Is wholesale back? Between some closed doors meetings I have had with new investors looking to bring niche products to the marketplace the fastest way with minimal infrastructure cost, to the wholesale lenders who have remained in support of the mortgage broker, to the huge increase in net worth requirements it takes to become a DE lender with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) (see page 20 for Jonathan Foxx’s “FHA Issues Guidance for Lender Approvals”) … the mortgage broker model is beginning to look a little more attractive than in the past three or so years. Don’t get me wrong, the days of getting approved by any lender that you are willing to represent merely by filling out a broker package are gone. That factor, combined with increase expenses of doing your own quality control, managing increased regulatory compliance and keeping competitive on the street in the pricing department, makes it a rather difficult time to be a mortgage broker. In spite of it all this, the model works! As a mortgage broker, you are an entrepreneur in the truest sense of the word as defined by the French economist Jean-Baptiste Say. Today, the mortgage brokers who remain are the ones with very strong and unique selling propositions in their community. Those who were just here for a paycheck are long gone. Today, it’s the relationship-based mortgage broker who provides value to the community and their referral sources. They are the experts in knowing how to work with the right lenders to get their borrower’s files done as fast and as competitively as their banker counterparts. Wholesale’s new frontier Our Special Focus section kicks off this month with “The Future of the Mortgage Broker and Correspondent Markets” by Andy W. Harris, CRMS followed by David Lykken’s “Wholesale and Correspondent Markets … What’s Next?” We wanted to get a perspective from the wholesalers on how the industry was doing, so we approached some regional experts who provided a great deal of insight and knowledge in our “The State of the Wholesale Marketplace 2010” section on page 30. On the following page, we list 30 wholesale lenders who we are getting a lot of positive feedback from their industry peers. This list is not indicative of all the wholesalers out there in the marketplace, and we are sure there are others that are great to do business with; however, this was a list of wholesalers as reported by our readers to a recent survey. The changing of the guards This month, we welcome William R. Howe, CMC, CRMS as the newly installed president of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers. On page 7, you can read about some of NAMB’s new initiatives that have already been put in place. As the official publication of NAMB, we are excited about working with Mr. Howe on continuing to support the mortgage broker and protecting the valuable access they provide to competitive mortgage options for consumers. NMP’s Mortgage Professional of the Month As featured on page 18, we have chosen outgoing NAMB President Jim Pair, CMC of Mortgage Associates Corpus Christi as this month’s NMP Mortgage Professional of the Month. Jim gives some insight on his background and how he continued to run a successful shop, while sacrificing both business and personal responsibilities during one of the most challenging years for mortgage brokers. I hope you enjoy yet another issue of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. As we enter our second year, we seek to continue to provide you with informative articles and tips to help grow your business, and serve as your handbook and guide to success. It is our goal to be your one-stop shop for all the mortgage industry news that’s fit to print, and please do not hesitate to tap into this great resource that we provide. You can access the National Mortgage Professional Magazine here. Also, if you would like to get a free subscription to the state specific e-edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine and also receive daily industry headlines, follow this link.