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Lending

Agents, brokers make lemonade from frozen concentrate

Industry makes the most of networking amid winter traffic slowdown

mortgage lemons

Despite an influx of reports about how the cold weather has negatively affected the housing market, it's not all bad news. The freeze creates the unique opportunity for originators to form stronger connections with real estate professionals.

While the weather has definitely made it so the market is slower from a purchase perspective, on the flip side, United Wholesale Mortgage is seeing a lot of originators succeed in their market, Mat Ishbia, president of UWM, said.

Real estate agents may be more apt to talk with brokers because they understand that brokers had to brave the cold and homeshopping is slow, Ishbia said.

As a result, of the uptick in business at UWM, 60% is purchase and is seeing a lot of continued growth.

“Every single week since Jan. 10, we have seen a steady improvement in submissions,” Ishbia explained. “I know the weather is cold, but if I did not know that, I would not assume there is a slow winter.”

“Consumers are seeing mortgage rates continue to decline and are jumping on this opportunity. This week’s increase in refinance and purchase activity was strong and suggests the lower rates have caught people’s attention,” Quicken Loans Vice President Bill Banfield said.

“It’s especially welcome news to those that have waited out the harsh winter and are now ready to buy a home,” Banfield continued.

And it is not just helping originators.

By building relationships between the two, brokers are able to help educate real estate agents on the products that are out there.

“Realtors have the mindset to get cash buyers, they are changing the mindset that there are a lot more products out there,” Ishbia said. “Educating real estate agents about what is going on will really help them, since knowledge is power.”

Ishbia estimates that the market will return to normal about two to three weeks after the weather calms, just in time for the spring homebuying season. 

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