The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that retail banks (Wells Fargo, Bank of America) held 75% of the U.S. mortgage market before the Housing Market Crash of 2007. This ratio has now reduced to 50%, after the tightening of regulations from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The other 50% of mortgages are extended by “nonbanks”, which are mortgage lenders who do not take federally insured deposits from consumers to make loans.
Like retail banks, some nonbanks lend directly to the public (Quicken Loans, Rocket Mortgage). But nonbank lenders also include “wholesale lenders”. Wholesale lenders offer the most competitive interest rates because they use mortgage brokers to originate loans (and therefore do not have the corresponding overhead costs).
United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) is the largest U.S. wholesale lender, closing $22.9 billion of mortgages in 2016. UWM reports that mortgage brokers handled 35% of all U.S. residential mortgage closings in 2005. After the housing crisis, this ratio bottomed at 10%.
Mortgage broker loan originations are now back up to 14%, with UWM projecting an increase to at least 20% by 2020. This market share growth is supported by what the public is embracing again, which is that only mortgage brokers:
(i) help consumers shop among many well-developed capital sources for the best mortgage rates and fees
(ii) have a multitude of mortgage products from which to choose (far more than any one lender), and
(iii) do all the consumers’ legwork and negotiate for the fastest loan execution.
Isn’t that really the key question we are asking our clients when we meet them for the first time? Yet most of us are, appropriately, not so candid with our word selection. We would all acknowledge the importance of that initial greeting: the eye contact, the handshake, and the opening dialogue – all of which could be very different depending on our instincts and sense of the other person.
We get better at this with experience, or even perhaps with age. The question is whether we are consistent, or if we sometimes lose a little focus and leave an unintended impression.
Don’t forget how essential it is for your client to interview you. If you are a mortgage broker, lender, accountant or financial consultant, your client prospect needs to decide whether they can trust you with highly confidential information – i.e., their tax returns, social security number, bank statements, pay-stubs, divorce papers, bankruptcy documents or all of the above. If you make one odd gesture or leave them with a tiny bit of uncertainty, they are not likely to call you back – nor should they.
But if you are a borrower or investor looking for a trusted advisor, it’s a two-way street. Your prospective advisor is interviewing you for the same purpose. Leaving an impression that you have not been entirely forthright may require you to settle for a less professional or inexperienced advisor.
You will know if an acceptable level of mutual trust has been gained.