Chrissy Buchanan is executive vice president at Hallmark Home Mortgage in Fort Wayne, Ind., and president of the Indiana Mortgage Bankers Association (IMBA). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with Buchanan about her work with her state’s mortgage trade association.
What was the route that led you to the leadership position with the Indiana Mortgage Bankers Association?
I’ve been on the Board for four years as a director, then ended up as secretary, vice president and president. I heard about the opportunity and came in through a recommendation. My term as president began in June 2018 and concludes this June.
Why should mortgage professionals in your state join IMBA?
We provide a lot of value for our members. We host conferences and provide e-mail communications concerning legislative issues at hand. We also produce a big convention each year that includes speakers from all over the country. This year, we worked with the national MBA on mPower, the movement to bring more women into the industry. We held an event here on how we can do more to advance female executive roles in the mortgage profession.
What is the IMBA’s approach to legislative considerations?
We have an attorney named Tom Dinwiddie on our board who goes to the state legislative session and brings information back to us. We don’t have a lobbyist at the state level, because the lobbying is done at the national level. On a national level, we attend the MBA’s Advocacy Conference. Al Thorup, our executive director, attends that event, along with Tom Dinwiddie and usually the incoming board president and gets to converse with our senators and congressional representatives.
In the time that you have been part of the IMBA, what do you see as the organization’s most significant accomplishments?
Our major contribution has been our communications with our members. We always keep them up to date on what is happening in our industry. Also, our convention has brought in valued speakers who offer their insight. We currently have about 200 members, which includes both lender and vendor members of the IMBA.
Is the IMBA working with other trade groups in related industries within the housing market?
We are working with the state level affiliates of the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Home Builders.
Within your state, are you seeing a new wave of younger people coming into mortgage careers?
No, and that is on our agenda. We have an initiative called the “Future Leaders Program” and we have been holding career fairs around the state and are trying to encourage internship programs with lenders. The mortgage industry is a very lucrative career and it is not part of the university curriculum. We have been talking to local universities to get programs set up, either for financial majors or business majors, to let them learn about the industry and the great careers that are available, especially in sales.
What is the housing market like in the state of Indiana?
We have inventory issues, especially in the first-time homebuyer range of $150,000 to $250,000. Still, prices are good, rates are falling, and things are looking up.
Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at [email protected].