This Saturday is the autumn equinox – season-wise, we know what is on the way. “Rob, we, like everyone else, are watching the approaching winter, and higher rates, and wondering if there are ways to improve our financial picture without laying people off or cutting LO comp. Heard of anything?” This is going to sound like a paid ad, but it is not. I refer folks to Riivos (ex-Alight). It’s a cloud-based application for mortgage companies, regardless of size, that “integrates with your core systems (G/L, LOS, payroll, etc.) to show where your BPs are going, what actions you can take to improve profitability, and insight into how those decisions ripple through the company and increase P&L.” They specialize in “what if” scenarios. IMHO, and my words, not theirs, if using that keeps you from laying one shipper or post-closing doc person off, isn’t it worth it? (Contact Mike McFadden, Managing Director.)
Todd Duncan’s Sales Mastery Event in San Diego is less than three weeks away! Have you registered yet? Because when you attend Sales Mastery, what you’re really saying is… I AM committed to being my best version of me! I AM going to sharpen my skills! I AM going to add more value to my partners and borrowers! I AM going to be a GAME CHANGER in this industry! Make the commitment to be your best! Click here to register for Sales Mastery today and be entered in to win a one-year coaching contract valued at $14,000!
Is Lender Innovation Staying Ahead of Consumer Expectations? A recent survey of U.S. lending executives shows most lenders believe their company is more innovative than other companies. This raises critical questions: are lenders properly defining innovation? And are they comparing their innovation only to other lenders, or to other consumer companies that might one day become lenders? This must-attend webinar on 9/27 will explore the lender innovation curve running in parallel with the ever-increasing consumer expectations in the Amazon/Uber era. The discussion will be led by Julian Hebron, exec alum of loanDepot and Wells Fargo, and founder of The Basis Point, a sales/brand consultancy to the country's top fintech innovators. Joining him is Joshua Tatum, exec alum of SoFi and head of product development at Guaranteed Rate. Registration is now open.
MBA Education and MISMO are joining forces to host a webinar series providing institutions a roadmap for moving from paper to digital. Starting on October 2nd and wrapping up on October 4th, part I and II of the series will focus on the production and "e-closing" aspect of digital mortgages. Presenters will speak to what exactly an eClosing is and lay out a checklist for things you and your staff need to consider too help you move from pre-closing to post execution. Practitioners from lenders, document management firms, and eClosing platform providers will also be on hand to provide real world scenarios that they have encountered and recommendations on how to address potential challenges head on.
Don’t forget to register for the Colorado Mortgage Summit on Tuesday, October 2nd. With an incredible lineup of educational sessions, business opportunities, and networking events, it is curated specifically for the entrepreneurial men and women of the Colorado mortgage industry.
“Ask a Lender is going on hiatus. This is the hardest message we’ve ever had to share, but after long consideration and analysis of our network, Ask a Lender has decided to cease operations as of October 31, 2018 to re-evaluate the platform and focus on business development. First, we want to thank you for your business, your support, and most of all your trust. We helped thousands of borrowers connect directly with lenders and none of it would have been possible without your support. Any current advertisers on Ask a Lender will receive a pro-rated refund. Refunds will be automatically processed with a cancellation date of September 19, 2018. Advertisers can expect to receive a message with the exact amount of their refund along with the card information that it was refunded to…”
The U.S. economy is not doing poorly, so there isn’t much reason for long rates (like those that determine mortgage rates) to drop. But recently, Fed speakers have been reiterating the word “gradual” in their descriptions of the current approach to monetary tightening. The dual mandate from Congress dictates that the Fed should work to promote maximum employment as well as stable prices. Keeping those goals in mind, Fed president Jerome Powell has noted that the key risks of raising interest rates during an expansion are increasing too fast whereby you cut the expansion short or raising too slow and allowing uncontrolled inflation. This has led to the current 25 basis point increase in the Fed Funds rate at every other FOMC meeting and the expectations for two more increases to round out the year. But what about 2019 and beyond? The US economy accelerates and decelerates and rarely runs at the same steady consistent pace for prolonged periods. The current pace of job growth, which has driven the recent economic acceleration, is unlikely to be maintained through 2019 as there are currently more job openings than unemployed workers. Higher interest rates and labor shortages may eventually constrain the economy as business will have to spend more to keep expanding production. The Federal Reserve will likely need to slow the pace of rate hikes next year as it reaches the peak fed funds rate for this expansion.
To the surprise of no one rates have moved up, and Wednesday saw a continuation of a curve-steepening trade that has kicked in this week, led by the back end. It has the “Oh my gosh, we’re heading toward an inverted yield curve” pundits mum. Longer-dated securities, which are more inflation-sensitive, paced Wednesday's retreat which saw the 10-yr yield (3.08% yesterday) and the 30-yr yield flirt with their highs for the year. The 10-2 spread, which began the week at 21 basis points, now stands at 27 basis points, up from 26 basis points on Tuesday.
For scheduled releases this morning we’ve had initial jobless claims (201k, 48 year low – labor market is tight) and the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index (+10 to 22.9, whatever that means). Coming up are August existing home sales and leading indicators. Rates begin Thursday up versus last night: the 10-year is yielding 3.09%, agency MBS prices are worse a solid .125.
Lender Products and Services
Caliber Home Loans, Inc. CEO Sanjiv Das is a seasoned veteran of the mortgage industry, whose background includes over 30 years in financial services and executive leadership during the 2008 financial crisis. In an op-ed he penned this week, Das writes about his experience as a mortgage banking executive at the time and revisits the lessons he believes the industry has learned since then – and should remember in today’s challenging market. He says in the article, "With mortgage applications declining, executives have a choice to make: Should underwriting standards be lowered? When volume becomes the defining metric for how loan officers and mortgage companies get paid, then loan quality deteriorates — and we’ve seen how that movie ends. We in the industry should be mindful not to take shortcuts or return to suspect practices. Those who managed through the great financial crisis won't have to think twice about making the right decision."
Think you can’t afford an effective vendor management program? Think again! MQMR and HQVM executives Michael Steer and Erin Harris outlined several cost-effective strategies lenders can employ to improve their current vendor management program in a recent edition of MBA Insights. With the right combination of people and technology in place, MQMR’s vendor management division HQVM has helped lenders of all sizes across the nation create and execute vendor management programs that address their unique risk level while remaining in line with their budgets. Ready to address your vendor risk? Representatives from MQMR and HQVM will be at next week’s MBA RMQA Conference and MBA Annual in October. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org schedule a time to meet.
Looking for a Digital Mortgage PoS that doesn’t require up-front integrations or high monthly minimum costs? Lendsnap has now made their all-in-one Digital Mortgage point-of-sale system accessible to brokers and lenders just like you. Get started right away with our simple solution that includes an intelligent 1003, powerful eSignatures, and automatic import of bank statements, W2’s, pay stubs, and more. Lendsnap gives your clients a single place to apply, turn in documents and sign disclosures and consents on desktop or mobile devices. We can make you Day 1 Certainty Ready™ without changing how you underwrite. Lendsnap replaces many of the apps you pay for separately today and drops in to your existing workflow without complicated and costly integrations. Request a demo today to go digital with Lendsnap.
Jobs and Promotions
“Would you like the opportunity to sell the most disruptive technology in the mortgage industry space? If you are self-motivated, a team player, able to communicate clearly, and have sales and mortgage experience, Indecomm Global Services wants you. Indecomm is looking to hire a dynamic Sales Director to represent Indecomm’s SaaS technology platforms. If this sounds like something you are interested in, please email your resume to Linda Bomar.”
Roostify, one of the fastest growing fin-tech companies in the country, is expanding its team and looking for a Client Success Manager to interface with clients, ensuring they are successful with and delighted by Roostify. From the company's CEO, Rajesh Bhat, "It’s an exciting time to be at Roostify. We’ve rolled out at several top-tier national lenders, we’re expanding our platform capabilities to improve more parts of getting a loan, and we’ve just raised a $25M Series B with a round of prestigious investors to help us accelerate our growth and further capitalize on a fantastic market opportunity. We’re looking for creative, passionate people to help us get there." Apply directly through the website, or contact Roostify's Head of Recruiting, Ashley Burnstad.
“Planet Home Lending, LLC's new digital mortgage assistant, Skymore by Planet Home Lending™ speeds borrowers through the home loan process, freeing mortgage loan originators to focus on giving advice and counsel. The mobile-friendly app lets borrowers apply from any device, asks them only relevant questions, lets them share their screen with MLOs/processors, retrieves and submits financial statements, and provides loan status 24/7. MLOs and processors love that it sends a conditions list, ensures a complete application, and that borrowers can security send document images from their phones.” To find out how you can join Planet and get Skymore by Planet Home Lending™, call 888-792-8480 for a confidential consultation or email email@example.com.
“Top producers like you don’t go to work every day to lose money. Nor do you put in the work knowing that your efforts mean nothing. High producing MLOs and branch managers ENJOY working at Assurance Financial because they close more loans with the same amount of effort they were giving before, and they feel like their efforts are valued. Just ask one of our Senior Loan Officers: ‘I don’t even know what another company could say to recruit me away from Assurance. It’s a dream job in my opinion.’ That’s an actual quote from one of our senior MLO’s- and that could be you. Assurance Financial is a growing private full-service residential mortgage banker with offices throughout the South, East Coast, and the Midwest, and we may be just what you’re looking for.” Contact Paul M. Peters, CMB, (225-939-6353) for a confidential discussion today.