Time is a measurement and let me tell you, the months just seem to be flying by. It has been an amazing winter and it seems like just yesterday we were talking about NAMB/WEST. I don’t know about you guys, but my office has seen business really pick up and we are starting to see more purchases than refinances. However, more than ever, the FHA Streamlines seem to be coming out of the woodwork. I wish we could refinance them with their old mortgage Insurance (MI) because they would be saving a lot of money then.
It looks like the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) is looking into Streamlines using a different method on the MI. At the time this article went to press, nothing has happened, but we should look for something by the middle to the end of March. Keep calling your past customers and get them ready.
By the time that you read this, we will have had two of our leaders involved in the Small Business Panels for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). I hope to update all of you at about these panels on March 18-21 at the 2012 NAMB Legislative & Regulatory Conference in Washington, D.C. We have a great program scheduled there and some interesting guests. This is, by far, the best get together that we have and to be able to take our voice up to the Hill and let your legislators know what is going on is fantastic. Some of the speakers are going to make attending this conference worth the price.
Our membership continues to grow, but not at the rate that it should. I find that many members are joining, but are not asking their fellow brokers to join. It is a proven fact that those who join their association become better at what they do and how they do it. It must be because they are better informed and understand that this professional organization that they belong to makes them better at what they do, day in and day out, as a mortgage professional. I personally tell every customer that I belong to NAMB, and I have a designation, the Certified Residential Mortgage Specialist (CRMS), and I use that as a reason of why I am better qualified than the bank's mortgage originator. I also display the NAMB logo on my desk. I feel that it sets me apart from the competition, especially when they ask me about what I had to do to be in this business. So “brag” about yourself a little because you deserve it. Just make sure that you don’t go overboard. Give your customer the facts on what you have done to make sure that if this customer is dealing with you, he knows why you are a step above.
Are you a person that would like to step up to the plate and help NAMB? We are getting ready to start asking members to nominate other members to be on our Board of Directors. We are looking for those who are not only good at what they do, but want to make a difference. I know that when I was on my local state association Board, I helped out on some NAMB committees and thought that I can help make a difference in not only the mortgage business, but in the association. One of the requirements you need is that you need to be certified with a CRMS or Certified Mortgage Consultant (CMC) designation. The by-laws state that only two members can be on the Board without a designation, however, to move up into the Executive Board, you need a professional designation. So if you do not have one, go get one. It not only makes you eligible to serve on the Board, but it also stands you out in front of mortgage originators who are not designated.
I know that there are many of you who are sitting on the sidelines reading this article and saying, "Why do they keep asking for people to join?" Because I have been in Washington and I have been asked, “How many members do you have?” It is a little embarrassing that we tell them approximately 5,100 members, and when they ask, “How many originators are there out there nationwide," I want to hide. We only have 4.5 percent of all mortgage originators as members, and I don’t think that it is because of the dues. Platinum Membership is $120 and Silver Membership is just $50 annually. I have been a mortgage broker since 1988 and there are times that we spent that much at dinner or a night out on the town. I see many of my fellow originators out at the bar, and I know that they spend that much on drinks and food, so the cost is not the problem. I know that some of the originators are making a lot more than what they made two years ago and they still are not members. So why is it? What makes these people just sit around and not join? What makes them sit by the sidelines and let other people handle it?
I have spoken with many of you, and some of you reply, “Why should I join, you are going to represent me anyway! I can be a member of the SILENT MAJORITY and I will reap the benefits of what you do!” What would you do if it became mandatory that you join a professional trade association? Realtors now require this. If you want to use the term "REALTOR," you have to be a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Any idea how many members there are in NAR … try 1.2 million! Yes 1.2 million! If you want to list your houses on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), you have to be a member of that local service. And let me tell you, almost all of them are members. So, why aren’t you a member of NAMB? Maybe you don’t know what the goals are of our association. Here are just a few for you:
1. Our main goal is to serve our members. To promote professional growth and quality of life. To make available programs and services that makes you a better originator or mortgage professional.
2. To improve our profession. Promote the highest quality education and professionalism. Promote competence and ethical conduct.
3. Provide public understanding of our profession, the role of the mortgage professional in the public.
4. To abide by a Code of Ethics and the Best Practices of our Profession.
5. To keep you up to date with changes in the Law and Common Practices. NAMB works directly with our Government Affairs team to make sure that you have first-hand knowledge of new rules and laws that affect you every day. We provide you with a strategy to make sure that everything you do every day is compliant with the law.
6. To work with our states to improve membership and keep them informed.
So again, I ask you, why do you not belong to NAMB? Now that you have an understanding of what some of our goals are, I don’t think that you can truthfully stand by and not join. So take three min. and log on to JoinNAMB.org and join today. The person that will get the most out of this is YOU! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
I look forward to seeing your name in the New Member section.
Donald J. Frommeyer, CRMS of Amtrust Mortgage Funding in Carmel, Ind. is president of NAMB, The Association of Mortgage Professionals. He may be reached by phone at (317) 575-4355 or e-mail [email protected]