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6 Key Insights for Brokers to Grow Their Business

6 Key Insights for Brokers to Grow Their Business

HousingWire CEO Clayton Collins recently sat down with Phil Shoemaker, president of originations at Homepoint, to discuss the recent growth of the wholesale channel—and how it will continue the momentum. They were joined by three fast-growing independent mortgage brokers—Mike Kortas, CEO of NEXA Mortgage, Christine Smallwood, director of operations at United Financial Group, and Tacy Nichols, president of mortgage lending for Gapital Mortgage.

These leaders attribute their success to a thriving broker community and the power of optionality with wholesale lender partners. Today, they compete directly with large retail entities because they can offer low rates, customized client service, and a deep offering of loan products.

Here are six key insights for brokerages on how to achieve sustainable growth.

Deliver strong process and execution

Shoemaker said that while everyone in the business is doing well now, it's not the time to be complacent. He noted that when you have healthy margins, it can also hide inefficiencies. Companies that will succeed long-term will be the ones that maintain strong loan processes, work on lower-cost platforms, and have flexibility from an execution standpoint. That's why we've seen the growth in independent originators—the business model offers a lower cost structure and gives brokers broader access to product and service.

Smallwood said brokers should communicate with their wholesale partners about their wants and needs so they can help you raise the bar and maintain growth.

Focus on purchase business

Refinances are booming but they come and go; purchase business and strong referral partners are where you really build a business. Smallwood recommended positioning yourself as a mortgage advisor—not just a loan officer—and touting your optionality of taking loans to a range of wholesale lenders and how it creates customized solutions for purchase buyers.

Engage partners

Communicate with your real estate agent partners now so you continue to build your purchase business. Make sure they know all the options you can bring to the table and share your customer success stories to demonstrate your value. Nichols highlighted the importance of establishing a process for maintaining regular touchpoints with customers and partners—something she wished she had started earlier. Now she uses technology and systems to retain and foster those relationships over time.

Recruit talent and support loan officers

Recruiting and loan officer training is a constant need and opportunity, especially in today's market. As Kortas saw loan officers moving from retail to wholesale, he created a mentoring and coaching program designed to train new and onboard new loan officers.

Kortas also built a virtual platform with a full staff to efficiently deliver support, training, and coaching for his more than 750 loan officers. Plus, wholesale lender partners are integrated into the platform, helping further streamline the support and processes he provides. His prioritizes retaining top producers by delivering the level of support they need. And, if a loan officer ends up going out on their own later, Kortas' licensing team will assist because he knows it will make the overall broker community stronger.

Find a true wholesale partner

Seek out wholesale lender partners without a large competing retail division. They can focus on supporting your customer retention efforts because they aren't competing on the other side. Strong lender partners provide independent mortgage brokers with all the benefits of the retail channel plus low rates, ultimately helping the consumer win. You can also request the customized support you need—from analyzing funding and warehouse line options to reviewing specific loan scenarios.

Lean on the broker community

Leverage broker forums to gain best practices, ideas, and guidance as your business grows. Identify fellow brokers you can call for advice and help. The collaborative nature of the broker community fosters a uniquely supportive environment. It is the power of the broker community that will make everyone better, Kortas said.

Watch the HousingWire on demand webinar for more insights.

Not a partner yet? Find out how you can get started with Homepoint today.

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