Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fear The "Robo"

As rates remain low and volume high, I'm starting to question whether independent mortgage bankers should be weary of the "Robo." In this case, it's not the Robo-signer but it may be the Robo-processor or closer, post-closer, even secondary analyst. With so many departments running at max capacity, many managers and owners are looking for coverage and help in numerous areas of their firm. I'm not saying bankers are out collecting resumes from your nearest Supercuts or Walmart (I sure hope not!!!) but the term "Robo" really refers to anyone who simply goes through the motions without REALLY understanding what they're doing and what the consequences may be. Unfortunately I think just about every firm out there in loan land has some Robo's of their very own.

In busy times, hiring, and re-allocating staff is a necessity. Training is key, but too often people are thrown in for some "on-the-job" training. How many of these people turn in to "Robo's?" It's self inflicted pain here - how sad.

Regardless of the department, it's extremely important to ensure each department is not just staffed with enough bodies, but the right bodies!!!

Whether it's clear and intentional, like the servicers were with their "foreclosure experts" or unintentional when bankers are trying to handle spikes in volume, the Robo-anything is just as dangerous.

Be careful, and oh yeah - where's Robo-Cop when you need him?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Death Of Wholesale?

If a wholesale channel closes in a forest and everyone is too busy to care, does it make a sound? Does anyone hear it? It sure does and I hear it loud and clear.

BoA is out, gone, done, finished with wholesale. Of the large lenders, that leaves Wells Fargo to stand alone. And how long are they going to allow themselves to be picked off? How much market share do they want from this channel? Bottom line is no lender wants to be left standing alone and it's likely only a matter of time before Wells announcement comes. That'll leave the "tier 2" lenders to dominate the space, good luck! This decision by BoA could be just the first domino to fall for the wholesale channel.

And what's to become of the talent currently working in wholesale? Here's a hint - some opportunistic bankers are going to win the lottery...as long as they're quick and have a strong gameplan to integrate these originators and their volume. Most are too busy and focused on the refi boom to hear the BOOM that hit the industry last week.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Paperless Top 10

Are you paperless? It's a seemingly simple question these days, often met with a quick "yes" or "of course." If being honest, most should answer with a hesitant "kinda"

To what degree are you paperless? Are you optimizing efficiencies and minimizing costs?

Here's a Top 10 to get you thinking about "Going Paperless"

10. Most, if not all LOS systems are equipped to promote a true paperless environment; we're talking cradle to grave!
9. All documents can be stored in one central location with security permissions depending on individual roles.
8. All users refer to the same documents - duplicate and updated documents are streamlined, in real time, to all users.
7. Savings, Saving, Savings - who doesn't like savings? Save money and time while limiting error, stress and aggravation.
6. E-disclosures - As compliance regulations intensify, do you really want the responsibility of sending 40 page documents to clients at various stages of the process?
5. Efficiency - A true paperless environment will undoubtedly improve overall efficiency by all users and allow owners to expect more and set more aggressive minimum standards.
4. Don't be dated! Paper files were so 2006 - lump paper files in with subprime and handwritten 1003s. Don't be left behind as the industry and competition is moving forward.
3. Investors have updated their systems to accept paperless delivery which allows files to be reviewed and purchased more quickly - again, more savings! Oh, and there's even talk of HUD moving to paperless systems.
2. The environment - go green! Save the trees by saving money on paper and the shredding firms.
1. Conversion seems daunting but it's really not that hard, and we're here to help!