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Danil Tesenin is president of Aventura, Fla.-based NationsTrust Mortgage and is president of the Miami Chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine spoke with him regarding his work with the organization and the strides being made by FAMP’s Miami Chapter.
How did you first get involved with FAMP’s Miami Chapter, and what was the path that led you to your current leadership role?
I have been a member since I was first involved in the business in 2003. I always kept my membership, even in times when the business was really bad–I even had to leave the business for a bit in 2008 and 2009. The Miami Chapter dissolved for a while because there was so little business, but it was brought back to life by Jackie Mamber, who served as its president and is now the Chapter’s past president. I was asked to join as a director and later became treasurer in 2015. During last fall’s election, Jackie asked me to become president and I was elected in November.
Why should Miami-area mortgage professionals become members of this chapter?
A lot of people do not appreciate this, but it is important to keep up with compliance. Unfortunately, Miami has one of the highest populations of mortgage brokers who are not following all compliance requirements, and of course, compliance is a vital factor for all professionals in this industry.
What role does your association play in the state legislative and regulatory environment, and is there anything on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
Every year in April, FAMP’s state directors travel to Tallahassee to meet and greet with our legislators. For the last two years, we didn’t have to ask them to change anything for the industry. Florida goes with what the federal government rules, so there are no overlays–so far.
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the Miami Chapter?
The South Florida market is highly populated with small banks and credit unions. We tried to create a membership for all local banks to join, so they can advertise for free to show the local market what they are offering to consumers. All portfolio lenders have niche products. But these smaller banks don’t want to be national, they want to be local, yet the brokers don’t know them because these lenders do not have the ability to knock on every broker’s doors. We are creating a database with one of the key factors to reach every professional to become a member, so access to a database of all products out there so they don’t lose loans.
What is the status of this database?
The database deadline is the end of the year. Right now, we have a trade show on Oct. 6 that is taking up time. We are expecting 137 exhibitors this year, so we had to prioritize the trade show ahead of the database project.
What is the synergy between the local and state groups and NAMB?
FAMP’s President Valerie Saunders is also a member of the board of directors of NAMB. The national association strictly works with Dodd-Frank, the CFPB rules—they do not touch matters at the local level. When it comes to Florida, FAMP focuses on locals. But NAMB does very important work and every member should support them.
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
I started in the business when I was 23. In today’s market, if you work hard in the business, you can make a good living. But what is happening, however, is that a lot of brokerages are very picky on new hires. They want experience and are taking people who have worked in banks on salary.
There needs to be better educational training to encourage young people. I don’t know if colleges are offering this. I took a specific program for mortgage finance when I attended Miami Dade College, where they taught not only the rules and regulations of the industry, but also how to underwrite.
What is the state of the Miami area’s housing market?
The answer changes every quarter. South Florida became very expensive in the last three years, especially the high-end oceanfront market, which became highly speculative and mostly attracted foreign borrowers. Now, the Eurozone and South American countries suffered with local crises, and that impacted the high-end market. So we now have Americans buying $250,000 to $350,000 properties as vacation homes, where before, we had foreigners buying $2.5 million to $3.5 million properties.
Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at [email protected].