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On Wednesday, April 14, the Mortgage Leadership Outlook featured Michael Brenning, president, wholesale lending for AmeriSave Wholesale Mortgage Solutions. Brenning and series' host Andrew Berman, explored Brenning's past successes, what 2020 was like for him and his team, the future of the mortgage broker, what brokers need to survive and thrive over the next few years and more.
Brenning is the president of AmeriSave’s re-launched wholesale lending platform, AWMS. a technology-driven platform bringing new processes and tech to the broker marketplace. Prior to joining AmeriSave, he ran a Non-QM securitizer, Deephaven Mortgage, where he quadrupled production in the correspondent channel and built a wholesale channel from the ground up. Before Deephaven, he was a co-founder and senior executive at QLMS, the third-party origination channel of Quicken Loans, where he helped the platform grow to over $4 billion a month in origination volume.
Highlights From The Interview:
- “What we saw in January/February, somewhat pandemic driven somewhat to start the year in January for sure in 2020, was a little bit of hesitation by the bond investment community around non-agency and non-QM,” said Brenning. “That leaked into February and you started to see spreads really start to widen out.”
- Brenning added that by the first week or so of March, deals had completely dried up. Now, however, it’s back to a fluid, liquid, high-demand Non-QM and non-agency marketplace. He added that as refis pull back, originators are going to need a new way to approach their business and Non-QM is a way to to diversify and get creative with your business.
- “Account executives are messengers, they’re communicators, they’re taking the message that their capital markets team, or sales leader or their channel leader wants them to deliver that week, whether it’s a pricing special or new process they’ve rolled out or something tech-wise. That’s basically what they’re allowed to talk about and they’re not allowed to really help the broker. There are some really large wholesale lenders out there that AEs can’t really help the broker when brass tacks are on the table, or it’s closing time or it’s a heavy condition that people aren’t working through that's very weak and they can’t reach someone, the AE needs to be helpful.”
- “We want to show you empathy at the broker level. I think that’s something our industry has lost, is being empathetic towards what’s going on. People are getting into homes, they’re trying to save money and the broker is the one advising them on that. We need to treat the broker with empathy because they’re in the hot seat … working with the consumer and kind of being in the middle between us and the consumer.”
- “I don’t think you can truly be successful and deliver something long-term if you don’t have a multi-channel organization.”
- “Number one, make no mistake, everybody in the mortgage industry had a record year last year. [That] creates record earnings. What does that create? Record war chest. Most owners and leaders don’t just take that money and run; they reinvest it back into their company. So I would strongly expect if I’m a broker, that the distributed retail channel and the consumer-direct channels that are out there reinvest in their businesses and come out with new things, new ways of approaching the consumer, new offers, new tech. Those investments are being made and have been being made throughout … last year and into this year for sure. So, be aware of that, plan strategy around that.”
- “Your strategy should be to look through your array of wholesale lenders and make sure you’ve got the right level of diversity in there that is affording you the product width and depth that you need, not just in agency or government but also in home equity. I think that’s an opportunity where we have to be smart as a broker for this year and next year to come.”
- “You have to pick lenders that have your best interest in mind, which is protecting the sanctity of your relationship with the consumer. They have to be competitive so that when it comes down to a refi or a purchase you can win. But I think the biggest thing that is going to set people apart and you really have to be conscious of your wholesale lenders now on going forward is, what does their tech stack look like? Are they affording you something that does allow you to feel like a 10,000 person company as a 5 person company?”
See the full conversation between Brenning and Berman below.
See all the interviews from the Mortgage Leadership Outlook series on its YouTube channel.