Each month, National Mortgage Professional Magazine will focus on one of the industry’s top players in our “Mortgage Professional of the Month” feature. This month, we had a chance to chat with one of our advertisers, Kelley Berkheiser, Branch Development Manager of White Plains, N.Y.-based Guaranteed Home Mortgage Company. Kelley oversees the hiring, licensing, transitioning and marketing of Guaranteed Home Mortgage’s offices in 27 states nationwide. With more than seven years of experience in marketing and promotional activities, including a stint with Kraft Foods where she won a sales leadership award, Kelley also assists Guaranteed with branch training, mortgage company research and lead distribution.
Founded in 1992, Guaranteed Home Mortgage Company, a licensed mortgage investment and banking firm, is comprised of more than 300 mortgage professionals. The firm, previously named in the Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing companies in the United States, provides residential mortgage financing to a wide variety of consumers and real estate professionals.
How does Guaranteed Home Mortgage Company manage the appraisal ordering process?
Guaranteed is full compliant with the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC). We apply the rules to both agency and government loans. Our firm has a list of approved appraisal management companies (AMCs) and we restrict providers to this bi-monthly updated list. The management company makes payment arrangements with the borrowers, and loan officers are prohibited from dealing with the appraiser directly.
Does Guaranteed Home Mortgage allow branches to act as a broker?
Guaranteed does permit its branches to broker reverse mortgages and 203k. We keep all Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and conforming business in-house. In days past, we were more receptive to brokering conforming and FHA loans, but because of the recent heinous reps and warranties, it made no sense to jeopardize the company. Also, we are very protective of our FHA performance. Brokering FHA is a recipe for disaster as an investor might do an inadvisable loan, but our company deals with its performance.
We understand that Guaranteed Home Mortgage offers lots of free marketing services to its branches. Do you feel that your experience learning the marketing tricks in the highly competitive consumer goods gives your branches an upper hand in their local market?
Our strength is that our branches’ sales efforts remain autonomous. We recognized long-ago that different methods work in different demographics and geographies. Guaranteed Home Mortgage regularly provides strategic and monetary support around a broad spectrum of available marketing conduits. Because we won’t overlap our locations, our branches do not have to compete territorially, and we are able to implement successful marketing programs across the company. Simply put, we strive to produce more loans from existing locations, not more locations. It is better for our employees and for the company.
As the company's top branch liaison, what are the biggest problems branches face when trying to get business from local real estate agents?
Many of the larger money center banks have set-up shop within real estate brokerage operations. These types of integrated relationships create an initial barrier of resistance for outside mortgage firms. However, the upside is that our firm has the ability to offer many more options and much quicker turnaround. When word gets around a brokerage shop that deals are getting done with Guaranteed, we usually have no further obstacles.
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for consideration in being featured in a future “Mortgage Professional of the Month” column.