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Joanne Mucino is a Sales Executive with Ticor Title of Nevada and the 2017 President of the Board of Directors of the Nevada Mortgage Lenders Association (NMLA)
Joanne Mucino is a Sales Executive with Ticor Title of Nevada and the 2017 President of the Board of Directors of the Nevada Mortgage Lenders Association (NMLA). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with Joanne regarding her work with this trade group.
 
How did you first become involved with the Nevada Mortgage Lenders Association? What was the path that led you to your leadership role in this organization?
About three years ago, one of my co-workers invited me to join the organization. I was brought in on the Events Committee, and after some time, I became Events Vice President. People who have a Vice President position become part of the Board of Directors. From there, I was chosen to become President.
 
What is the length of your term as President of the Board of Directors?
It is a one-year term. But I was talking to the Chairman of the Board of Governors recently to see if it would be possible to make it a two-year term. I feel that I am just getting started. This is really, really fun and rewarding, and I feel that I can do more good work.
 
How does your organization approach the legislative and regulatory environment?
NMLA has a Lobbyist, Marcus Conklin—a former majority leader of the Nevada Assembly—who gives us a voice in fighting for what is acceptable for lenders. The legislative and advocacy agenda is maintained by the NMLA’s Board of Governors. I am on the Board of Directors—you have to be a lender to be on the Board of Governors.
 
What do your duties entail?
I run the day to day operations. I’m mostly responsible for holding events, getting the word out on the NMLA. At some of our recent events, we had the FBI come in to talk about fraud, and a former local broadcaster who is also a financial consultant did an amazing presentation of how lenders have been affected by having Donald Trump as President. A couple of years ago, we did a mixer with candidates who were running for office, and that was a great forum for people to ask direct questions of their current and potential elected officials.
 
Can you tell us about NMLA’s membership?
We used to be two organizations. In January 2015, the Nevada Mortgage Bankers Association and the Nevada Association of Mortgage Professionals merged to become the NMLA. We have three levels of membership: Individual Membership; Affiliate Membership, which is available for all mortgage affiliates and industry providers; and Corporate Membership for residential originators and servicers. There are thousands of voices in our membership.
 
Are you seeing young people coming into the industry in pursuit of mortgage careers?
When I am out at lending institutions, I see a lot of young people. In my field, the title industry, we are very, very diverse. I am happy to see all ages represented there.
 
What is the housing market like in your state?
It is an amazingly active time in the state of Nevada. Overall sales are up, and there is a new housing boom again. I don’t know what the future will bring, but the year 2020 will be exciting when the Raiders will be here.
Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.
 
One of the phrases that boils the blood of a learning leader is when a manager nonchalantly states the reason for failure is that “it’s a training issue
One of the phrases that boils the blood of a learning leader is when a manager nonchalantly states the reason for failure is that “it’s a training issue.” When probing further, discussion proves that the root cause is many factors which may include ineffective training, but most commonly they include not setting clear objections and expectations, struggles with tools and technology, and lack of ability to demonstrate job fit. At the end of the day, declaring that it’s a “training issue” is an attempt by many managers to have training “fix it.”
 
In 20 years as a training leader, I have counseled leaders on how to create an effective training program. Training has a big role in executing the plan, but it takes all involved to ensure the process is sound. I use the ADDIE Model (Analysis, Design and Develop, Implementation, Evaluation) to create training, focusing on more than just the training event.
 
The ADDIE Model
The ADDIE Model breaks out each step of creating training. By following this model, you will create a program that is focused on the needs of the business, designed for adult learners with metrics in place to achieve success with your training. If any part of the process is broken, your training initiative will most likely fail.
 
Conducting a Needs Analysis is the beginning of the process. In this stage, the learning leader/trainer meets with the business owner to determine what needs to be trained. They discuss current state and expected future state. They are very focused on the specific behaviors when creating objectives.
 
Speaking of creating objectives, make sure they are clear and actionable. For example, “the salesperson will understand product guidelines” is not actionable … how do you prove whether they “understand?” A better objective might be “the salesperson will analyze a case study to identify whether or not it meets the product guidelines.” If you need help creating solid objectives, research “Bloom’s Taxonomy.”
 
Design and Develop are the next two steps. These are critical to planning the session and regularly tying the learning objectives back to the activities. There are a number of critical issues that should be addressed here, including not only the overall flow of the program (including activities), as well as all supporting documentation (PowerPoint deck, Job Aids, Quick Reference Guides, etc.). Instructional Design is a special skill that coordinates the objectives into action.
Implementation is the next step. This is the actual training delivery. The effectiveness of your training rises and falls on the facilitator’s shoulders. For too many years, people have been “promoted” to trainer because they wanted a change, it seemed like less work and the company didn’t know what else to do with them! If this is your approach, please reconsider. If the trainer is not seen as the expert, they have the same effect of a substitute teacher in a bad high school.
 
One of the most common mistakes I see in training delivery is the trainer’s need to be the “Sage on the Stage.” Because the trainer is usually a subject matter expert they tend to lead a one-way dialogue as if they were giving a college lecture. They share their knowledge and expect that through some miracle the knowledge will be transferred. They read slides, manuals and whatever else they have in front of them.
A better approach is to treat the participants as adult learners, those that you share the training experience. This is sometimes called “the Guide on the Side.” The focus is to show we are all in this together. Students have the opportunity to learn in a safe environment, by observing, discussing, and demonstrating desired skills and behaviors. The mood is more conversational, asking questions and identifying roadblocks (kind of sounds like sales, doesn’t it?!?).
 
Even if you have taken these four steps, you still have another one. A big one. The one that the CEO wants to know … Evaluation of results. Did this training increase sales calls? Did this training reduce processing time? Does this training keep the company compliant, lowering the cost of fees or fines?
 
Because measuring is hard to do in some cases, many training organizations simply don’t do it.  When training isn’t effectively measured, it’s just an event. Most companies use the results of a survey when looking at the effectiveness of a training event. “The participants liked the class,” they exclaim, adding “and they thought the trainer was good!” And that tells me almost nothing as a learning leader about the effectiveness of the program.
 
Kirkpatrick’s Model of Training Evaluation demonstrates deeper results, those which should be used to make business decisions. Level One is what I described above: commonly known in the industry as a “Smile Sheet.” This helps identify things that might get in the way of optimal learning (room too cold, instructor not prepared), but in and of itself, usually doesn’t help measure effectiveness.
 
Level Two is demonstrating how training drove behavior changes/process knowledge/technical proficiency and helped the learner meet the training objectives. You can demonstrate knowledge transfer by testing. This can be a written test (product or process knowledge) or observed behavior (teach-back or role play). Testing is most effective when it demonstrates how the learner will use their knowledge to do what they are trained to do.
 
The best measurement of training effectiveness: demonstration of the training on the job (Level III). Unfortunately, this takes time and history, and without focusing on the output, the business priorities can change and we forget to measure effectiveness.
 
For many years, I was the Chief Learning Officer at a large, well-respected mortgage company. Through regular testing and measurement, we identified that those at the “top of the class” in a new hire program were more likely to outperform their peers. And those whose scores put them at the back were not going to produce and were not going to stay. So what makes sense from a business standpoint? Hire more people who can score at the top of the class (or above a set number) and you will achieve more success.
 
We actually updated the hiring and training expectations, identified more ideal candidates and celebrated more production and less turnover due to how well we measured the program. And through regular review of the training results, we had one of the industry’s most successful sales teams. And due to the partnership with sales and the executives, we received many awards for achieving impact.
 
So, is it a “training issue” that you have? Or have you built a training team that has the ability to produce results? Whichever your situation, investing in a strong partnership with training will give you the lift that your business might need … and training will work. 
Nick Mantia is Vice President of Training at Angel Oak Companies, the management company for Angel Oak Mortgage SolutionsNick Mantia is Vice President of Training at Angel Oak Companies, the management company for Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions. In his 25-plus year career, he has contributed as a top retail Loan Officer and has personally trained many of the country’s top mortgage sales performers. He has been recognized by numerous publications as an expert training executive, a passionate leader, a learning professional that “gets it” and is a published author. Nick can be reached by phone at (855) 539-4910 or e-mail Nick.Mantia@AngelOakCapital.com.

This article originally appeared in the August 2017 print edition of National Mortgage Profesisonal Magazine. 

 
It’s no secret that the mortgage industry workforce is aging. The average Loan Originator has been in the business for a few decades now and is approaching their mid-50s. As a result, a large segment of our industry will be nearing retirement in the coming years. Since this older generation has been the bedrock of our workforce for so long, there will be a significant void left in the marketplace if lenders don’t begin planning for the future now. The industry is at a pivotal point where now more than ever lenders need to begin training tomorrow’s workforce today. And who is the future workforce? Millennials. They’re a key part of the industry’s continued success. They’re the largest living generation and they make up the largest share of American workers. Educating this massive age group is vital. Not only do they have attributes that make them ideal for a career in mortgage banking but since this generation ranges from 20 to 36, a good portion of them are entering their homebuying years. In fact, 42 percent of current homebuyers are Millennials, which is more than any other generation. If lenders want to attract this key consumer group, one of the best ways to engage them is by employing other Millennials because you have to have mirrors in the market; people who reflect the demographic you’re seeking to serve. But how do we begin educating Millennials to be our future mortgage professionals? It starts with not simply seeking to train them for a position that meets a momentary need, but rather identifying ways to attract them to the industry for the long haul.
 
On-the job training
Even though a college education isn’t needed to make it in mortgage banking, companies have to have a solid process for educating Millennials, if they’re going to be viable part of this workforce. Lenders cannot expect them to come equipped with prior training because many of them have never had a background in mortgage banking. That’s why if you want to ensure that your company has a quality team tomorrow, you have to take the initiative today to start building your own workforce.
 
Establishing a robust system to train beginners requires more than just giving them a casual introduction to the industry. It’s important that new recruits have the best chance for long-term success, which means you’ll have to equip them with the right combination of hands-on learning and classroom-style instruction. This next generation will need to have a solid understanding of industry guidelines just as much as they’ll need experience with preparing loan files and skills in dealing with customer objections.
 
One approach for providing this type of well-rounded education that has been highly effective for New American Funding has been to create an entry-level position that serves like a boot camp, giving employees intense on-the-job training. It’s tailored to equip them with real-world mortgage experience like handling customer calls and following up on leads. Once new employees successfully complete an introductory phase, they have the opportunity to enroll in our company’s Launch Lab, which is a newly built educational facility that grooms employees for a specific career path in the industry. The goal? When they’re finished, they should have acquired practical experience, become fully licensed, and be ready to assume a bigger role on our team.
 
Mentor young employees
Although attracting Millennials to your company begins the process of building your workforce, understanding how to retain them is key. That’s where mentorship plays a big role. One of the top three factors in retaining Millennials is providing them with the opportunity to continue learning and growing. Since Millennials care about ongoing professional development so must mortgage lenders if they want to keep them on their team. Many companies offer initial training, which is essential, but it’s the ongoing education that’s the difference maker for most Millennials. One way to provide that progressive education is through effective mentorship opportunities.
 
As employees begin a new position, initially placing them in a supportive role is a good avenue to initiate the mentorship process. It allows them to assist senior staff members with the workflow, which gives new talent the opportunity to take on a measure of responsibility, but it also creates an educational environment where they can still learn from more experienced employees. Additionally, when veteran mortgage professionals serve as mentors, it gives them a hardworking assistant, which frees up some of their time to focus on other top priorities. Ultimately, this learning dynamic creates a win-win scenario for both mentor and mentee.
 
Millennials want ongoing professional development because they want the opportunity to advance their career; therefore, establishing a continuous learning environment lets Millennials know that if they grow, they can move on from an entry level position to more senior level roles. When Millennials don’t see a clear path to move up in your company, they eventually move on to a different opportunity. That’s why it’s important to create a culture where mentorship is commonplace and easily accessible because it not only helps develop future leaders, but it ensures your ongoing success.
 
Understand the Millennial mindset
When you understand the Millennial mindset, then you understand what it takes to keep them on your team. This new generation has grown up in a digital age so they’re nimble with technology; consequently, they welcome work environments where technology is fundamental and it enables them to be more effective in their daily role. That means mortgage banking has to continue evolving. Even though Loan Originators started out using basic tools like a paper application, the industry cannot become stagnant. Companies have to provide intuitive resources in order to attract Millennial workers, who want mobile tools and other advanced technology that make their job easier because they’re expecting a different work experience.
Furthermore, this new generation is unique in that they give added consideration to a job’s purpose over certain traditional factors. They don’t simply want to work but they want to do work that matters. That’s why lenders have to educate Millennials about what it means to work in mortgage banking. It’s more than simply approving a loan; it’s about helping people buy a home, which for many Americans has been a longtime dream. When your company knows your purpose and gets actively involved in making a difference both inside and outside of the industry, it becomes even more appealing to Millennials because they want to be part of a noble cause.
 
Create the right culture
As you create the right work culture, it leads to greater success with retaining Millennials. This new generation is looking for work environments that give them a certain lifestyle. Whether that means having special onsite benefits like car washing and dry cleaning services or simply creating a fun work atmosphere, they want a good work-life balance and they want to enjoy coming to work every day. That means lenders have to find ways to cultivate an environment that’s conducive to Millennials, even when it comes to learning.
 
When my company started developing the concept for its Lab, we designed it with the Millennial in mind. Rather than building traditional classrooms with confined work stations, we converted the 25,000-square foot training facility into a contemporary learning space with polished concrete floors, open ceilings, and mobile work stations that could be easily arranged for team building exercises. It’s configured with screens that descend from the ceiling and podiums that disappear once students finish training. By giving the center a state-of-the-art layout, it creates an environment where Millennials would be excited about learning and growing. Many of them will be drawn to this industry because they have the ability to earn a good living and it’s a profession that provides other rewarding benefits, but what will determine whether they work at your company as opposed to the competition will largely depend on the culture you create.
 
Looking ahead
Educating future mortgage professionals is a very involved process, but it’s a worthwhile commitment. Not only does it provide a gateway for newcomers to enter the industry, but it builds a foundation to continue moving the industry forward.

Rick Arvielo is Chief Executive Officer of New American Funding. In 2003, Rick and his wife Patty began doing business as New American Funding, a 40-employee, refinance call-center. In 2011, Rick introduced purchase transactions to the company’s operations, and in 2012, New American Funding opened their first branch. Their retail division has since exploded, adding 130-plus retail branches and more than 750 loan officers focused on purchase transactions in only four years.
This article originally appeared in the August 2017 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.

 
Third quarter originations of commercial and multifamily mortgage loan originations were eight percent above the second quarter and 21 percent higher than one year earlier
Commercial real estate owners and purchasers have a choice to make when it comes to financing their real estate investments. They often wonder “Should I apply to my local bank directly, or should I employ the services of a professional commercial mortgage broker to assist?” In order to answer this question, the following points need to be considered:
 
How many transactions does the borrower handle in the course of a year? Most real estate owners purchase, sell or refinance a very limited number of properties in the course of a year. By contrast, an active and competent commercial mortgage broker will handle dozens of transactions in the same time period. The commercial mortgage broker will understand the current lending environment, market conditions, and underwriting guidelines, all of which are constantly changing as the market goes through its typical cycles.
 
How many lenders does the borrower engage with during the course of a typical year? Most real estate owners have relationships with several local lenders in their market. A commercial mortgage broker typically deals with a wide array of local and national lenders every day. These include: banks, Wall Street investment banks, insurance companies, pension funds, credit unions, hedge funds, agency lenders, government agencies, and private lenders. A good commercial mortgage broker will know which lender is the best choice to handle the given transaction.
 
Is the borrower knowledgeable enough to best prepare the loan submission package for the lender? The typical lender sees far more requests than he can possibly review and approve. A commercial mortgage broker knows how to prepare a professional loan request package that will stand out and gain lender acceptance. A commercial mortgage broker knows what information is key to obtaining a loan approval from a lender.
 
Is the borrower up-to-date when it comes to current deal structures? Many borrowers focus only on the interest rate. A commercial mortgage broker will help negotiate many other deal points, including: Maximum leverage, loan term, amortization period, recourse obligations, pre-payment penalties, closing conditions, post-closing and/or annual requirements, etc. There are many moving parts in a commercial mortgage transaction and a commercial mortgage broker will be able to negotiate the best deals for his clients.
 
Does the borrower’s local lender offer a variety of different rates and terms? A commercial mortgage broker should be able to offer different choices, such as: Five-year fixed-rate, seven-year fixed rate, and 10-year fixed rate options. Additionally, the commercial mortgage broker will usually offer many different amortization schedules. Many local lenders only offer short term loan options (three to five years) and short-term amortizations (15-20 years).
 
Most large real estate investment firms employ in-house financing professionals to source, negotiate and place their commercial mortgage loans. It is often cost prohibitive for smaller firms or individual investors to employ financing professionals on a full-time basis. These investors are best served by hiring a competent commercial mortgage broker to represent their interests on a deal-by-deal basis.

Stephen A. Sobin is the President and Founder of Select Commercial Funding LLCStephen A. Sobin is the President and Founder of Select Commercial Funding LLC, a nationwide commercial brokerage firm. He has more than 30 years of commercial mortgage lending experience. For more information, call (516) 596-8537 or visit SelectCommercial.com.

 
 
When Albert Einstein said, “Information is not knowledge,” he could have been talking about the mortgage quality control (QC) process. As the COO of a leading QC technology provider, I absolutely applaud the industry for its increased use of QC technology. That said, there are still a lot of lenders and servicers who have access to a huge amount of valuable information, but aren’t turning it into knowledge and leveraging it to its full capacity.
 
I’m not criticizing. Sometimes when you’re working with a great technology, it’s easy to get caught up in all the things that the software does and I’ll tell you—particularly because our system is so configurable and flexible—that can be an awful lot of power. While it’s great to have a technology this powerful, the QC leaders need to maintain a proactive stance on how they are mining their QC data to efficiently and methodically identify valuable defect data.
 
With the right technology and a little bit of analytics, you can attain the knowledge to make proactive choices that can lead to some very cost-saving measures. Chances are, assuming you have a formal QC process, you have a lot of information you’ve gathered in the pre-funding QC process that can be leveraged in the post-closing world and vice versa. Let me explain how.
 
As basic as this may sound, the first step to creating a proactive QC program is simply making the decision to establish a program. Meaning, don’t start evaluating data haphazardly. To reap the maximum benefit, you need to make a decision to collect and analyze specific data on an ongoing basis. You need to make a commitment to a continued effort. 
 
Once you’ve made that decision and passed the word to your staff, you need to start collecting and reviewing your mortgage QC data. If you’re using a manual process, for example, one that uses an Excel spreadsheet, this is going to be a bit more difficult than if you’re using a QC technology solution. But whatever the case, you need to understand the types of defects that are occurring in your manufacturing process. If you haven’t started tracking that information, start tracking it now. Once you’re successfully tracking these defects you will quickly begin to see patterns emerging that will help guide you down a critical path. As an example, you will begin to see the frequency with which certain defects are occurring, and with each of these defects, an assigned severity. It’s important to have a clear understanding of this part to create the most efficient plan for prioritization and corrective action.
 
If a defect with a minor severity occurred just once in the last few months, you probably won’t need to impose immediate corrective action. This would not appear to be a problem area of your manufacturing process. The if-then of identifying defects and imposing correcting action is a critical area of the process. Often, when defects are identified, the line of business will correct the noted defect at a loan level, but fail to address the defect at the process level. The immediate goal is to catch the mistake, fix the mistake, then move on. Ideally, what you want to do is keep these mistakes from occurring in the first place. For example, if the Final Loan Estimate and/or Closing Disclosure was not in the file—which is likely, as this was the number one TRID-related defect in 2016, according to research released in ARMCO’s most recent QC Trends Report—you need to make sure that you put controls in place that assure that someone double checks that these documents are in the file prior to funding. When you start this process, you’re looking for the defects that occur with frequency and that have the highest severity levels. If you’re like most lenders, there will be several that rise to the top of the pile.
 
Once you have identified patterns in your defect data, you need to begin the process of creating corrective action plans. Hopefully you’re using a QC technology that includes a corrective action planning module. A corrective action planning module will allow the QC team to identify the root cause of your defects, provide seamless interaction with the business units, track the multiple associated tasks that are required of the business units, produce custom reports and include re-testing to assure the corrective action has in fact fixed the problem. 
 
Your action plan should identify key issues and their solutions. You’ll need to make sure that reports are generated on a regular basis. Here’s a tip: if you can make those reports easy to read and easily digestible, it’s more likely that your action plan will succeed. Make it easy and intuitive for the business team to keep the program going. The more time and effort it takes to identify areas of weakness, the less likely the program will be successful. Again, it’s great if your technology does this for you.
 
Also, make sure you determine the specific person or department that will take the corrective action, monitor their progress and be sure to set a specific date as to when you expect to start seeing improvements. My recommendation is to include a firm due date and use this date as your starting point for re-checking corrected items, and make it a ritual.
 
Once you start putting your program together, you may feel a bit overwhelmed with information, especially if you’ve never initiated a program like this before. One of the tricks to organizing your data is to quantify the cost of your defects. That will help you prioritize. Our industry has always been laden with rules ranging from best practice internal guidelines to federal regulations. That means we need to follow a protocol or there could be consequences. Financial ones, and dire ones at that.
 
It seems that every week we hear about organizations fined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for a wide range of violations. Just this year, we’ve heard of fines against mortgage companies ranging from the low millions ($1 million to $4 million) to nearly $30 million. That’s just this year. No one seems to be exempt. Small lenders, large lenders, servicers, even the credit bureaus.
 
If you are one of the lucky ones that have not yet been through a CFPB audit, I’d suggest implementing a process to monitor the CFPB’s Web site to identify the defects that have led to enforcement actions and warning letters. Armed with this information, start crunching the numbers. Know how much those types of defects can—or have—cost your organization. If you’ve had any defaults, buybacks, foreclosures, non-salable loans or pricing hits from the secondary market, it’s imperative that you understand the root cause of each defect. This too will be a key driver of your top priorities for corrective action.
 
It’s easy to feel like you’re already doing enough. If you have a solid QC program, you are definitely doing your share to protect your business, the industry, and your borrowers. However, I urge you to keep in mind that while reactive QC is a fantastic use of powerful information, proactive QC transitions information into the next-level knowledge that reduces risk, lower costs, and builds long-standing mortgage powerhouses. 

Phil McCall is chief operating officer of ARMCO, a provider of mortgage QC technologyPhil McCall is chief operating officer of ARMCO, a provider of mortgage QC technology. Phil has more than 20 years of industry experience that spans executive roles in mortgage lending and mortgage technology. Phil is a licensed real estate broker in California, is a direct endorsed underwriter for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and has held real estate and broker licenses in more than 20 other states.

This article originally appeared in the June 2017 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.

 

The results have been in for some time. According to a survey by industry leader Animoto, videos engage prospective customers up to four times more effectively than print media and online text content. That’s why mortgage professionals need to know the best ways to make and use video productions.
 
Whether you are the chief marketing officer of a major lender or an independent loan officer, you are responsible for presenting information to your audiences. Therefore, the motion pictures that you release must be fascinating, informative and appropriate to the situation. Otherwise, you may lose customers to the competitor with superior video production, if not a better loan product.
 
The statistics on video marketing effectiveness are staggering. According to the Mortgage Marketing Institute, audiences have a 75 percent better understanding of a product when viewing a video as opposed to reading information. Landing pages with video increase conversions up to 82 percent, and e-mails that include videos can increase click-through rates by 90 percent.
 
Here are eight insights about video that will help marketers and loan officers get great results when you deploy video either for lead generation, product and process information, or compliance purposes.

 
1. Quality is critical
Because every mortgage company offers some variety of video content, you cannot afford to post or distribute low quality content. With more than 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, viewers are drawn to those that are the sharpest. And, even though most videos are still viewed on computer screens, use of mobile devices is increasing exponentially. On small screens, low resolution, unpolished productions are at an even greater disadvantage. Producing quality videos can be affordable. It just takes planning.
 
2. Your video needs an introduction
People will not watch your video, no matter how good it is, if it is not presented and promoted properly. Hollywood knows that. Think about the press and promotion involved with new film releases. Typically, the more fanfare, the more widely viewed the film is out of the gate. Mortgage marketers can do the same. As soon as you start planning an informational video or Webinar, spread the word. In addition to sending invites, alert people in the footers of e-mails, on social media, and on the relevant pages of your Web site. Wherever you post the video, make sure the description is clear (with appropriate keywords particularly on YouTube for SEO purposes), concise and captivating.
 
3. Close and personal
Video allows for a visual connection than can only be imagined in print. As humans, we naturally are inclined to feel a connection if we can see an image rather than read about it. Also, audiences relate to presenters and performers. If you are a marketer producing a video, check out what other lenders have distributed on YouTube and make sure your presenter comes across as more engaging, knowledgeable and trustworthy than other spokespeople.

 
4. Don’t overwhelm your audience
Experts agree on the perfect length for an informative or promotional video: As short as possible! When people find your video on YouTube, your Web site or in an e-mail, they decide to watch because the subject, title or cover image grabs them. Once you have the viewer’s attention, explain what you plan to cover in your video, as quickly as possible. If you do that effectively, they are likely to phone, complete a form or perhaps watch another video. If the video loses focus or wanders, you may have lost the viewer as a customer. According to studies by video hosting and analytics company Wistia, audience engagement is highest for videos of one to two minutes in length.
 
5. Don’t leave your Webinars in cold storage
Too many companies fail to extract the full value of the Webinars they produce. Depending on the substance of the discussion, one extended length live, interactive session can be morphed into numerous communication vehicles. Was a fresh idea articulated? Use it to germinate a blog post or speech. Was there a particularly dynamic 30-60 second exchange? Edit it and post to YouTube.
 
6. A video in every e-mail
Sure, you distribute your videos via e-mail blasts and in marketing automation/CRM campaigns. But, mortgage professionals may also consider building their video audiences almost every time they send an e-mail. Whether you are a CEO or a loan processor, you can provide an opportunity to expand the recipient’s understanding of your company. Include links in the footers or in a PS, always with a poignant description or introduction. The overall impact of your videos is greatly impacted by the number of YouTube views and comments. Suppose all employees at your company send 5,000 e-mails a day, each containing your YouTube video link. If 0.5 percent of the recipients check out a video each working day of the year, that converts to 6,500 additional video views each year, enough to significantly enhance your ranking on Google and YouTube.
 
7. The 3Rs: Reiterate, Reuse and Recycle
The video you create today can be used for many years to come. Compare them to television reruns. You may not hook most of your audience the first time you distribute your video or broadcast your Webinar. Therefore, continually promote each video on different social media platforms. Of course, you don’t want to tweet about the same video 10 times a day. But, you will benefit by announcing each video in your portfolio two to three times a week. Shuffle the times of day you post about each video and use various headlines, teasers and introductions.
 
8. Ask for it
Ask your customers for a recorded video testimonial after closing.  If you record these videos yourself be sure to use a tripod to keep the camera steady. If you cannot record in person, a recorded Skype interview might suffice. There are many ways to use these third-party endorsements. You can post each one individually on social media or use them to punctuate and enhance a longer commercially produced video about your company’s services. Remember to ask your subjects to sign a standard release form to allow you to use their statement and specify exactly how it may be used.
 
Once you have used these insights and tips to integrate more video into your marketing, the enthusiasm surrounding your products will increase steadily. Remember, quality is critical so you may need to take smaller steps in implementing video. However you decide to proceed, remember to have fun and use the platform to your advantage.

Ashley Benson is Senior Marketing Specialist for Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions. She can be reached by phone at (855) 539-4910 or by eimail at Ashley.Benson@AngelOakMS.com.

This article orignally appeared in the July 2017 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. 

 

 

The New York State Department of Financial Services recently re-adopted a registration procedure for mortgage loan servicers
The New York State Department of Financial Services recently re-adopted a registration procedure for mortgage loan servicers. As a part of the process, professionals need to meet bonding requirements and provide appropriate errors and omissions (E&O) insurance coverage. 
 
The Superintendent of Financial Services brought the law back into force with Emergency Adoption of Part 418 of the Superintendent’s Regulations and Supervisory Procedures MB 109 and MB 110 on July 23, 2017. The regulations become effective as of this date.
 
The registration ensures that all operating mortgage loan servicers will comply with state rules that govern their trade. The license bond, fidelity bond and E&O insurance provide additional security for the state and its citizens against servicers’ potential acts of fraud, embezzlement, misplacement, or forgery.
 
Here are the most important points of the re-adopted legislation that mortgage loan servicers in the state of New York should consider. 
 
The reinstated registration process for NY mortgage loan servicers
As of July 23, 2017, any person or entity wanting to operate as a mortgage loan servicer in the state will need to undergo a registration procedure with the Department of Financial Services. The steps are outlined in Supervisory Procedure MB 109. Supervisory Procedure MB 110 changes the procedure for change in control of a servicer.
 
Applicants have to present a completed application form, fingerprint cards, and proof of payment of a $3,000 investigation fee, a $102.25 fingerprint processing fee, and a $100 NMLS processing fee.
 
In the application form, mortgage loan servicers have to provide the following information:
 
►Personal information
►Business entity information
►Records of previous licenses
►Financial statements
►Proof of experience and qualifications
 
There is a transitional period for mortgage loan servicers who were active as of June 30, 2009 and who applied for registration before July 31, 2009. They are deemed in compliance with the registration rules as long as the Superintendent does not deny their application.
 
The re-adopted surety bond and insurance requirements
An indispensable part of the newly reinstated registration for NY mortgage loan servicers is to post a minimum  surety bond amount of $250,000. The exact amount is determined by the Department during the registration process.
 
Mortgage loan servicers also have to obtain a fidelity bond and errors and omissions (E&O) insurance coverage. Their amounts depend on the aggregate dollar volume of business conducted in New York two years before the current year, as follows:
 
►Up to $100,000,000 aggregate dollar amount: $300,000
►Of the next $500,000,000: $300,000 plus 0.15%
►Of the next $400,000,000: $300,000 plus 0.125%
►Of the amount over $1 billion: $300,000 plus 0.1%
 
The deductible amount of the fidelity bond and the E&O policy cannot exceed $100,000 or 5% of the face bond amount, whichever is greater.
 
The purpose of the surety bond and insurance requirements is to provide an extra layer of safety for the licensing authority and the general public that a registered mortgage loan servicer will comply with all applicable state laws. These security instruments can provide a compensation in case an affected party suffers losses as a result of a servicer’s illegal actions.
 
How the bonding costs are formulated
With the reinstated registration requirements, it’s important for mortgage loan servicers to know how their costs will change. Besides an insurance premium for their E&O coverage, they also need to account for the bonding premiums on their license and fidelity bonds.
 
The bond price that mortgage professionals have to pay depends on the bond amounts set by the Department. The higher the required amount, the higher the premium that needs to be covered on it. 
 
Besides this, the cost is determined on the basis of the personal and business finances of the bond applicant. The surety that provides the bonding needs to consider factors such as credit score, business financials, and assets and liquidity. The servicer’s professional experience can also play a role in the price formulation. If the candidate is deemed as financially stable, the bond premium will be lower.
 
Applicants with problematic finances often can still get bonded, but at a higher price. Servicers who are planning to apply for their bonds can work on reducing their costs. Improving the personal credit score and completing any outstanding payments can decrease the bond cost.
 
What the changes mean for NY mortgage loan servicers
The re-adopted registration, bonding and insurance requirements create a solid framework for the mortgage loan servicing field in NY.
 
In practical terms, the changes impose a new administrative process that servicers have to go through. There are also financial consequences, as professionals need to cover bond and insurance premiums in order to meet the registration requirements of the Department.
 
While introducing a heavier startup process for servicers, the emergency regulations aim to raise the standards in the loan servicing field. Their goal is to ensure a higher level of security for all parties involved. In the long run, improved industry standards are in the interest of diligent and hard-working mortgage loan servicers, as the reputation of their trade is boosted.

The New York State Department of Financial Services recently re-adopted a registration procedure for mortgage loan servicersVic Lance is the founder and president of Lance Surety Bond Associates. He is a surety bond expert who helps mortgage professionals get licensed and bonded. Vic’s phone number is (877) 514-5146 and his e-mail is info@suretybonds.org.

 

Ray DeMar is president of 1st United Mortgage Banc in Lincoln, Neb., and Past President of the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers (NEAMB)
Ray DeMar is president of 1st United Mortgage Banc in Lincoln, Neb., and Past President of the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers (NEAMB).Ray DeMar is president of 1st United Mortgage Banc in Lincoln, Neb., and Past President of the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers (NEAMB). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his trade association leadership.
 
How and why did you get involved with the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers (NEAMB)? Can you share the track within your association that led to your leadership role?
I joined both the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers and NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals in 2007. The mortgage crisis was underway and the need to be informed was a leading factor in my joining. Once a member, I joined the Board of Directors, I later became involved in the association’s Fall Conference and Membership Committees, although I did not chair either of them. I eventually was elected association President and served in that capacity from 2015 to early 2016. I have very much enjoyed the association.
 
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state should join NEAMB?
The association puts on a Fall Conference that is usually held over the course of two days. On the first day, we have continuing education classes that last for four hours, and later, have a social event where all of the affiliates operating in the industry–title companies, lenders, insurance companies and so forth–come in and tell us what’s new and exciting. We have about 100 members and they are a great group of people.
 
What role does NEAMB play in the federal and state legislative and regulatory environments? Are there any items on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
We have not been overly involved in regulatory issues. On occasion, we get e-mails from NAMB asking us to contact our representatives regarding specific issues. We also have an individual on the Board who follows the legislative side and updates up on what Nebraska might doing that would adversely or positively affect our industry.
 
Ray DeMar is president of 1st United Mortgage Banc in Lincoln, Neb., and Past President of the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers (NEAMB)What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with NEAMB?
The ability to put on our own continuing education classes. Shortly after the crash began, it became obvious that everyone would have to take the NMLS. We decided to take the initiative and have continuing education in our Nebraska organization. I don’t know how many states did that.
 
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
Educating young people about the industry would be helpful. The association has talked about it, but to date, we have not established an outreach program. As for why many Millennials are not pursuing this, I imagine many still remember the mortgage crisis.
 
How would you define your state's housing market?
Nebraska has always been a very stable market, even during periods of high rate environments, recession and inflation.

Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.
 
Hal Tippetts is a sales manager at Stewart Title in Portsmouth, N.H., and president of the Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals (MAMP)
Hal Tippetts is a sales manager at Stewart Title in Portsmouth, N.H., and president of the Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals (MAMP)Hal Tippetts is a sales manager at Stewart Title in Portsmouth, N.H., and president of the Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals (MAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his work with this trade association.
 
How and why did you get involved with the Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals? Can you share the track within the association that led to the leadership role?
I was recruited to serve as a Director in 2008 for the Maine Mortgage Bankers Association. I was relatively new to the marketplace at the time, although I had been involved in exhibiting at industry conferences and had joined both the Maine Bankers Association and Maine Association of Mortgage Brokers. Around 2009 and 2010, the Maine Association of Mortgage Brokers experienced some attrition due to market conditions, and it was proposed to combine the two organizations. I participated on the Steering Committee, and out of that, came a new organization, the Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals.
 
I served as a Board Director for several years, and chaired the Membership Committee for a period of time. In October of 2013, the Board nominated and selected me to become President, and I have been reappointed every year since.
 
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state join MAMP?
I believe members join our organization to stay connected, have access to industry information and educational opportunities, and to have a stronger political voice. Our mission is to educate, advocate and promote best practices in the mortgage industry in the state of Maine. We host nine breakfast meetings during the year, a wonderfully successful charity golf tournament, and also host an expo each year in November. We partner with other mortgage organizations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut in planning and promoting regional events such as the New England Mortgage Bankers Conference, and we partner with the national Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).
 
We strive to help our members understand Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rules and guidelines, as well as state and national legislative issues. We make sure to support legislation that benefits the industry, and come out against what we view as harmful. And, ultimately, we make sure that we, as an industry, do what its best for the borrower.
 
Hal Tippetts is a sales manager at Stewart Title in Portsmouth, N.H., and president of the Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals (MAMP)What role does your association play in the federal and state legislative and regulatory environments, and are there any items on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
The Maine legislative session came to a close, and there was not a lot of legislation concerning us this year, for which we are grateful. In years past, we dealt with legislation that threatened to make the foreclosure process more difficult, and we came out against condo homeowner association super-lien capability. This year, we supported a bill that put Maine more in line with federal law allowing appraisal management companies (AMCs) to continue doing business in the state.
On a federal level, we send at least three members each year to participate in the MBA’s Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. The national issues we are watching include GSE reform and the over-burdensome regulatory environment imposed by the CFPB and other federal agencies.
 
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with MAMP?
As a group, I think we’ve grown significantly. MAMP is now up to 70 member organizations, and our budget has increased. We also have an increase in diversity in our membership, with credit unions, mortgage brokers, local and national banks, and affiliates that are very active in our organization. We have increased the number and overall quality of events available to members, and have improved our advocacy efforts.
 
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
It’s a great question. Our Executive Director, Josh Wolfe, is in his 20s, and with his guidance we’ve tried to look for opportunities in recruiting Millennials. We partnered with the University of South Maine with a booth at their recent job fair. We made an effort to reach out and help Millennials understand that the mortgage industry is a great place for a career, and that there are a lot of entry-level jobs in the industry.
 
How would you define your state's housing market?
The market is healthy and moving forward. We are currently a strong purchase market, and there is still refinance business continuing. However, in some areas–particularly southern Maine–we are struggling with the inventory issue. But we have been busy.

Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.
 
A bipartisan duo of senators is reportedly working on a proposal that would break up the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs)
With the August recess looming, members of Congress are preparing to head home to their states and districts. It’s a perfect time for members of the Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA) to engage with your elected representatives. The MAA is a non-partisan and free nationwide grassroots lobbying network of real estate finance industry professionals, affiliated with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) that allows our industry to speak with elected officials with one voice. If you aren’t an MAA member, you can join for free at MBA.org/JoinMAA.
 
This summer, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) capped off another successful National Advocacy Conference (NAC), with more than 365 attendees from 43 states. NAC is an annual opportunity for mortgage professionals from across the country to engage their elected officials face to face, and this year, industry advocates were able to attend 225 meetings on Capitol Hill. Couldn’t make it to Washington? At NAC, MBA announced the launch of the MAA App.
 
The MAA App is designed to make standing up for the real estate finance industry easier than ever. On the App, you can:
 
►Receive updates on bills affecting the real estate finance industry
►Let your elected officials know how those bills will impact you directly
►Research bills that MBA is watching
►Find contact information for your members of Congress
►Join MAA
►Learn about MORPAC, MBA's political action committee
 
To download the app, visit MBA.org/MAAApp or search for "Mortgage Action Alliance" in the App Store or Google Play.
 
With members of Congress returning to their states and districts, August is a perfect time to reach out to your elected officials. Visit Action.MBA.org to look up your elected officials and view a list of current calls to action. Current Calls to Action include a Call to Action in support of HR 2948, the SAFE Transitional Licensing Act, which would provide a temporary license for loan originators transitioning between federally-insured depositories and non-depositories, as well as across state lines.
 
Whether you come to Washington for the NAC, talk to your members of Congress in your home district, or take action using the App, your voice matters. MAA is working hard to make it easy to take action—and your elected officials need to hear from you.

Gene M. Lugat is chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Mortgage Action Alliance. Gene is executive vice president, national industry and political relations for PrimeLending Inc.

This article originally appeared in the August 2017 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.