September 1, 2023
Dave Higgins, VP of Business Innovation, Earns 2023 HousingWire Insiders Award
HousingWire—a leading housing industry media publication—today announced its 2023 Insiders Award winners. Dave Higgins, UMortgage’s VP of Business Innovation, was selected as one of the 75 exclusive winners of this award for his excellence in leading a plethora of initiatives and projects that have helped UMortgage grow at scale and enable its team members to succeed in their roles.
The HousingWire Insiders Award honors operational leaders in housing who are working behind the scenes to drive their companies and clients forward. According to HousingWire’s press release, “Winners were carefully selected by HousingWire’s selection committee based on their vital and dynamic contributions to their companies and the industry as a whole.”
Higgins’ contributions to UMortgage since joining in 2021 have been invaluable to the mortgage platform’s exponential, 300% year-over-year growth.
In his role as VP of Business Innovation, Dave is the mastermind behind UMortgage’s approach to any updated process, new initiative, departmental restructure, or ideated solutions to individual and collective pain points. He brings structure, accountability, communication, and user adoption to life all while ensuring the platform maintains its industry-best Net Promoter Score (NPS) and operations turn times.
UMortgage sat down with Dave to discuss what it means to win this award and his approach to leadership within the organization.
Q: Dave, congratulations on being selected as one of HousingWire’s 2023 Insiders Award winners! What does it mean to be recognized as one of the leading figures of innovation within the housing industry?
DH: “It’s an incredible honor! The thing that I really appreciate about this award is that these are the people who don’t get a lot of time to be in the spotlight. I’m glad that this is an opportunity for people who like to be the workhorses of their industry or company to shine and be recognized.
Kudos to HousingWire for coming up with an award that really shines a light on those folks who can be easily overlooked in some cases. I love this award for all the hard-working individuals leading these groundbreaking projects throughout our industry. All my fellow nominees and award winners should be proud of the work they do, and it’s incredibly rewarding to see and receive this kind of recognition.”
Q: You’ve received this award for working on a lot of the groundbreaking projects at UMortgage that are helping us blaze a trail in the mortgage industry. When reflecting on all the projects you’ve worked on previously, what are some of the things that guide your leadership as new initiatives arise and new projects are started?
DH: “The industry evolves incredibly quickly. We have to adjust to things that come by the day and sometimes even by the hour. One of the biggest things that I’ve tried to instill in the teams that I work with is to document everything—that way if you need to refer to anything, you have something concrete right there and available to you. The other thing is to always build in measures of accountability for the individuals leading specific parts of these new projects and processes so we can get a measuring stick for success and ensure that we’re always on the right track.
I think there are always opportunities to partner with your business unit in a better way and new methods to get buy-in from the team members and the individuals who are in the trenches. As leaders, we should constantly seek out new methods to engage them and get them excited about what you’re doing, and that’s bringing them into the project and making them part of the decision-making process.”
Q: What advice would you give to other leaders or individuals aspiring to innovate in their respective industries?
DH: “The biggest advice that I can give is to go outside of your industry to find things that have worked. We can adapt things from manufacturing plants, food service, and really any industry out there. There are very few novel problems in the world. Somebody somewhere else out there has found a way to solve the problem that you have – you just have to find it. Go outside of the industry. Call leaders in other industries and ask them how they would tackle that kind of problem. Nine times out of 10, somebody else has tackled that issue and has a creative solution that you can use.”
Dave is the third current UMortgage Executive Leader to earn one of HousingWire’s industry leader awards this year. Gil Arbitsman, CFO, was named one of the publication’s 2023 Finance Leaders while Corie Meredith, VP of Marketing, earned the honor as one of their 2023 Marketing Leaders.
UMortgage has carefully curated an award-winning leadership team to champion its vision to create life-changing opportunities through homeownership. Through the guidance of UMortgage’s executive leaders, the platform serves as a trailblazer within the mortgage industry and ensures the success of all its team members and Loan Originators.
If you’re interested in learning more about the ways that UMortgage’s leadership team is blazing a trail towards a better mortgage industry, follow this link to hear from some of the platform’s leading minds and top producers.