. The advanced natural language processing behind Yext Answers will equip CCMC’s website with a modern search solution capable of understanding complex customer questions about the company’s 325+ mortgage loan officers, over 200 loan programs, and more. Answers will return dynamic, official answers to each search query, including featured snippets answering common loan program questions and custom calls-to-action such as getting directions to a branch or scheduling an appointment with a loan officer.
“Risk-off” was the name of the game yesterday. Despite a better-than-expected weekly initial claims report, Treasury yields fell throughout the day as tech stocks and equities in general took a beating. Part of the decline in unemployment claims may be due to a shift implemented this week in the way the Department of Labor adjusts these data for seasonality, so yesterday’s figures are not directly comparable to prior weeks. Regardless of the change in statistical methodology, initial claims remain historically elevated; that is without including an additional 759,000 claims filed under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, an increase of 152,000 from the prior week.
Continuing jobless claims continue to vary greatly by region. The states and territories with the highest insured unemployment rates were Hawaii (18.6 percent), Nevada (16.4 percent), California (16.3 percent), and New York (15.2 percent). These are areas that experienced more severe initial Covid-19 outbreaks or implemented stricter shutdowns, along with areas that are more reliant on tourism. In contrast, more sparsely populated states that were hit less severely initially and implemented fewer shutdowns tend to have lower rates; the lowest states currently being Idaho and South Dakota, each with an insured unemployment rate of 2.2 percent.
Let’s turn to today’s economic calendar. August Nonfarm Payrolls (1.4 million, as expected), Nonfarm Private Payrolls (+968k), Unemployment Rate (8.4 percent, down from 10.2 percent), Hourly Earnings (+.4 percent), workweek (34.6 hours). According to Black Knight’s McDash Flash Forbearance Tracker, as of September 1, 3.8M mortgages remain in active COVID-19 related forbearance plans, representing 7.1 percent of all active mortgages, down from 7.4 percent the prior week. Of these, 75 percent have had their terms extended. Active forbearances are now down about 21 percent since the peak in May. The Desk will conduct just two MBS purchase operations totaling up to $3.9 billion today, starting with $987 million UMBS15 1.5 percent and 2 percent followed by $2.9 billion UMBS30 2 percent and 2.5 percent. After the decent monthly employment data Agency MBS prices are down/worse a solid .125 and the 10-year is yielding .68 after closing yesterday at 0.62 percent.
(Thank you to Stephen S. for this one.)
Little Johnny, instead of an apple, would daily bring his new teacher a pretzel from his uncle’s bakery. She always thanked Little Johnny but one day she said, “These pretzels are very good but do you think your uncle could make them with no salt?”
Every day afterwards the pretzel was salt free. After a while, the teacher felt she was making too much extra work for Little Johnny’s uncle to make them without salt especially for her.
“Little Johnny, I hope your uncle is not going to any great time to prepare the pretzel without salt?”
“Oh no,” replied Little Johnny, “he doesn’t make them without salt. I lick the salt off.”
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, “No One is Standing Over Anyone’s Shoulder”, focused on managing remote employees.
(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.)