Let me begin by saying "thank you" for electing me as your president of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) for 2010-2011. It is certainly a trying time to be in the mortgage industry, but I firmly believe that together, we can make a change for the better. NAMB has downsized just as you have in your business and hopefully in your state associations. Expenses must be cut everywhere and cut deeply. I am sure you have felt the cuts personally in your own business as we have at NAMB. At the end of the day, this has forced NAMB to examine every aspect of its expenses and this process will make us stronger in the long run.
Let's take a look at just a few of the expense reductions that NAMB has experienced. First, have you had an opportunity to contact NAMB for any reason in the last couple of months? We have a new smaller office, in fact it is a virtual office, except for our lobbying staff on Capitol Hill. I am willing to bet that if you did contact the office, you couldn't tell we were virtual. We have a very efficient live person answering the phone and routing the call to the proper parties. We have also embraced cloud computing for tremendous cost savings. You should also look for our new Web site in the coming months.
Let's discuss disaffiliated states for a moment … NAMB has hired a Call Center to reach out to people in the mortgage business who are not members of NAMB. What we discovered and are still discovering is that a lot of people want to belong to NAMB. They see the value in NAMB being the only national association protecting the mortgage broker industry that has actual paid lobbyists. We are not the one person, one issue association that has started to split the membership. We have not been the best at communicating our success on Capitol Hill, but you must understand that many times those stories just cannot be told.
We are working on several areas to improve our communication efforts. We are starting down the road to video e-mails. Mike Anderson, our new Government Affairs Committee Chairman, was the first and don't you think he looks good on the screen … ah yes, a star is born!
I was privileged to be on the legislative calls all year long. I am truly amazed by the knowledge, contacts and understanding our lobbying team possesses. Roy DeLoach, NAMB’s chief executive officer, is to be applauded for putting this team together. If you think the bills that have been passed and the bills that have been proposed are bad, you should have seen what this team was successful in keeping out of the final bills. Fiduciary duty, no indirect compensation, no mortgage brokerage business … just to name a few. Congratulations to the entire lobbying team.
The University of Phoenix offers college education through campus and online degree programs, certificate courses and individual online classes. You can get your Master’s Degree online with the University of Phoenix. Because NAMB has the Certified Mortgage Consultant (CMC) and the Certified Residential Mortgage Specialist (CRMS) designations and they are maintained as certified programs, it is my honor and privilege to announce a partnership between the University of Phoenix and NAMB. The University has offered NAMB members with CMC and CRMS designations college credit hours for your designations. Let me be perfectly clear here, we will not get hour-for-hour, but a couple of college credit hours for having an NAMB designation is not bad. If you decide to get your Master’s Degree online at night, the partnership between NAMB and the University of Phoenix can save you time and expense. Please look into this exciting educational opportunity.
I sincerely hope each and every one of you will embrace, help, pray for and cooperate with the new NAMB board of directors and staff as we move forward. Again, I thank you for allowing me to represent you.
William R. Howe, CMC, CRMS is president of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers and president of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Howe Mortgage Corporation. He may be reached by e-mail at [email protected]