Enjoy access to a free NMLS renewal class when you attend an in-person event.
NAMB President’s Message: April 2016
Now What Can We Do?
NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals has just concluded its 2016 Legislative & Regulatory Conference. NAMB National isn’t until September … so what can loan originators do now?
First off, if you are not a member of NAMB, visit NAMB.org and join now.
If you are a member of the association, either you or your state leadership probably attended the Legislative Conference and spoke with your representatives and senators in D.C. and told them of the need to support and pass HB 3393 and its companion Senate bill. Now you need to set up appointments in the local offices of these legislators and introduce yourself to them personally to ask for support of these initiatives. Send them e-mails reminding them of the need to support these bills and your availability to answer any questions they might have. If you are not comfortable answering their questions, please contact members of NAMB’s Government Affairs team for assistance. Valerie Saunders chairs this committee and is always available to answer calls and e-mails. She may be reached by phone at (866) 992-0785 or e-mail Valsaun@gmail.com.
The election season is rapidly approaching, and if you have a candidate whom you would like NAMBPAC to financially support, e-mail John Stevens at JohnGStevens@gmail.com and make a request. He has forms available to make a request and NAMBPAC will review and decide how to best allocate our somewhat limited PAC funds. Even better, why not ask him how you can raise funds locally to go into the PAC and support more candidates who understand NAMB’s positions and needs?
Nominations for your board are open, and NAMB needs more individuals nominated. Please visit NAMB’s bylaws and policies to determine qualifications. For the board of directors, you must typically be a Professional Member of the association and have served on Delegate Council for two years.
Continuing education season will begin shortly, so now is a good time to get started on your Certified Residential Mortgage Specialist (CRMS) or Certified Mortgage Consultant (CMC) certification. There is a test prep class available and qualification information on NAMB.org as well.
Join American Homeowners Alliance and get a free one-year membership as a closing gift to your borrowers. It allows them representation in Washington, D.C., as well as e-bates and discounts on their online purchases.
Finally, visit the Infosight Web page under education on NAMB.org for links to cyber security training and tools to make your company and borrowers information more secure while meeting your CFPB requirements.
So keep originating loans, helping borrowers and choosing some of the above to further your career and profession. Helping people accomplish the American dream of homeownership is a noble and satisfying profession to be part of.
The CEO Perspective
A Message From NAMB CEO Donald J. Frommeyer
Have you ever wondered what NAMB’s board of directors really does for you? Do you think that because it is a volunteer position, that everyone just sits around and does nothing? Well, I am going to let you in on a little secret. All of the board members from NAMB, from President Rocke Andrews, to the newly elected directors, all have full-time regular jobs. In addition, they serve on the board of NAMB for no income.
Take for instance your president, Rocke Andrews from the state of Arizona. Rocke works a full-time job to pay the bills. He puts in his eight-plus hours every day working for his employer. He also multi-tasks by attending meetings, giving interviews, writing articles, answering questions from the NAMB membership, and overseeing the day-to-day activities of the association. He works together with me as NAMB CEO, and with Harry Dinham, NAMB’s COO, on keeping everything running smoothly and on time.
You have Linda McCoy from Alabama, who served as NAMB East Committee Chair for our visit to Hilton Head, S.C. last month. She not only works at her mortgage company, but she devoted hours upon hours to making sure all of the details of NAMB East were completed and that the event came off without a hitch.
Now I have not pointed out these two people specifically, but am trying to make a point. Your association is made up of great people who give of their personal and professional time to seeing the growth and continued success of NAMB. Every board member is like this. We give not only of ourselves, but of our time and effort to make your association the best for you and your co-workers. It is a passion and something we do for the good of our industry. We don’t charge thousands of dollars in membership fees or thousands of dollars to go to our conferences. We feel that, as a member, you should get some perks. And that is why we don’t charge you a great deal of money to attend our events and not a lot of money to belong to the association.
We are a very efficient group of people dedicated to working for you to achieve an end result of having you become a member. Lord knows that we are not going to become a rich association charging you less than $10 per month to become a member. So my question to you is this: Why haven’t you and your friends joined?
Our Membership Matters
By Kimber White
As I prepare to attend the 2016 NAMB Legislative & Regulatory Conference in Washington, D.C. and lobby with my peers for our legislative concerns, I think back to my first conference and involvement with NAMB.
It was the year 2012, and I had just became involved with my local and state trade association in Florida. I had been in the mortgage industry for 24 years at the time, but had never joined my association, although I was always the first to complain about issues and fire off e-mails, but not participate. I had friends or colleagues in the industry who were members and they shared information with me so I really saw no reason to join.
One day, I was invited to a local Realtor/mortgage networking meeting hosted by local mortgage association. I wanted to get Realtor business, so of course I was going to take advantage of the invite. While there, I met a mortgage professional who I highly respected. I got into a conversation with him about all of the RESPA changes and our Florida laws, voicing my opinion and thoughts. He intently listened and said that he agreed with me then asked me one question: “Are you a member Kimber?” I said no, I really do not have the time as I am a one-man shop so it is hard.
His next response was, “Kimber, you have aired your concerns for over 20 minutes. I understand that your business can take up your time, but if you do not take the time to invest in your profession by at the very least being a member and having a vested interest, then do not complain if the day comes and you cannot operate your business.”
I looked at him, and without hesitation, said, “Point me to the membership person.” I joined on the spot.
Since that day, I have become increasingly involved with my local, state and national trade association to better our industry. One thing I did not expect when I joined was the friendship and business relationships with fellow mortgage professionals that have grown all over this country. I also receive discounted education, government affair updates, additional members-only benefits, and I am counted in the mortgage profession by being a member.
I understand that not everyone can get involved and take on the level of service that I or someone else can, but everyone can afford $120 a year to invest into your business by joining NAMB and supporting your livelihood for just $10 a month that supports you in your business.
As we all know, there is strength in numbers, and all of us together can make an impact for the betterment of our industry as a whole. We need you as a member. Please go to NAMB.org and join today. Together our membership matters.
Kimber White is a partner at RE Financial Services in Oakland Park, Fla. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Florida Association Mortgage Professionals (FAMP) as Treasurer and serves nationally on the NAMB board of directors as Membership Committee chair for NAMB.
Are Leaders Born or Created?
By David Luna, CRMS
“Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things.”—Peter Drucker (1909-2005)
I believe that leaders are made, not born. They are those people around us who, as kids, we followed and they may not have known that they were born leaders. Why would we as kids have followed someone and not known why? Why would we have wanted to be on a team if that leader was on the same team too? Why did we think our chances were better at winning because of our captain, teammate or leader? Do you believe that there are leaders who don’t even know they are leaders? I say we follow someone as our leader for various reasons.
A definition of “Leadership” could be the ability to influence people to move toward a common goal. How to motivate people has been the objective for many movies, books and college courses.
In an Inc. 500 CEO survey based on data from the Inc. 5000, a list of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. They found (based on their survey) that leaders characterized their leadership style as Visionary (66 percent), Democratic (18 percent), Servant (12 percent), Autocratic (three percent) and Hands Off (one percent). However, when asked: “How do you think your employees view you?” Their answers were different. Again, Visionary scored very high at 53 percent, but the rest were very different. Tough (but fair) came in at 22 percent, Motivational at 16 percent, Benevolent at seven percent and Sympathetic at two percent.
Leadership can be broken down into characteristics such as: Integrity, self-confidence, decision-making ability, knowledge, drive, diplomacy, popularity, cooperation skills and more.
There is, however, a difference between leadership and management. The business leader will create a vision, while the manager works towards that vision within the company structure. The leader is passionate the manager’s rational. The leader is creative, while the manager is analytical. The leader will be imaginative the manager will be stabilizing.
There are many different types of leaders if we look at Daniel Goleman’s work, he states that there are: Visionary, Coaching, Affiliative, Democratic, Pace-Setting and Commanding Leaders.
The group “Linked 2 Leadership” is a group on LinkedIn. When asked the question of Management vs. Leadership, the group responded:
►Leadership is working on the system Management is working in the system (M. AlZoubi).
►A leader gets things done by holding a vision, modeling behaviors and inspiring action. A manager gets things done via planning and delegation (S. Slater).
►Management is about ensuring a process is delivered efficiently and leadership is about influencing change (S. Chapple).
►Leadership is vision and management is goals (D. Sandusky).
►Leadership focuses more on the people side of the business, while management is more about systems and processes (D. Slayton).
►A leader needs to know whether his vision is achievable, and works with the managers to ensure they can reach it (R.G. Smith).
►People have to work for managers whereas people want to work with leaders (R. Jindani).
The book by J.P. Kotter on What Leaders Really Do is a collection of his acclaimed Harvard Business Review articles. His thoughts could be summed up as “Leaders lead people, managers manage tasks, work and processes.”
In the mortgage industry, there are many leaders and this is not subject to age. I know a person with several degrees, with all of the correct mortgage skills and has been in this industry for 30 years. Yet, this person is not a great leader. I also know several young people who have the ability to have great people attracted to them. Therefore, I do not believe age is relevant to whether someone is a great leader. A leader is someone who cares about their people and will do what is right no matter what.
In another Inc. Magazine article, it found that you may be a leader if:
1. You have an open mind and seek out other people's opinions.
2. You find yourself giving advice and counsel.
3. People count on you.
4. You're a good listener and people confide in you.
5. Others follow your example.
6. You insist on excellence.
7. You have a positive attitude.
8. You treat people with respect.
9. You genuinely care about others.
10. You are confident and passionate.
Can leadership be learned? I believe that it may be started at an early age by parents, teachers, coaches, etc. Surrounded by those who truly care for these early leaders, leaders are made. Can we become leaders? I believe that it depends on what your skillset is. Are you happiest and more comfortable in getting things to work well or is there a better, faster way. Can you do things in a manner that can excite other people or are you happy to do things the same way they have always been done?
I remember a story about a young husband coming home to find his wife cooking a roast. When he inquired why she had cut the ends of the roast she answered, “That’s the way my mom did it.” Not completely satisfied with the answer, he asked his mother-in-law why she cut the ends off of her roasts. She answered, “That’s the way my mom did it!” Finally, he went to grandmother-in-law and asked, “Why do you cut the ends off of the roasts?” Finally, he received a different answer, she replied, “Because my pan is too short.”
Are we doing things “that way” because things have always been done that way (manager) or is there a better way? Leaders will find new, innovative and better ways of looking at this wonderful business we call the mortgage profession.
We had the NMLS in our office a few weeks ago. Hopefully, as our company’s leader, I am doing things right. We were told that we are highly ranked as a school, and if the trend continues and we accomplish some of our goals, we could be ranked even higher. Is this true of me as a leader or of the fantastic people in my company? I think it’s both the vision and highly motivated, intelligent people I get to associate with on a daily basis who are driving us forward as we break all of our previous records (our measure of performance). We are growing at a rate of 25-30 percent per year and have done so for the last five consecutive years.
Hopefully you can be that kid that others will want to follow. Hopefully you will be that company others will want to work with. Hopefully your time as a leader has begun or you are now ready for the next chapter in your career. Whatever the motivation, leaders can be made. Leadership can be learned and the benefits will be shared with your entire organization, big or small.
David Luna, CRMS, president of Mortgage Educators and Compliance, an NMLS-approved education provider, is a member of the board of directors of NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals. He can be reached by phone at (801) 676-2520 or e-mail David@MortgageEducators.com.
Getting to Know: Valerie Saunders
Director, NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals
By Phil Hall
Valerie Saunders is one of the most prominent figures in today’s mortgage profession. She is the president of Jacksonville, Fla.-based Title ClearingHouse, is the immediate past president of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP) and a director with NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals.
National Mortgage Professional Magazine spoke with Saunders regarding her career in the mortgage industry and her work with the state and national trade groups.
How did you first get into the mortgage profession? Was this your original career choice?
No, it was definitely not my original career choice! I was working on my master’s degree in historical administration, and I looked for a temp job—and I happened to get one in the mortgage industry. When I got my master’s degree, the jobs fell out of the arts field, so I stayed with mortgages.
When did you receive your master’s?
In 1991, from Eastern Illinois University.
How did you first become involved with the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP)?
I moved to Florida from Illinois to work at a title company. I started attending FAMP Chapter Meetings in order to start networking and gather new business. By 2007, I was part of the Executive Committee of the state association. From there, I went on to become treasurer and was later president-elect. Kathy Love, our incoming president at the time, passed away. Rick Workman, then past president, took her place, but was then elected to the Florida House of Representatives. He resigned and I went into the president’s role.
How did you first get involved with NAMB?
Before I became FAMP president, Florida had broken away from the national association. I spent a lot of time getting the state and national associations back together. Since 2011, I have been a NAMB director.
Are you still involved with FAMP?
I am president of the FAMP Education Foundation, which primarily handles the oversight of instructional courses and educational seminars provided via NMLS-approved course instructors. We also do consumer education—we used to do a lot more, and we are now getting back into it.
What are some of your responsibilities with NAMB?
Currently, I am co-chair of the Government Affairs Committee. We have been focusing on HR 3393, The Mortgage Fairness Act, and trying to get co-sponsors in the House and on the Senate companion bill. We are working to educate the membership on the importance of HR 3393 and its impact on mortgage brokers.
We also put together the 2016 Legislative & Regulatory Conference recently held in D.C., with three full days of education, information and lobbying for our members. And we started a monthly Webinar series last July that focuses on different topics of use to the industry: TRID, 203k, loan officer compensations, MSRs, etc. In May, the Webinar will focus on Fannie Mae’s HomeReady and Home Possible programs. We have also set up a legislative advocacy page that includes immediate calls to action on bills that are either harmful or beneficial to the mortgage industry.
What do you see as the current state of the mortgage profession?
I believe that this is the year of the mortgage broker. The industry is poised to serve our country’s consumers in a better way. The federal government and the state governments see the importance of small business within a community serving consumers directly.
Many people in the industry have been concerned that young people are not gravitating to the mortgage profession. What can be done to attract more young people to careers in the mortgage profession?
Unfortunately, the economic downturn and its effects on the mortgage industry resulted in young people watching their parents struggle. Many of them said, “I’m not going to do that … I don’t want that to happen to me.” But as the industry turns a corner, more people are coming out of college and are seeing that we’ve come back. We have to let the Millennials know that the mortgage profession is a safe and secure industry to go into. Unlike many industries, we have direct contact with consumers and our professionals get to see the fruits of their labors.
What is the current state of the housing market like in Florida?
Florida is definitely on the rebound. The South Florida area was the first in the state to be hit the hardest, but now it is a hot market. Home values are on the rise, and according to a Freddie Mac study, some of the hottest areas in the country are in South Florida. The Northern region of Florida is recovering as well.
What is the biggest challenge facing your business today?
Our biggest challenge is trying to hire new loan officers. We want to expand our footprint and are putting a focus on hiring younger loan officers that we can appropriately train. But finding the right people that would well with us has been a great challenge.
What are some of your near-term goals?
I am still working to be the best I could possibly be on a national level. Whatever task I’m given, I will give 150 percent. I am also eager to expand my business. I want to open another branch and take on a couple of more loan officers.
You are more than a little busy with your work. How do you spend your leisure time?
I have two kids—one is a junior in college and the other is a senior in high school. Our family loves Disney World and we are going on a Disney cruise this summer. I am also a softball coach with the local middle school and president of the local softball association. I spend a lot of time cultivating youth athletics.
And did you ever find a professional outlet for your original career goals?
I have a BA in history, and when I was first out of college, I had a job at the National Archives in St. Louis. After my master’s, I worked at a convent and did a museum-quality exhibition within the Mother House. But since I moved to Florida, I’ve not been able to utilize that aspect of my education. But I still love history and love going to museums.
Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared in the April 2016 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.