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Anthony Casa Named a 2024 Philadelphia Titan 100 Awardee
Anthony Casa, UMortgage President & CEO, embodies the essence of transformative leadership and innovation in the mortgage industry. That’s why we’re proud to announce that he was named a 2024 Philadelphia Titan 100 Recipient—a program that recognizes Philadelphia’s Top 100 CEOs and C-level executives who are innovating and shaping the future of the Philadelphia business community. Since it was founded in 2020, UMortgage has been changing the way brokers serve homebuyers and their real estate agent partners not just in Philadelphia, but also across the country. Anthony’s leadership of UMortgage is characterized by his profound dedication to creating a supportive ecosystem for Loan Originators. Local mortgage brokers play a pivotal role in their community’s homebuying experience; as a staunch advocate for the broker community throughout his career, Anthony has built the UMortgage platform with the tools and resources necessary to enable these brokers to thrive. The contributions Anthony has made to brokers and his local community are nothing new. Before founding UMortgage, Anthony served as the President of Garden State Home Loans—one of the top mortgage brokerages in New Jersey. He later channeled his passion for building a stronger space for mortgage brokers by founding the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME), a national member trade association with more than 40,000 members. Realizing the importance of new technology to streamline the mortgage process for brokers, real estate agents, and homebuyers, he founded ARIVE. ARIVE is an innovative technology solution designed to offer a modern all-in-one platform for Loan originators. This software is now utilized by more than 14,000 active brokers nationwide. Driven by that same passion to support the broker community with advanced technology, broker support, and community service, Anthony has grown UMortgage into a best-in-class platform that offers tools, resources, and a community that empowers Loan Originators to exceed their potential. The platform offers a first-of-its-kind quarterly coaching program, Level Up Sales Coaching, to all its Loan Originators. It also utilizes a best-in-class tech stack that is actively driving the mortgage industry into the modern age with more than 20 lender options that allow Loan Originators to offer homebuyers to access a truly personalized homebuying experience. Anthony has showcased exceptional leadership skills by navigating the complexities of the mortgage industry and recent market challenges with finesse. His ability to assemble and inspire a team of talented professionals is central to UMortgage's success. Together, they have tackled industry challenges, pioneered technological advancements, and delivered unparalleled service to their clients. UMortgage has navigated recent market headwinds through the winning culture intentionally implemented by Anthony and centralized through the platform’s different stages of growth. UMortgage is built on values that foster innovation, collaboration, and individual & collective excellence. The Philadelphia-based platform is driving the mortgage industry forward and has made record-breaking growth a habit since its foundation in 2020. In May 2024, UMortgage set its company record for monthly funded volume and units and surpassed $1 billion in total loan volume so far in 2024. It is on pace to set a new yearly record for families served and funded units for the 4th straight year, solidifying itself as the fastest-growing mortgage company in America. If you are a broker and want to discover how your business can benefit from the tools and resources available on the UMortgage platform, download our Experience the Difference info packet for an inside look.
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News
Andrew Chavez Earns Role as UMortgage’s National Director of Sales Development
PHILADELPHIA, PA., June 6th, 2024 — UMortgage announced today that Andrew Chavez has stepped into the role of National Director of Sales Development. In his new role, Chavez will partner with Branch Managers to develop sales strategies, training seminars, and growth initiatives to National produce a consistent and excellent client experience for all UMortgage homebuyers. Before he entered the mortgage space, Chavez served 9 years in the United States Army Special Forces. During his distinguished military career as a Green Beret, he earned several honors including a Bronze Star for exemplary leadership during the Global War on Terrorism and a valor award for bravery in Afghanistan. Chavez’s passion for instructing and developing leaders led him to his new role. While in the military, he was tasked to develop Special Forces soldiers and National Defense contractors at an elite level. That passion continued after his time in the military and manifested itself through his leadership at his brokerage, UMortgage Springfield. “It’s an honor to assume this position alongside many other distinguished senior leaders at UMortgage,” expressed Chavez. “In this new role, I’m looking forward to taking my years of training and development experience to provide our Branch Managers & LOs with new tools, resources, and perspectives that will enable them to better support their local communities and become the best versions of themselves.” At the start of the year, Chavez transitioned his brokerage to the UMortgage platform to offer more accessible homebuying opportunities to its community throughout Missouri. Since making the switch, UMortgage Springfield has become one of the 10 top-producing branches year-to-date at UMortgage. Chavez’s leadership and development skills have been imperative to the continued growth of the UMortgage platforms since his arrival in January. Back-to-back record months for funded units and volume in April and May catalyzed the platform’s best start to a yearly cycle with more than $1 billion in funded volume by the end of May–a milestone reached 6 weeks faster than the same last year when UMortgage surpassed $1 billion at the end of June 2023. In his role as National Director of Sales Development, Chavez will lay the groundwork for UMortgage’s Branch Managers and their teams of Loan Originators to continue the company’s trajectory for another year of record growth. Broker owners or loan officers who are interested in contributing to this exponential growth can download UMortgage's Experience the Difference packet for a comprehensive look at the business-boosting benefits available at UMortgage. About UMortgage UMortgage is a national mortgage platform on a mission to create life-changing opportunities through homeownership. With Loan Originators licensed from coast to coast, an expansive suite of lenders to shop from, and a quick, clear, & communicative homebuying process, UMortgage is ushering in a modern mortgage experience catered to all homebuyers.
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UMortgage Surpasses $1Billion in Yearly Funded Volume After Second Consecutive Record-Breaking Month
PHILADELPHIA, PA., June 7, 2024 — UMortgage, one of the 30 largest mortgage companies in the United States, is on pace for another year of record-breaking growth. The Philadelphia-based mortgage platform notched two new monthly company records in May with $253mil in total loan volume with 715 families served. These record figures tallied in May mark back-to-back record months for loan volume and funded units after UMortgage funded 688 units for $238mil in April. This increase in volume represents a total team effort across the board. Nine of UMortgage’s 19 branches produced more than $10mil in volume in May while 73 of its Loan Originators earned spots in the company’s May $1 Million Club. These new records propelled UMortgage beyond a big company milestone with more than $1 billion in yearly loan volume through the first 5 months of the year. As of Friday, May 31st, UMortgage has funded 2,982 loans for $1.012bil in volume. According to data received from Inc. Magazine, UMortgage is the fastest-growing mortgage company in the country and a top-10 fastest-growing finance company in terms of revenue growth. Based on its current momentum, projected growth, and expected market conditions for the remainder of the year, UMortgage expects a third consecutive record year for loan volume and families served in 2024. “Hitting back-to-back record months for funded units and volume while surpassing $1bil in year-to-date loan volume is a big indicator of the strength that we’re building across the board at UMortgage,” said Anthony Casa, UMortgage President & CEO. “The environment continues to present challenges, but our team continues to do the work necessary to exceed expectations while outperforming the market. This is just the start of even bigger things to come.” This is the second consecutive year that UMortgage has eclipsed the $1bil funded mark with the platform reaching it 18 weeks into 2024— 6 weeks faster than it did in 2023. Last year’s milestone led to the platform’s third consecutive record year, tallying 127% year-over-year funded volume growth from 2022 to 2023. This year, UMortgage is projected to fund roughly $3bil in total loan volume—an estimated 50% year-over-year increase. If you’re looking for a platform that provides proven results to help you take your production to the next level, download our Experience the Difference packet for a comprehensive look at the business-boosting benefits you can add to your toolbelt when you join UMortgage.
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UMortgage Sets New Standard in Veteran Mortgage Support, Serving 240% More VA Borrowers than the Average Lender
PHILADELPHIA, PA., May 23, 2024 — Since its establishment in 2020, UMortgage has focused on expanding access to homebuying opportunities for military community members by building an experienced team of VA loan specialists. Today, the platform has seen incredible progress toward that goal, serving 240% more veterans than the average lender according to data from the Department of Veteran Affairs. While there has been plenty of progress toward becoming the mortgage industry's greatest advocates for veteran homeownership, it is only the beginning of the foundation being laid by the UMortgage Veterans Alliance. Statistics from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act show that nearly 71% of current service members plan to buy a home in the next 5 years and more than 50% anticipate purchasing a home in the next 2-to-3. However, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs, only 20% of veteran households nationwide purchased their home with their VA benefits. To continue progressing toward a better future for VA homebuying, UMortgage welcomed Patton Gade, the 2023 Scotsman Guide #1 VA Originator, to lead its Division of Military Lending in November 2023. Now 6 months into his leadership position, more than 30% of UMortgage’s total loan volume in 2024 accounts for VA loans originated by its continuously growing team of VA experts — a signal of tremendous progress made by the leading mortgage platform. “Since I joined UMortgage, we’ve grown our overall percentage of VA loans originated through comprehensive education and a focus on the unique needs of our VA borrowers,” said Gade. “While we’ve made progress, there’s plenty more work to do. The VA home loan benefit is one of the strongest loan products in the mortgage industry, but there’s still widespread misinformation throughout the industry preventing millions of active-duty and veteran homebuyers from utilizing it. “We’re going to keep educating our LOs and their agent partners to eradicate these negative narratives and help the members of our military community achieve their dreams of homeownership with the benefits that they earned.” UMortgage regularly hosts VA-specific training opportunities for its Loan Originators, with a 2-day VA-centric session being held in late June. These efforts continue to support the positive change in the narrative surrounding VA loans to ensure buyers feel confident, informed, and supported in using their deserved VA benefits when purchasing a home. The Loan Originators who represent UMortgage’s Division of Military Lending and the UMortgage Veterans Alliance are spearheading this positive change. Schedule a 1-on-1 with a UMortgage leader to learn more about the ways that UMortgage is changing the national narrative surrounding VA loans and how you can play a part in this positive change. About UMortgage: UMortgage is a national mortgage platform on a mission to create life-changing opportunities through homeownership. With Loan Originators licensed from coast to coast, an expansive suite of lenders to shop from, and a quick, clear, & communicative homebuying process, UMortgage is ushering in a modern mortgage experience catered to all homebuyers.
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News
Anthony Casa on the Current State of the Mortgage Industry and Market Opportunities
The mortgage industry and those working within it have faced a fair number of challenges in the last two years. Rapidly rising mortgage rates and dwindling housing inventory have hurt demand and have negatively impacted mortgage brokers and brokerages. However, where some see market challenges, others see prime opportunities to lay a foundation for success. This is exactly the mindset that Anthony Casa, President & CEO of UMortgage, holds and wants brokers nationwide to adopt. “This is a cycle-driven business,” said Casa in an interview with Fergal McAlinden, News Editor of MPA Magazine. “You have to be early because when the market turns, others will scramble while you’ve already set your business up to scale effortlessly.” This mentality has been key to UMortgage’s exponential growth in a shrinking market. The growing mortgage platform broke its yearly records for funded volume and families served in 2022 and 2023 and is on track to raise the bar again in 2024. In April this year, UMortgage set company records for monthly funded units and volume with 688 families served for $238mil in volume. The platform is on pace to break those yearly records once again with sights set on at least $3.25bil in yearly volume. As brokers start to look ahead to the changing market conditions expected later this year and in 2025, it’s crucial to consider if they’re well-equipped to manage the influx of prospective buyers and past buyers who want to refinance to a lower rate. With a penchant for production growth in any market, UMortgage has proven itself to be the go-to platform for brokers who want to scale their production. To learn more about the opportunities available at UMortgage, visit this page for an inside look at the business growth tools available.
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News
UMortgage Sets Company Record for Monthly Funded Volume in April 2024
PHILADELPHIA, PA., May 6th, 2024 — UMortgage, a national mortgage company committed to creating life-changing opportunities through homeownership, has developed a habit of setting a new company record nearly every quarter. In April, the platform set a new company record with $238mil in monthly funded volume with 688 families served. Coming off its third highest-producing quarter in company history during Q1 2024, UMortgage is on track to fund an estimated $3.25bil in volume this year. This company record indicates the exponential rate of growth that UMortgage continually achieves every year. From 2021 to 2024, UMortgage averaged an explosive 128% year-over-year growth despite the continued market challenges of rising rates and shrinking inventory that have shaken others in the industry. Reflecting on UMortgage's trajectory, Anthony Casa, President & CEO says, “We’re a much better team now. Everyone is rowing in the same direction with a steadfast commitment to get better every day and make UMortgage the best mortgage company in America.” “It takes the entire team for us to continue to grow and set records when others in our industry downsize,” continued Casa. “Not only are we on pace for our fourth-consecutive year with a new company record for funded volume and families served, but we’re also coming together as a team and positively impacting our communities.” The company's last record month was set back in May 2023. In April, UMortgage announced three new additions to its executive leadership team who will each contribute unique value to UMortgage’s Loan Originators and team members and capitalize on the platform’s momentum. Headlining these additions is Jimmy Hobson taking a role as National Sales Leader after serving as Branch Manager for UMortgage West — UMortgage’s top-producing and fastest-growing branch — since 2021. Utilizing her hands-on experience as Loan Specialist Team Lead, Christina Escobar was promoted to VP of People to continue to develop the company’s culture which prioritizes Relationships, Not Transactions. On top of those two internal promotions, UMortgage also welcomed Mike Farah as Director of Sales Operations in April. Farah joined UMortgage from New Jersey-based Garden State Home Loans to help improve the Operations workflows and tighten the company’s leading turn times. With a clear vision for the future and fresh, experienced leadership paving the path, UMortgage is on pace for its fourth consecutive company record for yearly funded volume and units. Casa will further outline the platform’s vision and goals for 2024 and beyond alongside Corie Meredith, VP of Marketing, and Patton Gade, National Director of Military Lending, during the bi-weekly Loan Originators Powered by UMortgage call this Thursday, May 9th at 2pm ET. Follow the previous link to register and gain an inside look at the platform’s future plans. About UMortgage: UMortgage is a national mortgage platform on a mission to create life-changing opportunities through homeownership for homebuyers across the country. With Loan Originators licensed from coast to coast, an expansive suite of lenders to shop from, and a quick, clear, & communicative homebuying process, UMortgage is ushering in a modern mortgage experience that can cater to any homebuyer.
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News
Kyle Koller Earns 2024 HousingWire Rising Stars Honor
UMortgage is proud to announce that Kyle Koller, Branch Manager of UMortgage West, has been named one of HousingWire’s 2024 Rising Stars award recipients. This award spotlights 80 leaders aged 40 years or younger who are driving the mortgage, real estate, and fintech industries forward. Since he joined the UMortgage platform in 2021, Koller developed UMortgage West into one of the biggest brokerages in the state of Utah and UMortgage—which has averaged +128% growth from 2021-2024—into one of the fastest-growing mortgage platforms in the country. His exceptional leadership and mortgage expertise led the branch to exponentially increase its production year after year to help serve more than 1,000 families in 2023. At the start of the year, he was a key driver in the negotiations that led to UMortgage’s acquisition of Houzd—a high-producing Utah-based brokerage that originated 400 units for $185mil in volume in 2023. By aligning the two top mortgage brokerages in Utah, Koller and his team will further increase homeownership opportunities offered to residents throughout the state and beyond. “It is an honor to be recognized as a HousingWire Rising Star in this current industry,” celebrated Koller. “UMortgage has provided me the platform to grow the nation's greatest team of Loan Officers while providing mentors that can help me grow as a better leader and communicator. They are helping me become the best Branch Manager in the United States, and I’m thrilled to continue to create life-changing opportunities through homeownership.” Koller exemplifies UMortgage’s core value to Create Strong Communities by regularly getting involved in his local community to help create life-changing opportunities through homeownership. He hosts weekly training sessions for real estate agents in his area to provide personal housing market updates and other inside knowledge to help them arm their homebuyers with knowledge. With his 2024 Rising Stars award, Koller is one of 4 current UMortgage leaders honored with a HousingWire award in the last two years. Gil Arbitsman, CFO, was a 2023 HousingWire Finance Leader, Corie Meredith, VP of Marketing, earned a 2023 HousingWire Marketing Leaders award, and David Higgins, Senior Project Manager, earned the distinction as a 2023 HousingWire Insider. Under its award-winning leadership team, UMortgage is ushering in the future of the mortgage industry. During an internal presentation on April 18th, it announced that Koller’s former fellow UMortgage West Branch Manager, Jimmy Hobson, had been promoted to National Sales Leader. With this leadership in place, UMortgage hopes to replicate the successes of Koller and the others at UMortgage West across all branches. Following the platform’s record-breaking year in 2023, UMortgage is off to a great start in 2024. Despite an unexpected spike in mortgage rates, the platform is projected to surpass its company record for funded volume yet again after funding 1,547 units for $510mil in volume in Q1 of 2024. Register here to learn more about the ways that UMortgage can elevate your business and make you a rising star in the mortgage industry.
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News
UMortgage Announces Jimmy Hobson as National Sales Leader and Growth Projections for 2024 and Beyond
PHILADELPHIA, PA., April 19, 2024 — Following up on its record-breaking year of growth that culminated in a 127% year-over-year increase in funded volume in 2023, UMortgage clearly outlined its path forward for the remaining 3 quarters of 2024 and the years to come in its Vision, Goals, and Priorities presentation on April 18th. It also announced new leadership to help those at the platform achieve these goals — including the promotion of Jimmy Hobson, former UMortgage West Branch Manager, as National Sales Leader. “As a company, we’ve come a long way,” stated Anthony Casa, President & CEO. “When I founded UMortgage in 2020, $2bil in volume seemed like the moon to us. Now, we’re coming off a year in 2023 where we funded just shy of $2bil with +128% year-over-year growth, and that’s down to the ways that we’ve developed our culture, processes, and identity to give us this platform that we’ve been able to build upon.” Having averaged that +128% year-over-year growth every year since 2021, UMortgage has cemented itself as the fastest-growing mortgage company in the country. Less than 3 and a half years into its business cycle, the Philadelphia-based mortgage platform is placed among the top mortgage companies in the country with 20 Loan Originators featured in the 2024 Scotsman Guide Rankings. The evolution of leadership at UMortgage has been at the center of the platform’s growth since Casa founded the platform in 2020. During the presentation, it was announced that Hobson had been promoted to National Sales Leader. In his role, Hobson will implement set standards for loan submission, sales strategies, and marketing to foster a consistent mortgage experience across the organization. “I’m humbled to be able to continue to drive this incredible company forward as its National Sales Leader,” said Hobson. “What’s needed for UMortgage to take the next step is synergy with everything we do. I’m going to spearhead better collaboration between Sales and Operations, more coaching opportunities to get everyone pulling in the same direction, and stronger lender relationships. We have a lot of talent here and with better alignment and coaching, we can work our way straight to the top. Hobson joined UMortgage in 2021 to lead UMortgage West — the platform’s Utah-based branch — alongside fellow Branch Managers, Kyle Koller and Adam West. In less than 3 years, UMortgage West grew to become UMortgage’s highest-producing branch and served nearly 1,000 families for more than $340mil in volume in 2023. UMortgage is eager for Hobson to share the practices that helped facilitate UMortgage West’s growth across the entire organization. Christina Escobar, former Loan Specialist Team Leader, earned an executive role after being promoted to VP of People. UMortgage also formally welcomed Mike Farah as Director of Sales Operations. Farah previously worked at the New Jersey-based brokerage Garden State Home Loans as its VP of Operations. These new members of UMortgage’s executive leadership team will work together to help the platform reach multiple goals outlined in the Vision, Goals, and Priorities presentation. Under refreshed leadership, UMortgage has targeted benchmarks of 4 monthly fundings per LO, a loan cycle that’s 16 calendar days from TRID to clear to close, and a maximum cost per funded loan of $1,650. These goals are central to UMortgage’s plan to become the best mortgage company in America. For UMortgage, this means a team-centric culture that offers all associated parties a consistent, communicative, and relationship-driven client experience. With a fresh, experienced, and diverse leadership team driving these target goals, UMortgage plans to originate upwards of $6bil in yearly volume by the end of 2025. The platform is constantly growing and wants to do so with the best Loan Originators and Operations support in the country. Follow this link if you’re interested in learning more about UMortgage’s mission to create life-changing opportunities through homeownership. About UMortgage UMortgage is a national mortgage platform on a mission to create life-changing opportunities through homeownership for homebuyers across the country. With Loan Originators licensed from coast to coast, an expansive suite of lenders to shop from, and a quick, clear, & communicative homebuying process, UMortgage is ushering in a modern mortgage experience that can cater to any homebuyer.
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HousingWire
Nation’s #1 VA Loan Officer Joins UMortgage
Patton Gade, 2023 Scotsman Guide Top-Ranked Loan Officer, Leaves loanDepot to Provide More Accessible Homebuying Options for Military Community. PHILADELPHIA, PA. – October 23, 2023 — Patton Gade—the #1 VA Loan Originator and #89 Top Purchase Volume Loan Originator in the Nation, per the 2023 Scotsman Guide Rankings—announces that he has joined UMortgage as its National Director of Military Lending. In his role, Gade will continue to originate loans while leading UMortgage’s new Military Lending Division which will strive to increase access to homebuying opportunities for members of the military community and change the narrative and negative stigmas associated with VA loans within the mortgage industry. “I’m thrilled to join the UMortgage platform and team up with its already impressive team of VA Loan Originators,” said Gade. “Our vision at UMortgage is to educate and serve veterans through their homeownership journey with the same selfless passion in which they served our country.” As a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, he’s dedicated his career in the mortgage industry to help create life-changing opportunities through homeownership for active service members, Veterans, and their families. Upon his arrival at UMortgage, Gade will join forces with fellow top Veteran Loan Originator and West Point alumnus, Jay Bunte, to bolster UMortgage’s VA offerings and coach its LOs to better serve Veteran homebuyers. In 2023, more than 20% of the loans originated by UMortgage LOs were VA loans. With Gade leading its Military Lending Division, UMortgage hopes to continue to increase those figures. Bunte, who ranked #28 in the Scotsman Guide’s 2023 Top VA Volume, expressed a profound excitement to help create such a high-quality sales division purely dedicated to helping serve former and active service members and debunk preconceived myths regarding VA loans. “It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to work with and learn from someone like Patton who has such an incredible passion for serving and educating our Veterans and active service members,” said Bunte. “There’s no shortage of misconceptions surrounding VA loans and Veteran homebuyers within our industry. The military division that we are creating will do a lot to correct those narratives and help us better serve our service members.” If you’re interested in learning more about what UMortgage is doing to help independent mortgage brokers grow their businesses, sign up for its weekly Loan Originators Powered by UMortgage discovery call which is hosted every Thursday at 2pm ET. About UMortgage UMortgage is a nationwide loan origination company committed to transforming the mortgage industry through innovation, exceptional growth, and dedication to client experience. With more than 300 Loan Originators, an industry-best 95 net promoter score (NPS), and 250% year-over-year growth, UMortgage is growing in a shrinking market, demonstrating its adaptability, and showing an unwavering commitment to providing top-tier service to its clients. Visit www.umortgage.com/careers/loan-officers for more information.
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Blog Post
MPA Magazine
UMortgage Introduces Sales Coaching Program for Loan Originators
UMortgage has announced the launch of its Level Up Sales Coaching program – an initiative that aims to increase consistency, confidence, and production for its loan originators. According to its Press release, the program matches UMortgage loan originators with a dedicated coach to teach sales strategies and develop a winning mentality that enables them to grow their businesses. The company has enlisted 16 of its top producers to teach sales strategies and lead the new coaching program. “This project is the culmination of months of work and preparation to help our loan originators improve in every aspect,” said Tyler Hodgson, UMortgage executive vice president of growth and Level Up sales coach. “This UMortgage exclusive sales development program focuses on accountability, mentorship, and strategy-sharing from some of our top originators. We’ve developed amazing technology and programming to offer our LOs more insight and transparency into their actions and results.” UMortgage said it has been developing the Level Up platform to allow participants to track their activities and goals, with access to “intentional coaching” by Volentum CEO René Rodriguez. Read more: UMortgage unveils financial literacy program “When we were originally ideating Level Up, we used to think its purpose was to help our loan officers simply close more loans,” stated Sam Abazari, director of coaching at UMortgage. “After months of development, Level Up is all about teaching individuals to constantly do +1 activities. We want to enable all our LOs to achieve the business they want so they can have the life they want.”UMortgage has announced the launch of its Level Up Sales Coaching program – an initiative that aims to increase consistency, confidence, and production for its loan originators. According to its Press release, the program matches UMortgage loan originators with a dedicated coach to teach sales strategies and develop a winning mentality that enables them to grow their businesses. The company has enlisted 16 of its top producers to teach sales strategies and lead the new coaching program. “This project is the culmination of months of work and preparation to help our loan originators improve in every aspect,” said Tyler Hodgson, UMortgage executive vice president of growth and Level Up sales coach. “This UMortgage exclusive sales development program focuses on accountability, mentorship, and strategy-sharing from some of our top originators. We’ve developed amazing technology and programming to offer our LOs more insight and transparency into their actions and results.” UMortgage said it has been developing the Level Up platform to allow participants to track their activities and goals, with access to “intentional coaching” by Volentum CEO René Rodriguez. “When we were originally ideating Level Up, we used to think its purpose was to help our loan officers simply close more loans,” stated Sam Abazari, director of coaching at UMortgage. “After months of development, Level Up is all about teaching individuals to constantly do +1 activities. We want to enable all our LOs to achieve the business they want so they can have the life they want.”
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Blog Post
Redfin
How to Choose a Mortgage Lender | Redfin
Choosing the right lender is a critical decision when obtaining a mortgage. With numerous options available in the market, it's important to navigate through the choices and find a lender that aligns with your financial goals and offers favorable terms. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or an experienced homeowner, understanding the factors to consider can help you make an informed decision. From interest rates and fees to loan programs and customer service, this Redfin guide explains how to choose a lender that best suits your needs. By following these steps and conducting thorough research, you can begin your mortgage process with confidence and secure a home loan that sets you up for financial success. Where can you get a mortgage? When searching for a mortgage lender, it's important to understand the different types of lenders available in the market. Each type has its own advantages and considerations. Here are some common types of mortgage lenders: Traditional Banks: Traditional Banks, such as Wells Fargo, and Bank of America, are established financial institutions with a wide range of services, including mortgages. They have physical branches for in-person interactions, but their lending criteria may be strict, leading to longer processing times. Credit Unions: Credit Unions, like Navy Federal Credit Union and Alliant Credit Union, are member-owned cooperatives offering financial services, including mortgages, with competitive rates and lower fees compared to traditional banks. They prioritize customer service and may have more flexible lending criteria. Mortgage Banks: Mortgage Banks, such as Quicken Loans and PennyMac Loan Services, are specialized lenders solely focused on mortgage lending, streamlining the loan approval process by originating and funding loans in-house. They do not offer other banking services. Online Mortgage Lenders: Online Mortgage Lenders, such as Rocket Mortgage and Guaranteed Rate, are digital lenders providing convenient and streamlined mortgage applications, often with lower costs due to reduced overhead. However, personalized service may be limited compared to traditional lenders. Mortgage Brokers: Mortgage Brokers, such as LendingTree or LoanDepot, connects borrowers with multiple lenders, searching for the best mortgage options. They have access to various loan products and can assist borrowers with complex financial situations, earning a commission from successful loan origination. Non-Bank Lenders: Financial institutions without banking licenses that offer mortgages and other services, with flexible lending criteria and a willingness to work with borrowers in unique circumstances. Government Lenders: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, government-sponsored enterprises facilitating homeownership by purchasing mortgages from lenders. This helps provide more affordable loans to borrowers. Private Lenders: Individuals or private companies offering loans based on their own criteria, often specializing in niche markets or providing options for borrowers who may not qualify with traditional lenders. They typically charge higher interest rates and require a substantial down payment. "Not all loans and lenders are created equal. A delicate balance of competitive rates, options for speed to help strengthen an offer against competitors, and an experienced loan officer willing to educate a consumer is the key to success," says Christian Griffin from Maverick Mortgage. "Advertised rates are simply the paint on the outside of a vehicle. Don't be afraid to lift the hood and poke around. There are multiple components that help differentiate the best deal to be had." It's important to carefully evaluate the offerings, terms, and reputation of each type of mortgage lender to find the best fit for your specific needs and financial situation. Consider factors such as interest rates, fees, loan options, customer service, and the lender's track record. How to find the best mortgage lender Finding the best mortgage lender involves thorough research and consideration of various factors. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of securing the right lender for your needs and ensure a smooth mortgage application process. Steps to choosing the best mortgage lender 1. Get your finances in shape To enhance your chances of obtaining a mortgage with favorable terms, focus on improving your financial situation. Start by assessing and boosting your credit score, as a higher score provides more loan choices and lower interest rates. Obtain free credit reports and check them for accuracy, disputing any errors. Lower your debt and improve your debt-to-income ratio by paying bills on time and reducing credit card balances. Aim for a DTI ratio below 40% to meet lenders' criteria. These steps will strengthen your finances, help you calculate a mortgage you can afford, increase your loan options, and free up funds for a down payment . VA loans cater to active and veteran military members, while USDA loans are designed for rural homebuyers. These loans typically do not require a down payment. FHA loans have lower credit score requirements and can be obtained with as little as 3.5% down payment. Conventional loans are geared towards borrowers with good credit, with some options requiring as little as 3% down payment. Jumbo loans are used for financing high-value properties that exceed the limits of conventional loans. "Know how much you want your monthly payment to be and save the difference between your current payment and your desired new payment ahead of time in a separate savings account, and see how that feels on your monthly budget," recommends Melissa Tippey from Advantage Mortgage . "Create a savings account that has three months of reserves for emergencies. Be sure to provide the lender with all the requested documents upfront." 2. Kow what type of mortgage you need To find the best type of mortgage that fits your needs, familiarize yourself with the different types of home loans available. Here are a few of the options available: Home loans vary in terms of the length of the loan, such as 15 or 30 years, and the type of interest rate structure they offer. Fixed-rate mortgages maintain a consistent interest rate throughout the loan term, ensuring stability for borrowers. On the other hand, adjustable-rate mortgages start with a fixed-rate period, followed by periodic adjustments to the interest rate. To find the right mortgage, it's important to research and understand these options, and then seek out lenders specializing in the specific loan programs you require. 3. Shop for suitable lenders The most important thing you can do to make sure your lender is a good fit for you is talk to multiple lenders. Different lenders offer different types of home loans and interest rates. If you go with the first lender that comes along or offers the lowest interest rate, you may miss out on a great loan option. Some lenders may not even mention a certain loan that would save you money or better meet your needs, if it's one they don't offer. Mortgage shopping can also show you what a lender's customer service is like. The loan officers you talk to should be helpful, answer your questions, and never pressure you. Their ability to communicate clearly and quickly can make the difference when you're trying to close on a home. To find lenders, start with resources you already have: Talk to the bank or credit union where you have your checking or savings accounts. Ask any friends or family members who recently purchased homes if they would recommend their lender. Do research online and look for lenders with good reviews. "While the internet is a great source of information, it often provides only part of the story, especially when it comes to buying a home and getting a mortgage. Getting approved for a mortgage does not need to be stressful if you use a dedicated professional," shares Todd Bitter from UMortgage. "First, check online reviews to see past client experiences. A good lender will have many strong reviews to read. Look for comments about the experience first, then about rates/cost. Remember, the cheapest option is rarely better when making the biggest purchase of your life. Find a lender with many reviews that offers great service and a good price." 4. Talk with your agent If you're already working with a real estate agent, they'll likely have lender recommendations. Some lenders have a reputation for closing on time—or not. In areas where homes get lots of offers and sell fast, your lender's reputation can affect whether your offer is accepted. If you have a lender picked out, talk to your agent and weigh the pros and cons. "My advice for homebuyers right now is that in this market, you have to work with the right team of people in order to have success in finding a home and getting the right mortgage," says Vito Busano from LifeStone Mortgage. "Interview your real estate agents. Talk to local lenders and discuss different loan programs and rates. Working with a mortgage broker is always beneficial as they can shop around for you, which is what we do." 5. Get pre-approved early Buyers often wait to get a loan pre-approval until later in the home-buying process. But the sooner you get pre-approved, the better: You won't know what you can really afford until you've been pre-approved. Pre-approval is the only way to find out what kind of loan a lender will offer you. By checking your credit and finances, a lender can tell you if raising your credit score or reducing your debt could improve your loan options. Several pre-approvals from different lenders will give you the best picture of your situation. If you're worried about the effect on your credit score, don't be. Lenders and credit companies understand how all this works, so you won't be penalized for multiple mortgage-related credit checks in a short period. Learn more about mortgage pre-approvals. "Getting fully approved through underwriting with a local lender prior to looking at homes with your realtor can make a world of difference in your home buying journey," recommends Ryan Nies from Cornerstone Home Lending. "Look for lenders that can take you through the underwriting process prior to making an offer and can ensure a quick close so you can compete with any buyer in this competitive market." Pre-approval also gives you a big advantage when you're house-hunting. In a competitive market, you may need to make an offer fast, and if you don't have a pre-approval letter, you may lose out to another buyer who does. Sellers want the peace of mind of accepting an offer from a buyer who can prove they are qualified. 6. Look into first-time buyer programs There are thousands of state and local homebuyer programs that can help first-time buyers afford a home. Often they partner with lenders that are certified to offer the program and have experience working with first-time homebuyers. Local nonprofits that help lower-income buyers frequently have lenders in their network as well. Find first-time homebuyer programs in your area. No matter what lender you're talking to, you can ask if they offer programs for first-time homebuyers. Just make sure to inquire about all the pros and cons because some of these loans may have hidden costs. 7. Compare mortgage loan offers Before finalizing your decision, it is crucial to compare the interest rates and fees offered by at least three lenders or brokers to ensure you secure the best mortgage deal. Here are key ways to compare loan offers: Interest Rate: While interest rates are a significant factor, don't solely rely on them. Rates fluctuate daily, so it's important to find the right lender before locking in a rate. Inquire about mortgage points, which can lower the interest rate, and understand their cost and necessity. Fees and closing costs: Mortgage loans come with various fees, some of which may not be straightforward. Ask about all fees, such as application fees, underwriting costs, and closing fees. Compare the fees listed individually or bundled together, and negotiate to reduce them whenever possible. Down payment and mortgage insurance: Aim to make a substantial down payment while keeping funds aside for future home-related expenses. Explore down payment assistance programs, especially if you are a first-time homebuyer, to secure the loan without depleting your savings. If your down payment is less than 20%, expect to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). Loan terms: Examine the loan terms, including the duration of the loan (e.g., 15 years, 30 years) and any adjustable-rate features. Assess which terms align best with your financial goals and repayment capacity. Annual Percentage Rate (APR): The APR reflects the overall cost of the loan, including interest rates, fees, and other charges. Compare the APRs of different loan offers to gain a comprehensive understanding of the true cost. Loan features and programs: Assess any special features or loan programs offered by lenders, such as first-time homebuyer programs, down payment assistance, or flexible repayment options. Consider which features are beneficial for your specific situation. Customer service: Evaluate the customer service provided by each lender. Consider factors such as responsiveness, accessibility, and the level of support they offer throughout the loan process. 8. Ask your lender questions If you’re a first-time home buyer, you might be wondering what questions you should ask when talking to a mortgage lender. Here are some of the top questions to ask your lender: What will my fees and payments be? Which type of mortgage terms do you offer? What credit qualifications do you require? Do you offer mortgage points? Do I need an escrow account? What is the interest rate and APR Do you offer a mortgage rate lock? Do you offer preapproval or prequalification? What is the best down payment needed to buy a house? Is there a prepayment penalty? Takeaway: how to choose a mortgage lender Selecting the right mortgage lender is a crucial step in the home buying process. The ideal mortgage lender is someone who listens to your needs, offers honest advice, and works diligently to turn your homeownership dreams into a reality. Take the time to research and compare lenders, and don't hesitate to seek recommendations. By making an informed decision, you can secure a mortgage that fits your financial situation and embark on the path to owning your own home with confidence.
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PR Newswire
UMortgage Welcomes Top Brokerage in the Carolinas, MC Mortgage Group
WILMINGTON, N.C., June 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- UMortgage is excited to announce that it has welcomed the MC Mortgage Group to its growing nationwide mortgage platform. MC Mortgage Group is a Wilmington, North Carolina-based mortgage brokerage serving homebuyers across North and South Carolina. MC Mortgage Group President, Patrick Stoy, founded the brokerage in 2005 and boasts 24 years of experience as a broker within the housing industry. He was named a UWM Top 1% Broker and a Top-100 Purchase LO with UWM in 2022. Locally, he was named Mortgage Professional of the Year by the North Carolina Home Builders Association in 2021. "Being that I've been a true independent mortgage broker since 2005, this platform will allow me the opportunity to focus on my relationships with my realtor partners, my LOs, and my borrowers," Stoy said regarding his decision to join UMortgage. "Not having to worry about the stress of day-to-day operations will allow me to create more life-changing opportunities through homeownership and help families build generational wealth." MC Mortgage will bring a team of 10 loan originators to the UMortgage platform to continue to provide buyers with an exceptional homebuying experience across North and South Carolina. The company was named MPA Top Employer and Lender and Wilmington Cape Fear Home Builder's Association's Lender of the Year in 2021. "We're delighted to welcome the MC Mortgage Group to the UMortgage platform," said Anthony Casa, President & CEO of UMortgage. "Patrick has built an incredible brokerage that aligns directly with our vision to create life-changing opportunities through homeownership. I'm incredibly excited to see what they're able to achieve with the tools and resources available at UMortgage!" UMortgage loan originators have seen plenty of success in the first half of 2023. Despite a slower housing market, the platform has had record-breaking months for funded loans in February, March, and April, and is on track to produce record-breaking figures once again for the month of May. UMortgage's platform has been developed to offer loan originators the low rates and robust product optionality of a wholesale brokerage and the day-to-day operational support typically exclusive to retail lenders. Follow this link to learn more about how UMortgage loan originators can maximize these resources to grow their businesses. CONTACT: Greg Mays, gmays@umortgage.com SOURCE UMortgage
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Ravi Patel, a Top 1% Loan Originator and former SVP at Guaranteed Rate, Joins the UMortgage Platform
PHILADELPHIA, March 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Buoyed by the momentum of its second record month for loans locked in the last three months, UMortgage is delighted to announce the addition of Ravi Patel and his team to the growing mortgage platform. Previously, as Senior Vice President of Mortgage Lending at Guaranteed Rate, he and his team displayed an exceptional ability to grow despite market headwinds. Last year, they closed more than 250 loans and increased their purchase volume by 20% from 2021—the kind of growth that Patel will look to build upon with the resources available with the UMortgage platform. "The mindset of those at UMortgage is what really convinced me to join the platform," said Patel. "They are currently a beacon of light in a mortgage industry that's been dim for the last couple years. I'm incredibly excited to continue to grow my team and partner with Justin Allen and Shane Faherty. Together, we're going to continue to create a better mortgage experience for our clients and referral partners." The addition of Patel and his team—including David Behymer, Tony Piper, and Sydney Wallace—is another burst of momentum in what has been a remarkable period of growth for the UMortgage platform. Patel is another noteworthy name on a list of loan originators who have joined since the start of the year. Those heavy hitters have made an immediate impact since joining UMortgage, with the platform posting a record month for funded loans in December 2022, then re-setting that record in February 2023. "We're very excited to welcome Ravi to our UMortgage family," said Anthony Casa, President & CEO of UMortgage. "Winners in this industry want to join our platform because we're identifying the acute pain points of loan originators of different backgrounds—whether that be a retail shop or their own brokerage—and providing value-based solutions." The momentum seen at UMortgage in Q1 of 2023 is just the start for the mortgage platform. If you'd like to learn how UMortgage equips loan originators with the tools to scale their business, sign up for Loan Originators Powered by UMortgage hosted Wednesdays at 2pm ET. About UMortgage UMortgage is a mortgage platform built to help loan originators scale their businesses and create life-changing opportunities through homeownership. With LOs licensed nationwide, UMortgage is providing opportunities to create strong communities through financial literacy, support, and advocacy. Contact: Greg Mays 803-431-6663 gmays@umortgage.com SOURCE UMortgage
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HousingWire
UMortgage to Acquire Brokerage Firm, NXT Mortgage
UMortgage will be acquiring Dallas-based brokerage, NXT Mortgage, the companies confirmed to HousingWire. UMortgage is bringing NXT’s assets, technology, and people in-house, including its founder and president, Tyler Hodgson. After the transaction is complete, which is expected to happen within the next two weeks, NXT will be part of UMortgage, adopting its business model and compensation structure. Founded in 2017 by Hodgson, NXT originated $255 million in mortgages over the last 12 months, 74% of which were purchase loans, according to the mortgage tech platform Modex. NXT has 35 active loan officers, the data shows. “Tyler is a certified public accountant, and he did build some proprietary technology that helps with the onboarding process and makes it efficient and scalable. That was a big part of the value added to the company,” said Anthony Casa, who founded UMortgage in 2020. According to Hodgson, NXT and UMortgage have a common vision of building a one-of-a-kind platform for loan originators. “Our partnership will allow us to grow more rapidly towards our shared goal,” Hodgson said. UMortgage and NXT declined to provide financial terms of the deal. A source familiar with the transaction told HousingWire that UMortgage is paying over $10 million in cash and equity, and the payout is tied to the retention of the loan officers. Hodgson, a Marine Corps veteran, will own UMortgage’s shares. He will also be a national sales leader, reporting to Todd Bitter, who was hired in December to replace Casa as chief sales officer at UMortgage. UMortgage, wholly owned by UM Group Holding Company LLC, has completed a series of capital-raising rounds over the last two quarters. The company sold equity to 27 senior leaders, loan originators, branch leaders, and team members, with an average contribution of $200,000 per shareholder. However, Casa, the CEO with board of directors oversight, said he retains voting rights. Casa posted on social media in early December that he expects to own less than 1% of UMortgage by January 1, 2025. The remaining 99% of shareholders will be LOs, branch leaders, and team members. “Our corporate documents mandate that the CEO’s contract can never be longer than one year, which means each year shareholders will vote on whether or not they want the CEO to return. No one works harder than someone on a ‘prove’ it contract,” Casa said. UMortgage is a broker shop and a non-delegated correspondent lender that works with over 22 lenders and banks. According to Modex, it reached $617 million in production over the last 12 months, with 302 loan officers and 22 branches. UMortgage claims it gains 65 basis points from each loan and takes 14 calendar days on average to close a loan.
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UMortgage Caps its 1500% Growth Year with 4 Major Additions
UMortgage, a national mortgage platform, is closing out 2022 the same way it spent much of the year—with exponential growth. Just this month, the platform brought on mortgage broker icon, Todd Bitter, as Chief Sales Officer to its Executive Leadership team, acquired Dallas-based NXT Mortgage, onboarded top-producing brokers Breon Price— the number one ranked broker in Ohio—and Chad Curtin, sending shockwaves throughout the mortgage industry. The innovative mortgage platform made a concerted effort throughout the year to enhance its Executive Leadership team with highly experienced individuals from different pockets of the finance and mortgage industry. Just in 2022, UMortgage added 4 industry veterans and promoted another 2 to its executive leadership team. UMortgage hired individuals with high-level experience from other big players in the industry, including Guaranteed Rate, American Financial Resources, Homepoint, and United Wholesale Mortgage. "In order to maintain our people-focused vision while we scaled, we had to build an experienced leadership team," claimed Casa. "That leadership was paramount in driving the growth of UMortgage and attracting the most talented loan originators within the industry." Last week, UMortgage broke news that it had acquired NXT Mortgage. After being founded by Marine Corps veteran, Tyler Hodgson, NXT quickly shook ground within the mortgage industry. In 2020 and 2021, the brokerage was named one of America's fastest-growing private companies by INC 5000. Directly following the acquisition, UMortgage announced that it attracted a Motto Mortgage branch led by Price and an NRL Mortgage branch led by Curtin–bringing more than 65 new employees to UMortgage in a three-week span. These major additions signal an investment into the lending platform built by President & CEO, Anthony Casa, in 2020. The platform enters the calendar year with nearly 300 loan originators on its roster—more than a 1,500% increase since the beginning of 2022. If you'd like to learn more about the UMortgage platform and how it's creating a better path for brokers to originate, for buyers to borrow, and for real estate agents to offer better client experiences, sign up for the weekly UMortgage Discovery Meeting, Thursdays at 2pm ET.
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Mortgage Broker Icon Joins UMortgage to Usher in a Better Future for Loan Officers
PHILADELPHIA, PA; December 13, 2022 — Todd Bitter has announced that he is joining the UMortgage platform, citing it as the future of the mortgage brokerage industry. He will take the role of Chief Sales Officer where he will support the platform’s ever-growing roster of loan originators. Bitter has earned a reputation as an icon within the mortgage industry for championing the broker channel and building his own business from the ground-up to become one of the nation’s top-producing purchase-focused brokers. Recently, he has pivoted his focus away from his own loan production to support his fellow brokers and share with them the practices that he utilized in order to replicate his success and retain a healthier work-life balance. His success within this industry and continued dedication to lift those around him has been reciprocated throughout the housing industry. In 2022, he was named an inaugural Hall of AIME inductee. He’s shown continued expertise in client acquisition and retention as the #1 purchase originator within the broker channel in Arizona and a top-10 broker nationally in purchase originations from 2015 to 2021. Bitter was selected as a member of the Founders Club for BACPAC, where he continues to advocate for his fellow brokers within the halls of Washington. Bitter plans to continue this advocacy with his efforts at UMortgage, which was founded as a platform for loan originators aiming to create life-changing opportunities through homeownership for their clients. In joining UMortgage, Bitter plans to continue his initiative in building up the broker channel by becoming an accessible resource for UMortgage’s team of loan originators. “Giving back to the broker community has been hugely rewarding to me and this opportunity with UMortgage is a continuation of that,” expressed Bitter. “My previous work in helping develop my fellow brokers has led me to realize the importance of this support. Here, I’ll be able to channel all of my focus into building the most cost-effective, in terms of both profitability and time-management, platform to help loan originators find success in this industry.” Bitter has developed successful tactics in building strong relationships with his real estate agent partners. By combining this ‘relationships, not transactions’ approach with UMortgage’s in-house Operations staff, Bitter believes that he will be able to assist in developing the best platform for independent loan originators to produce at high volumes and help actualize the dreams of homeownership for countless homebuyers. If you're interested in learning more about how Bitter's new role at UMortgage will help loan originators win more deals in any market, sign up for the weekly Discovery Meeting, which happens every Thursday at 2pm ET. About UMortgage UMortgage is an innovative mortgage platform which helps Loan Originators grow their business and create life-changing opportunities through homeownership. Each LO is able to scale with a large portfolio of lenders available at their fingertips, top-of-the-line technology which allows them to work from anywhere, and dedicated Operations support with clear communication through each step of the loan. With LOs licensed nationwide, UMortgage is providing opportunities to create strong communities through financial literacy, support, and advocacy.
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MPA Magazine
Loan Originator Earns Her "Mortgage Mentor" Moniker
Those in the mortgage industry who survived the Great Recession and now find themselves navigating choppy waters fanned by inflation are worthy of some sort of honorific, it might be said. Perhaps even a moniker suggesting superhero status. Enter Rebecca Richardson, the self-described Mortgage Mentor dispensing helpful advice in her series of social media videos and via her blog. The Charlotte, NC-based mortgage loan originator with UMortgage describes her superpower on her website: “Most people only think about home financing a few times during their lives,” she writes. “I think about it every single day. It’s your home and your future. It’s my profession and passion.” There you have it. Seeking to learn more, Mortgage Professional America reached out to Richardson – and it didn’t require a signal in the sky to arrange a meeting. Through the power of the video conferencing platform dubbed Zoom, MPA was able to learn more about the mortgage maven’s trajectory. “I actually started originating right after college,” she told MPA. “I had worked for a financial planner and got bitten by that bug.” The financial planning world made for an easy segue into the mortgage field after prompting from a real estate broker connection. Entering into the unknown, she had a powerful ally: “Though I didn’t really know what I was getting into, my dad was a real estate attorney, so I definitely grilled him with questions,” she said. Some two decades later, the nationally ranked loan officer is as enthusiastic as ever: “I just like it,” she said. “It’s fast-paced, and it’s interesting. I’ve been doing it for 20 years, and I love it.” She survived the Great Recession through “perseverance and grit,” she said. The same attributes helped fuel her entry into the wholesale market in June after having spent years in retail – joining a growing trend in the process. According to the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME), of which Richardson is a member, 6,353 loan officers who left retail joined the independent mortgage community last year. In the first nine months of this year, per AIME, more than 7,000 loan officers converted from retail to wholesale lending. Another eye-opening stat: The wholesale channel has gained some 18,000 loan officers to date as of September – “a rate of growth in the wholesale channel we’ve never seen before,” one AIME executive told MPA. The shift has prompted a pivot, as loan officers act more like trusted advisors to their clients – particularly in light of the current economic climate. “It’s very compelling, particularly in market shifts like this,” Richardson said. “And also how technology, how marketing, has changed. It lends itself to being able to build more of an autonomous platform versus relying on the company brand,” she said. “And then you’re looking for that platform that offers the programs you need to be able to meet your clients where they are.” Instead of cowering amid a challenging market, she chooses to take a different tack: “Not to have toxic positivity,” she prefaced. “We have to be realistic of what the environment is. But there’s an incredible opportunity to take market share. It’s a natural inclination to shrink back or be scared or all of those kinds of things. This is when you really get to show your strength as a financial professional for your clients.” Like all who availed of the abundant low-hanging fruit of refinancing of the last couple of years, Richardson looks back on the halcyon days of 2020 and 2021 with fondness. But now it’s time to get back at it when the customer needs help the most. “Fantastic,” she said of ’20 and ’21. “Loved the volume. It was all great. But you did not have to work that hard at being that sharp at your skill,” she said. That was then, and this is now: “This is ‘how are you serving that client, what are those tools you’re bringing to help that client win in what can be already an emotional and stressful process’ but even more so because they’re questioning if they’re making the right decision and what’s going to happen next.” How brokers react is likely to separate the wheat from the chaff, she suggested. “Being able to give them some of those tools and that education and some of that flexibility,” she said. “We may not like where rates are, but ‘here’s a 2-1 buydown or here’s another strategy you might want to consider’ – and bring on both sides of that conversation,” she said, role-playing possible scenarios to offer harried customers intent on buying a home in a changed market. “We know homeownership is still a good move to make, even in light of current rates,” she said. “But then also understand where their heart’s at and giving them actionable steps and be able to speak to that,” she said of the posture brokers should adopt with their customers in a shifting landscape. Spoken like a true mentor – indeed, a Mortgage Mentor.
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UMortgage is Leading a Migration of Retail Loan Originators to a New Lending Platform
UMortgage is helping drive an influx of Loan Originators from retail channels to the broker space with more than 70 former retail LOs and 112 total LOs joining its platform in Q3 of 2022. While other companies continue with mass layoffs, UMortgage continues to support its claim to grow in a shrinking market. With rates continuing to increase month-over-month, total mortgage industry employment declined from 404,400 to 401,200 between July and August of 2022, according to a report from National Mortgage News. Recently, mortgage application activity has declined in tandem with a decrease in housing market demand. These factors have driven many companies within the mortgage industry to lay off staff members while retail Loan Originators sought out new opportunities to access more competitive rates and products. Despite this overall decrease in industry employment, reports found an increase of 800 individuals employed in the mortgage and non-mortgage brokerage industry between July and August, with UMortgage's weekly Discovery Meeting leading 10% of those individuals to the platform across those months. Bloated cost structures, an inability to compete with rates offered elsewhere, and outdated technologies have cut into profits for retail lenders and led to unsustainable lending practices within the channel. UMortgage has spearheaded a migration away from retail lending by offering its Loan Originators: Robust optionality with a growing portfolio of 20+ lenders and their entire suite of loan products Specialized Operations pods with Loan Processors, Coordinators, and Closers assisting throughout the loan process, led by a dedicated pod leader A fully web-based tech stack that is accessible from mobile devices and eliminates manual data entry Custom marketing materials to help grow individual businesses With these tools in hand, UMortgage is helping retail LOs towards a platform that is built to help loan originators thrive in any market. In Q3 of 2022, UMortgage welcomed more than 112 total Loan Originators to its innovative platform, upping its total number of LOs to 194. UMortgage plans for continued growth for the remainder of the year, with Q4 goals outlining a vision to onboard another 150 LOs by the end of 2022. If you're a Loan Originator looking to increase your business and help improve the standard within the mortgage industry, register for our weekly Discovery Meeting which happens every Thursday at 2pm ET.
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HousingWire
Top Tips for Mortgage Professionals Using TikTok
The social media app, TikTok, is expected to reach 1.8 billion users by the end of 2022; will you be one of them? Many mortgage professionals are turning to the platform as a way to connect with prospective borrowers and educate them on mortgages, as well as market themselves. We spoke to UMortgage Branch Manager Arielle Best, known as the VA Loan Lady on TikTok, about the platform and how best to utilize it as a mortgage loan originator. Best joined TikTok in2020 and today has 61.3k followers and 524.8k likes on the platform. She’s part of UMortgage’s “Lender Avengers” team, along with Rebecca Richardson (The Mortgage Mentor) and Nate Fain (The Mortgage Creator). “We’re on [TikTok] mostly to educate and provide information, it’s not necessarily a sales platform,”Best said. “We’re on there to provide accurate information, and if people want to use us, that’s awesome.” Using TikTok Best’s top three tips for loan officers using TikTok are to be your genuine self, keep it short and sweet, and “just do the video.” “Even if the first one sucks, you can only get better,” she said. “You can look at it and say, ‘How can I make this video better?’” She said one mistake she sees a lot of loan officers new to TikTok make is talking to the camera rather than through the camera to their audience. “Be your true self,” she said. “Act like you’re talking to friends when you’re explaining something, as if your best friend came to your house to ask you mortgage advice – talk to your phone like that.” According to Best, her biggest learning curves upon joining TikTok were learning how to use the app’s features and understanding what the algorithm was looking for when putting out content. “Putting out information – useful information –wasn’t gaining traction unless you made it less than 10 seconds, put catchy music behind it and put the words on the screen,” she said. “The biggest thing with TikTok is understanding how viewers want to consume the information, even if that information is something that’s important, getting it to where they’re going to see it.” She said the app’s algorithm is looking for “small bites of information that are useful, digestible and understandable, and in as short a time as you can provide it.” She also recommended learning how to organizeyour TikTok by using the playlists feature. Best has playlists for her Q&A Wednesday series, satire videos and true stories, among other types of videos. Playlists make it easier for your followers to binge your content and absorb all the information. When it comes to deciding what to make videos about, Best says she looks toward her commenters. “I always will go to my comment section, because those are the people that are looking for answers, are the ones asking questions,” she said. “I let them decide what I’m going to talk about.” “That’s another great thing about TikTok that I love– one person can ask me a question that is useful to so many people, and I’ll reply to that with the answer,” she said. “Then so many more people have that knowledge and information now that didn’t and wouldn’t have known where to find it, because the average borrower is not going to go dig through the chapter of a handbook to find information for their loan circumstance.” Best also recommends making videos on important news updates borrowers need to know about. Building a Brand In terms of building a brand, Best says it’s crucial to know your market and to combine your passion with what you’re already doing. As the VA Loan Lady, she specializes in VA loans because she’s passionate about helping veterans. “Build your brand around the things that you love to do, and then your brand comes to you a little more naturally,” she said. The best way to grow your audience is to post routinely, and be sure to cover controversial and often misrepresented topics by providing accurate information, she said. Return on investment Best said she spends less than 10 hours a week on her TikTok. “I’ll spend probably an hour today just replying to videos, and then editing and posting and kind of batch-dumping videos,” she said. What kind of ROI does she see for her time on the app? In April she had 400 people fill out inquiries and applications from TikTok. She posted a video in July that had more than 1 million views, and said that about 530 people reached out afterward. “It wasn’t all applications, but we had inquiries up above 500 for one video,” she said. “If I were to average, it’s no less than at least 150 to 200 either inquiries or applications a month.” Ultimately, Best said, the key to TikTok is to remember that your audience consists of real people you’re connecting with, rather than people you’re trying to pitch or sell yourself to. “You are there to educate and inform them oftheir options for financing,” she said. “Don’t sell yourself, be yourself.” Interested in seeing how other professionals use TikTok? Check out these mortgage and real estate accounts you should be following!
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MPA Magazine
UMortgage to Hire 250 Operations Professionals Amid Mass Layoffs
While other companies have enacted mass layoffs and hiring freezes, UMortgage has revealed plans to hire more than 250 operations professionals over the next six months. The Philadelphia-based lender said it intends to grow its operations support staff and onboard new talent during its virtual open house event on Sep. 15, 2022. The announcement comes just a few months after hiring 52 loan originators last quarter, bringing its total number to 262 team members. “We’re trying to solve a big industry pain point with this event,” said Anthony Casa, president and CEO of UMortgage. “There are a lot of people unemployed in this industry. UMortgage is creating jobs, being efficient in the hiring process, and setting clear expectations on the standard we have for our client experience.” Casa will lead the open house, along with Sabrina Lopez, who recently joined the company as vice president of operations. During the event, they will discuss UMortgage’s business model, training opportunities for new operations team members, expectations for current available roles, loan process, value proposition, core values, and the team member support system. “What we’re looking for at our operations open house are individuals who are focused on the client experience,” Lopez said. “They are detail-oriented, have excellent communication skills, are advocates for the borrower, and understand the importance of making a difference each day in regards to how they interact with their teammates, loan officers, external partners, and the customer. Our operations team has to have a sense of urgency and must be committed to improving day over day.” The virtual event will be open to all loan coordinators, processors, underwriters, closers, or other seasoned mortgage professionals who are based in the US. The company said its need for greater operations is a “direct result of the influx of loan originators the company hired in Q2.” By the end of the third quarter, UMortgage plans to onboard a further 100+ employees.
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Blog Post
MPA Magazine
UMortgage Lifts the Lid on its Influencer Marketing Strategy
Influencer marketing is working wonders for many businesses in today’s modern world. A research report from Lee Odden’s TopRank Marketing revealed that 86% of B2B brands have succeeded in boosting brand awareness and increasing sales through influencer marketing. UMortgage is keeping up with the trends by harnessing the power of social media to educate both consumers and loan officers on mortgage and homeownership. In June, the Philadelphia-based home lender welcomed three prominent TikTok influencers – Nate Fain, Arielle Best, and Rebecca Richardson – as part of its expansion strategy and for a greater marketing push to bolster its portfolio of LOs. In line with the new hires, UMortgage also launched Homeowner HQ, a virtual branch dedicated to educating prospective and existing homeowners across the country. “We approached Arielle, Nate, and Rebecca, not for their social following, but for their passion for educating prospective homebuyers about all of the nuances of the mortgage process,” UMortgage told Mortgage Professional America in an exclusive interview. “Our vision as a company is to educate consumers and people across the country on all the aspects of homeownership. “That focus on empowering others through education resonates with a very specific group of people in the industry, and Rebecca, Nate, and Arielle fit into that group. They use social media to increase accessibility to their educational efforts, which aligns with our vision of creating life-changing opportunities through homeownership.” The trio joined UMortgage after developing a large following on social media. Fain, also known as @themortgagecreator on TikTok, leveraged his 10 years of experience as an LO and unique personality to grow his following to nearly 250,000 followers and more than two million likes on the platform. “For the last year or so, Arielle, Rebecca, and I have sort of joked that we should form a team,” he said. “We all have different personalities, but we share the same vision. I think that’s the mark of a really great team. Our main goal is to educate and empower the public so they can make informed decisions when getting a mortgage. “UMortgage really bought into this crazy idea and vision that Rebecca, Arielle, and I have for our team. UMortgage’s technology and focus on client experience also fit our business model perfectly, which is really exciting.” Like Fain, Richardson also shared her extensive industry knowledge on TikTok with the goal of increasing accessibility to the housing market. Richardson’s TikTok profile @the.mortgage.mentor has more than 127,000 followers, and her Instagram account has another 10,000 followers. “We are able to contribute to the team and our individual clients in the ways in which we are uniquely gifted,” Richardson shared. “If there are areas that we struggle with, we are able to lean on other team members for support.” Meanwhile, Best (@thatonedamnginger) is focused on debunking myths and providing factual information regarding VA loans. Her specialized content has brought in over 58,000 followers and around 488,000 likes. “I started my TikTok channel because I wanted to start giving my knowledge directly to the people it affects, the Veteran and Active Duty Community,” Best said. “I never planned on using that platform as a way to earn business from Veterans and the Miltok community, but it happened. I knew I needed to find a new place to call home for my business because the reach and help I was providing was staggering, but there’s only one of me.” In addition to helping the company boost its presence online, Best, Fain, and Richardson will co-manage Homeowner HQ. “The great thing about Homeowner HQ was the unique experience they brought with them to UMortgage, but they have already been driving consumer education before joining forces with us,” the company said. “What we offer is a place to help grow and scale their business so they can focus on educating more consumers and people across the internet. Because of our focus on getting better every day, this transition has challenged us to continuously evolve our processes to greater support loan originators of every type.” When asked how it plans to use the platform to further expand its lending business, UMortgage clarified that its focus is actually on helping originators grow their businesses. “Rebecca, Nate, and Arielle all have a great client base that comes from social media. Our focus is less on telling them how to get the most out of TikTok,” UMortgage told MPA. “Rather, we want to provide them with the tools and resources they need to best serve their clients and those clients’ loans. “Are they not licensed in a certain state where a client is interested? We have a network of loan originators licensed across the country to help support that. Do they need more people on their team to help serve all of these inquiries? We’ll help them scale that. Do they need additional operations to process all of these loans? We have that, too. We offer all of our LOs an open door to our executive leadership team so that we’re always aware of the ways that improve our processes and best support our LOs and their clients.” Last month, UMortgage rolled out its ‘Partnership Playbook,’ which the lender described as a “continuously-evolving tool with strategies that some of our most-experienced LOs use to grow referral networks and give their clients and real estate agents the best experience possible throughout the home buying process.” “It’s provided an excellent environment that fosters growth and creativity while knowing we have the leadership and operational support to ensure our clients are well taken care of,” Richardson commented. “The overall strategy and purpose for our business is simple: creating life-changing opportunities through homeownership,” UMortgage said. “Just like all of our other LOs, Arielle, Nate, and Rebecca align with that purpose. Our target audience as a collective company is loan originators we can support. Our goal is to empower them to help all individuals who are interested in the personal and financial freedoms associated with homeownership.”
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Blog Post
Voyage Utah
Check Out Kristi Gibb's Story
Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristi Gibb. Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started? In 2015, my husband, who is a US Army Veteran, and I were in the market to buy a home. We went to our bank to get pre-approved and then met up with our Realtor. He recommended that we get a second opinion from a local mortgage broker. We were sure our bank would offer us the best rate because it’s a Veteran-friendly bank. Instead, we learned that the mortgage broker could offer us a much lower rate and fees than the bank was charging. He explained that banks and retail lenders often charge higher rates and fees and then keep the credit attached to those rates as profit for themselves, rather than passing it on to the consumer. We wound up taking a job and buying a home in Utah. When we moved into our neighborhood, we became friends with someone who owned his own mortgage brokerage. Since our kids were getting older, I began thinking of what I could do for a career. My husband suggested I talk to our mortgage broker friend. One thing led to another, and I found my passion in helping people build wealth through homeownership with low broker rates and fees as a mortgage broker. We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road? It has not been a smooth road. Though our friend is awesome, he was not set up to train a brand new loan officer or guide me on the path to success. I worked hard, took several online trainings, and hired a coach to help me learn what to do to gain referral partners and guide clients through a positive experience while getting their home loan. I was often tempted to quit as I went months without a paycheck, but I continued to do the work knowing that it had to pay off. My coach recommended that I switch brokerages to one that offered mentorship and support. I finally listened and found my second place of employment just as the pandemic unleashed on the US. My second boss offered training, support, coaching, and leads. I was able to refine my skills and process as I helped many families refinance or purchase their homes while I grew my business. My passion is helping our Veterans utilize their VA home loan benefit and educating Realtors and our community on what a great loan the VA loan is. I was surprised when I became a loan officer to learn that there are biases against it. People think VA borrowers are weak borrowers because they take advantage of the 0% down benefit, or that the loans take too long to close, and the appraisals always come in low. This is not the case. My first two bosses weren’t very enthusiastic about me pursuing mostly Veteran clients, so I decided to join forces with Jimmy Hobson at UMortgage out of Bountiful, UT. I’d been following him since I signed up with the Military Mortgage Bootcamp in 2019. He did the work and became one of the premier VA loan officers in the nation. I have finally found my home at UMortgage, where we offer low rates and fees, and share the same drive and vision that provides fast closings and excellent customer experiences. I’m privileged to be on the VA Extension team at UMortgage, where we will soon grow to become the biggest VA lender in the US. Our goal is to help as many Veterans as possible obtain homeownership without getting fleeced by big name lenders who charge high rates and fees and provide call-center level service. Now I teach classes to realtors and homebuyers about the VA home loan, and why it is such a great loan. My goal is to dispel the myths in our community that surrounds the VA loan and help VA buyers win more offers. I love the VA loan because my husband and I were able to use it to buy our first home. It was a huge help! I’ve done a lot of training on the VA home loan benefit and have become a Certified Veteran Lending Specialist through NAMB and a Veteran Mortgage Advisor through the Veteran Lending Council. I study the guidelines daily and seek to be a resource for our Veteran homebuyers and the realtors who help them. I love serving our Veterans. They inspire me to do my best. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others? I do all loan types, but my favorite by far is the VA loan. I’m a Veteran Mortgage Advisor, certified by the Veteran Lending Council, and a Certified Veteran Lending Specialist, certified by the National Association of Mortgage Brokers. I love demystifying the VA loan for borrowers and Realtors. It’s always exciting to me when I can help a Veteran access their VA home loan benefits especially after another loan officer has told them that they had lost it. It really matters who you work with. You want to work with someone who is very familiar with your loan program and can guide you through its nuances. The VA loan has the most flexible guidelines of all the loan programs. “Underwriters are encouraged to consider every possible appropriate factor in seeking a proper basis for approving loan applications for every qualified Veteran” (VA Handbook). I’m grateful to be on a team of VA loan officer powerhouses who can back me up if I’m not sure of the answer, or mastermind with me about different scenarios. I love teaching VA Myth Busting classes to the Realtors in our community and hope to change the stigma in Utah surrounding VA loans. What do you like best about our city? What do you like least? I love the different seasons in Utah. My family and I enjoy snowboarding, camping, rafting, and visiting the beautiful parks Utah has to offer. We also like watching movies and hanging out together. We’re pretty low-key most of the time. Pricing: Brokers saved borrowers $9407 in 2021 over retail lenders When you’re financing a home, check with a mortgage broker. Contact Info: Website: https://www.gibbhomeloans.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kristigibbmortgage Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kristigibbmortgage/ Twitter: https://www.tiktok.com/@kristigibb Other: https://www.umortgage.com
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Blog Post
MAP Magazine
UMortgage Unveils Financial Literacy Program
Initiative aims to boost financial literacy among consumers throughout the country UMortgage has announced an initiative to provide training and educational materials to help consumers become financially well. The national mortgage company said that it will be hosting its inaugural Financial Literacy Week program from March 28 to April 03. The week-long program was designed to include, and extend beyond, home buying and mortgage-related topics to provide an immersive and well-rounded education. With four sessions per day, the program will cover topics such as investing, designing a career with money in mind, student loans, and several others. Commenting on the initiative, UMortgage CEO Anthony Casa said the goal is to “help fill in those gaps and power a greater sense of financial literacy among consumers throughout the country, especially people in underserved markets.” “Most educational systems in America, from elementary school through college, are putting people at a disadvantage by not making any sort of dedicated financial education courses a requisite part of their curriculum,” he said. “Whether it’s learning about homeownership or retirement, most people don’t have access to this curriculum until the time has either come or it’s passed - for us, that’s a big deal.” UMortgage’s learning and development team and other industry experts will lead the training in each topic area. Courses will be online and accessible to people of all ages and in every state.
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PR Newswire
UMortgage Hosting Week-Long Financial Literacy Program to Boost Consumer Education
Inaugural program a key pillar of company's mission to power financial literacy nationwide PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- UMortgage, a fast-growing national mortgage company, will be hosting its inaugural Financial Literacy Week program from Monday, March 28 – Sunday, April 3. The week-long program is a major initiative of the nationwide mortgage lender, which has prioritized financial literacy as a key pillar of the service it provides borrowers nationwide. The program kicks off Financial Literacy Month, a nationally recognized campaign that takes place each April to bring awareness to the need for more financial education in schools and for adults. "Most educational systems in America from elementary school through college are putting people at a disadvantage by not making any sort of dedicated financial education courses a requisite part of their curriculum," said Anthony Casa, Chief Executive Officer of UMortgage. "Whether it's learning about homeownership or retirement, most people don't have access to this curriculum until the time has either come or it's passed - for us, that's a big deal. Our goal at UMortgage is to help fill in those gaps and power a greater sense of financial literacy amongst consumers throughout the country, especially people in underserved markets." As part of its Financial Literacy Week program, UMortgage will host four sessions per day, covering a broad range of topics that include investing, designing a career with money in mind, student loans, and several others. The program was built to include, and extend beyond, homebuying and mortgage-related topics to provide an immersive and well-rounded education. Training in each topic area will be provided by members of the UMortgage Learning & Development team, as well as subject matter experts from relevant industries, including GradFin, a student loan provider. Courses will be online and accessible to people of all ages and in every state. UMortgage's consistent dedication to powering financial literacy for the borrowers it serves is evident in its mortgage industry-leading Net Promoter Score (NPS) - a measure of customer satisfaction calculated based on the likelihood of respondents to refer friends and family to a company, product or service. The company currently holds a 93 NPS rating on a spectrum from -100 to 100. For more information on the courses that will be offered, and to register online, visit umortgage.com/financial-literacy-week.
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