Wholesale lending experts share 3 key focal points going into 2022

Author: Eric Kujala, VP Product Marketing, ICE Mortgage Technology

In a recent study conducted by MarketWise, LLC, we gained a clear understanding of the ROI potential of Encompass® and Encompass TPO Connect® for top wholesale lenders. I had the opportunity to meet with Jordan Brown, CEO of MarketWise, along with two top performing lenders in the wholesale lending space to talk about ways they improve TPO customer experience and collaboration to improve ROI to stay ahead of the competition. They each shared with me their top consideration heading into 2022. Here's what they had to say about developing strong relationships with originators to support efficiency and maximize resources.

Focus on the path to pivot.

Finding ways to help originators succeed is essential to business growth for wholesale lenders. Kevin Peranio, Chief Lending Officer, PRMG, Inc, had some unique ideas about how supporting originators in their consumer-facing activity has helped increase their flow of business at scale. Kevin pointed out 4 areas of focus to support TPOs, and gave us some insight about how that’s making a difference:

1. Speed to lead - “If you're the first loan officer or realtor to talk to a borrower, you win that deal about 60 to 65% the time. Most borrowers don't shop around beyond that first one, so getting to the borrower first is a big deal.”

2. Customer for life - “When we get a call back from our borrower, that's our originator’s borrower. That's our originator’s relationship, so we give that borrower back to the broker. Building trust and loyalty on in our business is a cornerstone of our success.”

3. Capturing the deal - “The reality is, millennials want what they want, when they want it, how they want it, interconnected globally in the palm of their hand in this fourth industrial revolution. When they search all around on the web at nine different places for information, and they're ready to actually talk to a human, you’d better pick up that phone. If you don't pick up the phone when they want to contact you, you lose that deal 90% of the time.”

4. Investing in consumer-facing activity - “We're trying to help our originators get in front of the clients first and give them that path to pivot. Don't ignore what you've done to get here, but do some more consumer facing activity, and then continue to grow and scale your business.”

Focus on personalized service.

TPOs need to know that the wholesale lender they’re working with is available and happy to give them support when they need it. Providing timely support to TPOs increases their efficiency which in turn, increases yours. Great support also nurtures the TPO relationship, so you can attract and retain the best originators. Kim Alexander, Chief Operations and Transformation Officer, Towne Mortgage Company summed up the importance of customer service within that TPO relationship when she said, “Every dollar that you spend, you're going to get it back if you focus on service. Have someone that answers the phone within a minute. Make sure that person can answer the question, because just a voice isn't enough. They have to know what they're talking about and provide consistency, a little bit of variety and, to the extent that it's a necessity, price.” Kim goes on to clarify that the equation is simple:

Service = Profitability

Focus on key metrics.

At the end of the day, your profit and loss is the most telling metric about the health of your business. All other aspects of your business are tied into this metric, including your competitiveness in the marketplace, your pricing, and your ability to attract and retain TPOs. Jordan Brown points out the importance of focusing closely on a few key operating metrics as a health check. Cycle time, profitability, and ROI are a good place to start. When used correctly, these metrics become a decision-making tool. Jordan suggests, “Break down the ROI journey. Look at it through a P&L lens and from an operating metric lens. Ask yourself, ‘Am I doing a great job? Am I doing an okay job? Can I do better?’ That, I think, is the most important piece at the end of the day.”

Conclusion- Managing with technology.

Keeping all these balls in the air and your eye on all these targets at once might feel overwhelming, but it becomes simple and manageable when you have the right technology in place. Creating this level of organization pays off in spades as technology helps retain originators. Kim pointed out that turn-times are everything in this market, and said, “Originators have choices, and they can choose not to use you on a deal-by-deal basis. We have to fight to build those relationships. We’ve just come out of an epic refinance boom, and the market has shifted. We have to think about serving in a different way. Within the wholesale space, improving the customer experience is really about leveraging technology for better time and efficiency, as Jordan noted from his study. Brokers appreciate the convenience of our TPO Connect portal.”

Kevin gave a concise explanation of the goal behind onboarding automation technology into the TPO process, “Process automation is giving us our time back. Not to eliminate the human element, but to take away the menial stuff that can be automated. So, our human capital, our coworkers, our family, can do more of the relationship aspect of the business.”

View the entire webinar for wholesale lenders on-demand here.

View the entire webinar for correspondent lenders on-demand here.

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