Marty Remillard is a mortgage broker with Solutions First Mortgage in Sarasota, Fla., and is president of the Suncoast Chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his work in FAMP and the Florida mortgage industry.
How and why did you get involved in FAMP? And can you share the track within your association that led to the leadership role?
It was actually by chance. In 2008, the local chapter that I belonged to needed volunteers. I was asked to help out and I said, “Yeah, I’ll see what I can do.” After that, I stepped up and kept going.
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state should join your association?
We are able to share and a lot from each other. As you meet more people in the business, you become more in touch with the changes that are brought by government regulations. This, in turn, allows you to participate in the process, while providing a chance to educate yourself about the profession.
What role does your association play in the state legislative and regulatory environment, and are there any items on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
Currently, I’m the association’s Membership Committee Chairman and I am not that involved regarding what’s on the table right now. Overall, the association has been able to bring mortgage professionals to meet with legislators–we tend to be more state-oriented than federal-oriented–and we have been able to stop of a lot things that would’ve had a major impact on borrowers.
For example, there was a bill that would have required the use of thumb prints on loan applications. That would have hurt a lot of people, especially those out of state coming into Florida [to buy property]. By our being involved, our legislators are able to hear from everyone in order to make much better decisions.
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the association?
Everything I’ve done was never done alone. I always feel that I am part of a great team.
What does being the state affiliate for NAMB bring to your association and to the overall agenda for the mortgage profession nationwide?
FAMP was the first trade association for mortgage professionals, and the Florida association had a great impact on getting the national association started. In a way, it has sort of come full circle.
As NAMB’s state affiliate, FAMP is able to bring good information to our local areas. It is more successful to deliver this information face-to-face rather than trying to find something in a magazine.
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
I think there is a really good chance–either at a state or national level–to work with colleges and universities to help them develop a curriculum to educate future mortgage professionals. In this industry, we are starving to have people.
A good loan processor can make $60,000-plus a year, and someone working in this industry has the potential to make a six-digit figure income. But there is no curriculum out there for this–there is no formal educational training for these people.
How would you define the state of the Florida housing market?
We feel we’re ahead of the rest of the nation. There has been tremendous growth over the last three years. In the Sarasota area, real estate sales are up 10 percent to 13 percent over the last three-and-a-half years.
We also get a lot of Europeans, Canadians and Israelis buying in this market, and we still get our Snow Birds, plus the Baby Boomers, who are starting to retire and move down here.
Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at [email protected].