Automation & technology

Succeeding in any market: A conversation with Dale Vermillion & Kevin Peranio


Now’s the time to learn how to adapt your business strategies to navigate today's market and prepare for future success no matter what comes your way. Join Mortgage Champions, in partnership with ICE Mortgage Technology, for expert advice on how to navigate the mortgage business during times of change. Tune in to hear from long-time friends and industry leaders, Dale Vermillion, CEO of Mortgage Champions, and Kevin Peranio, Chief Lending Officer, PRMG as they discuss their passion for helping people achieve the dream of homeownership, their top tips to find motivation and achieve success in today’s housing landscape, and expert advice on how to continue growing in 2023.

Welcome to our open house. Instead of examining hardwood floors, closet space, and kitchen layouts, we're taking you on a tour of what's happening across today's mortgage industry. During each episode, we'll hear from industry leaders and subject matter experts to give us an inside look into a hot topic, cutting edge technology, or new trend that can help accelerate your digital journey. Thank you for joining us. Come on in.

Hello and welcome to another episode of the Ice Mortgage Technology Open House Podcast. My name is Michaela Rosendaal, Senior Marketing Manager here at Ice Mortgage Technology. I'm extremely excited and honored to bring to you a special conversation between Dale Vermillion, Founder and CEO of Mortgage Champions, and Kevin Peronio, Chief Lending Officer at PRMG, Inc.

They recently sat down at ICE Mortgage Technologies Sales and Service Meeting where they discussed their passion for helping people achieve the dream of home ownership, their top tips to find motivation and achieve success in today's housing landscape along with advice on how to continue growing in 2023. Now without further ado, let's listen into this engaging conversation so you both talk opportunity and.

The market and how being successful in the market is not dependent on what the market's doing, but how you're responding to the market. So why don't you just talk a little bit about from your age perspectives what that means? Sure. Yeah, talking about seizing the opportunity in any market, Well, I would say the, the number one driver is motivation, right. You can be highly skilled, organized, have all the product and technology knowledge in the world, but if you're not.

If you're not motivated, it's just, you know, without the mow, there's no go. That's why I was always trained and even our most highly self motivated professionals, they just need a little nudge every now and then. You know, sometimes they hit a rut or they just kind of have a routine they need to freshen up. And so, you know, I would say as a leader it's kind of one of your main focuses is to is to watch certainly the top performers when they need that nudge and it's not often.

And it could be a subtle cue, but you've got to be engaged to see those. And then of course, you know, if we're going to use your standard playbook, your bottom 20 and your middle 60, I mean, there's different ways to manage that. But but helping motivate people and getting them the right mindset, you know, it, it's tough. I mean, you talk about our business right now, there's less business out there and rates are rising and all you hear about is talk of recession. But So what they're still like, you know, $2 trillion in loans getting done maybe 2.5. I don't know where we'll land this year, but.

But yeah, in any market, you have your ups and downs. You just got to make sure people are motivated. I love it. You know, it's interesting because you talk about the industry and the opportunities in it and all you have to do is look as far as the population numbers for the Gen. Y and Gen. Z, 168,000,000 people who all want to own a home, they don't want to rent that. That right there is the future for the next.

25 years for Taser is there and in a way that creates more savings and more stability and more liquidity and more of those things with it. So to me that's strong. And the other side of that is just actions, your actions, what, what, what, what are people doing, you know, in this marketplace as if you said it very well a moment ago, you know you've got to do the right things and have the motivation behind that.

And what I see a lot is people just don't do the right things. You know, we we use the wrong approaches with our customers and instead of focusing on them and how we can help them, we're trying to think from the vantage point of how how do we, how do we sell a deal to build a profit. It's never about that. It's always about focus on the customer first, believe you can make a difference in their life, do the actions that will lead to helping them and they're going to buy from you every time you create that customer for life mentality when you do that because.

They sense that you're putting in about them first. I I love that you hit on so many different topics there. You know you talk about liquidity and you talking about the money aspect of it. You know I kind of range them. The motivation range from we buy and sell money to you know transactional all the way to the American dream and obviously you and I, we lean hard into the American Dream like we love it. Like I love helping people get a house. It's why we're so excited all the time. It is it's so much fun I I just cruise in here from another show in Nashville and.

The keynote speaker this morning was saying that only one in five borrowers do their next loan with the last loan officer that helped them one in five. That's crazy. That's pathetic, right? And in my, my Lyft driver was asking me, is it going to be a crash? You know, should I wait, you know? And I said, well, are you renting? Are you spending money on rent? Because you're not waiting. You're spending every day, and you're making a landlord rich. And so you know, it is.

There's all these different talking points are out there that motivate whether it's consumers or our sales professionals or our colleagues. And you just kind of read the tea leaves and I I'm telling you, I've never been more bullish on housing than I am now. It's just even the down cycle, you can pick up some some good transactions, some good bargains, some good deals. There's not going to be a crash like it wasn't 08. The guy really asked me that. Is it going to be a crash like 08? I got there's no credit bubble, you know, but when things slow down, you know it's different.

It's different than a crash. A slowdown is different than a crash. And our sales people need to realize that as well. You know, they're, you know, a slowdown means, you know it's not as busy it used to be or you're not helping as many people or you're not making as much money, whatever that motivation is. But it's still good, you know, and it's still good and we're still very blessed to be in this business. Well, and the key to all of that is just staying after your customers, staying entrenched in those customers, that customer for life we talked about a moment ago that.

You and I built our careers around and we used to do with a Rolodex. Today we have ICE. We have automation that does all these things for the sales teams that they there's no reason not to stay in contact with your customers. No reason for that statistic of only 20% of customers go back to the office mind blowing and and and today you have the opportunity to not only stay in touch with them but.

Artificial intelligence helps you understand what they're buying habits are going to be what they're looking for. This is where technology becomes so important to help you identify those sweet spot marketplace opportunities that create that. And look, you you said it perfectly KP, our product's money. We're not in the mortgage business, we're in the money business. Everybody loves that. So as long as we can remember that, wake up in the morning and go, you know, today we have a chance to put somebody in the home, which makes the American economy what it is. We have a chance to help people be create stability. That's that's what the game's about.

And it's about helping families to to live as strong families. You look at those things, it makes a difference. I I was thinking about when you were talking a couple years ago, I'll never forget this. I was at an office for a guy who was in the business for like 40-2 years and he was still just so bumped up. And I'm like okay. I think I'm a motivational guy. What is going on with you? Why are you so excited? You know what he did? He said, I got to show you. He walks me in this closing room.

He's got 700 photos on the wall of people with their new house keys. Every loan he ever closed, he had put on that wall. He said that's my motivation right there. That's cool. That's there's your motivation. There's the belief by doing that. Yeah, so cool. Well, you, you know, I don't know if our audience knows that you're you're going on your third year with our sales professional team for our wholesale and correspondent channel and you know, we like to say you're.

You're the the PRMG sales guru, you know, our guide, our, our coach, our mentor. And you know, I think one thing that's important is, you know, you talk about a I, you talk about the tools and they're there to save us time, right? They're not there to eliminate the human aspect of this business, the relationship aspect, because behind every transaction, whether it's a realtor or an originator or the consumer, there's a human and you know the the technology helps us cut through some of the mundane.

Tasks and gives us more time back to be more human. And you know, I always, I always joke I wish everyone had the same technology because then it would just be, you know, your people versus our people or your people serving your type of people or I mean you know we don't have as many as you know some of our large competitors. But you know there's there's enough business to go around There's, you know, I'm a big abundance mindset guy and and and I just I feel like it it never ends. I mean there's always someone you can serve. There's someone you can help.

And I love the fact that when you come in and you speak to our sales professionals, you don't lose sight of the fact that it's a relationship business. And that's what I love about your company is you guys have the old school mindset of relationship with the new school mindset of technology through ICE and through your partners. That just creates that perfect.

Meld of two things come together that create success in the marketplace. It's not rocket science, I think. I think sometimes we make it harder than it is. I know we do. It's But you know, sometimes that's where the motivation gets in, you know, comes into play. You know, sometimes we get in our own way, you know, and everyone goes through it. Everyone has you know, you don't know what challenges, you know, people are facing. That's not even related to, you know, you know, buying a home or their career. I mean, you know, people go through challenges and gosh, the whole country just went through two years of craziness.

I wish we could, you know, say we're out of, you know, the pandemic and you know, we're not, you know, you're not fully out of it. Obviously it's not as bad as it used to be, but you know, just sucker punched our whole country and housing was a shining star. You know, every single partner vendor, every one of our colleagues were part of the the housing initiative, just pulled our economy right back up and just kept marching forward.

And gosh, what a great time to be a homeowner, you know, 20% appreciation year every year for a couple years in a row. I mean obviously that's not going to last forever, but people who have taken that chance and and took seriously the privilege of homeownership, they are, they're in a great spot right now. Let's talk a little bit about what is on top of mind for you for the second-half of the year, what you're both thinking about as you head into Q2H22O KP. What do you think second-half of this year? What are you, what are you envisioning? What are you, what are you thinking?

So my my most positive spin right since we're talking about mindset, you know it it it's a cyclical business, we're in a a down part of the cycle again it's very good but the the really the only the real challenges that come from the down part of the cycle is it's usually the capacity of the industry right. So you know we're we're such a cyclical business you know you build up for 4.6 trillion which has never happened before and.

You know, then you got to come back down to reality and go okay. There might only be 2.5 trillion, which again is a fantastic number. I mean it's like the 7th best year ever, right? Maybe it's less than that, I don't know. So it's a deleveraging, you know, it's a, it's a it's just a part of the cycle that people have to get used to okay. It's not as busy, it's not as crazy, you know, and it's all aspects. I mean you got secondary market personnel who are like wow, margin compression like.

There's no money in the mortgage-backed securities and then of course you've got you know originators who are like I was doing you know 203040 loans a month, now I'm doing you know 1015 and but it's okay. You know what we're telling people is that there's two really important points in is that yes, there will be another part of the cycle, will there be a recession and rates will come back down again. But I think there's this big belief in the business that.

The rates will actually be lower all time again and there's no guarantee for that. There's no guarantee that every loan that's was just refinanced at record low rates with record, you know, liquidity infusion from the Fed. We're going to see those rates again and those loans will become available for refinance. We might only see rates in the four, you know, 4% range. So the purchases we do today, those become the loans that are refinances in the next part of the refi cycle.

And so the motivation for us is to grind and help people get purchase business going, create deal flow and from an original standpoint I would say realtor as well, you know trying to get out in front of the client online, maybe use a little bit more consumer direct S type activities. Nothing can be the local originator, nothing can be a local realtor. They have this knowledge that is built with years of experience, you know this feeling and knowing where the good schools are and where to get someone to fix.

This part of your house or this or that and that local knowledge coupled together with finding business online, getting consumers first and then putting them in a house, you're building your future refinance pipeline. Because by the way, when rates do come down again, let's just say they come down to only 4%, now you're refinancing everyone you're doing right now in the fives, gosh, maybe even sixes depending on how high rates get to, but then they'll be more purchases.

Right, because rates will be you know even cheaper in that next part of the cycle. So we're telling people to build for the Next up part of the cycle in the refinance and that's the motivation right now. Even though you know it's, you know, it's a little, there's some deleveraging. You know, I think between now and February of 23 will be the most turbulent waters. But I think once the spring purchases and kicks off again usually around mid February is when things start to really pick up and we'll we'll see.

You know, most of this industry will have deleveraged. You know a lot of the larger clients that were refi heavy, they will had to have gotten rid of their, you know, their excess capacity and there'll be some equilibrium and then we'll be able to just you know, have less turbulent times. You know after this is I think my 7th rising rate market in 40 years and you always see the same thing in the thing that's encouraging to me going into the second-half of this year is that in the first half of the year.

Everybody's learning the change in the market and now we everybody knows it's for real. It's you know, I think a lot of people sat back with their holding their breath for 90 days going well, it's going to go back to what it was. Rates are going to go back down to mid twos, low threes and now people are like Nope, we're here to stay. And what you have is you have that that attrition you talked about that cleansing where you do go through a period of time where you tighten the industry.

But once you do that, the people who are left are the ones that really know how to work with their customers and do the right things. And that always becomes a great market for those lenders And for those loan officers and those people at that time, they do really well because now they've, they've learned the mistakes from the first half there. They've learned what they need to change. You know, we had a pretty, pretty interesting switch that I've never seen in 40 years went from the lowest rates in all of U.S. history to.

A300 base point increase in less than five months unheard of and and so that that adjustment now we're on going to be on the backside of that and people will know that and I go back to those population numbers again, demand has never been greater for homes, never, there's never been more people wanting to buy homes. That's going to, that's going to carry us through this as we start to see rates start to level off and ultimately come back down and exactly what you said is going to happen again because it always does. It's a single business.

We'll be back in a refi boom again and here we go, people will be entering the market back in and we're having parties all over the place once again and you know celebrating the successes that who doesn't like to party. So the future as far as pertains to technology, I think there's no question that this industry is moving so rapidly to such a heavy tech requirement for consumers in context with relationship. I talk about that all the time, the high tech, the high touch, but.

You know we were so busy in 20 and 2021 and the and the time to make available to work on tech stacks, work on those things was a lot more difficult. Now we've got the time volumes down. This is when you get your game ready for the next market and and this we know the one advantage of technology is as you upgrade and improve your technologies, you upgrade and improve your efficiencies in production and the net net is you're going to make the money back in spades.

And you won't compete without it. My belief is that if you don't have a solid tech stack, if you're not heavily invested in ICE and the technology they can provide, you're gonna have a difficulty surviving the market that's gonna be in the future. Those who don't do that are gonna have a much more difficult time because.

It's gonna be such a fast and furious market like it is right now. Speed has become more and more and more and more important and that's something that really only technology can really provide to you. You can't survive without that and then that back end continuity of staying in contact with your customers and.

You know the the thing that makes successful companies, successful companies is they do a great job with their customer databases. They they really invest in the technologies that will provide that ongoing communication, that connection that that loan officer for life, lender for life mindset that loan officers today just are too busy to get to. You just can't do it with all of the complications of a mortgage today without that technology so.

I think now is the time, now is the time to invest. Now is the time to prepare for the future. Now is the time to to take market share. Now is the time to realize that we are on the cusp in the next year like we talked about of things are going to get better and then you're going to wish you had all of that in place at that point. So I would say now is the time to build that so that you are prepared for the 2023-2024 market which I think is going to be absolutely huge, you know those that don't take advantage of it.

They just won't be able to compete at the end of the day because you would have to create so much discipline within your organization at a human level in a world where there's so many distractions and so much regulation and so much compliance and so much complexity that didn't exist. You know, when, when I think of the way we did business years ago without technology and we were very efficient.

But it was a very simple business in those days. You know, we didn't have any of the regulations and things that you deal with today or the diversity of products or any of those things today. You are hamstrung if you don't have your technologies, you just can't keep up with the lenders that have it. So it would be very difficult to survive in this marketplace because again, we're also dealing with the next generation and the generation after that and they're raised on tech, so.

They're going to expect something very different than the consumers we've worked with in the last 20-30 forty years I've been in the business. It's a changing, shifting market like everything in the United States. And you know what if, as I always say, if you don't change with the market, the market runs you over.


Information contained in this audio was obtained in part from publicly sources and not independently verified. Neither ICE Mortgage Technology nor its affiliates, make any representations or warranties, express or implied as to the accuracy or completeness of the information and do not sponsor, approve or endorse any of the content herein. All of which is presented solely for informational and educational purposes. Nothing herein constitutes an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy any security or a recommendation of any security or trading practice. Some portions of the preceding conversation may have been edited for the purpose of length or clarity.

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