EverBank’s lending platform has long been the company’s backbone. In 2011, when Tom Wind joined EverBank and shortly before the company’s initial public offering, the housing industry really started to take notice.
Jacksonville, Florida-based EverBank was one of the first banks at that time to take the risk of injecting liquidity into the jumbo market following the financial crisis, with many banks following suit. Wind correctly called the bottom of the real estate market, safely re-entered the space via high-credit jumbo borrowers and has spearheaded several innovations since then.
Last spring, EverBank began offering consumers rate locks on mortgages prior to the consumer securing a home. Wind and his team were among the first to put this forward, allowing potential homebuyers to take advantage of the low interest rate environment by not having to rush into choosing a home due to the pressure of locking in a favorable interest rate.
This was also beneficial to consumers who were building a home from scratch. Using the rate-lock feature, which is up to 270 days at EverBank, customers who didn’t want to incur higher interest rates between the beginning of their home construction and the time the home was finalized had a new way to potentially save themselves money.
To complement this, EverBank also rolled out a new unique feature to lock in a low rate on its construction-to-permanent financing loans with a one-time close product. Once the home is built, the construction loan is modified into permanent financing, saving borrowers from having to pay two sets of closing costs. This product rollout made it easier for consumers to build their dream homes in a financially responsible manner.
Recently, Wind’s team re-introduced a suite of EverBank home equity line of credit and home equity loan products for the first time since 2007, boosting the firm’s residential lending business and helping to convert more borrowers into homeowners. EverBank also began lowering down-payment requirements for jumbo loan amounts to high-quality borrowers, some to as low as 10%.
The idea behind all of these concepts is providing a better way of managing one’s cash flow, allowing the home-buying process to more seamlessly integrate into the rest of a customer’s financial plan, he said.
“While people understand their home is an investment, not many people realize it can also be an effective cash-management tool,” Wind said. “The products that we’ve rolled out are having a broader impact on the industry. Our customers are taking our counsel into meetings with their financial advisers now because of the financial flexibility these options provide.
“Whether it was via interest-only loans, early rate locks, construction loans, piggyback loans, or some of our other offerings, we wanted to change how people thought about a property in the broader scheme of their financial plan.”
EverBank ranks among the top 40 largest mortgage lenders in the country, with $2.7 billion in jumbo loans originated, a 43% increase from June 2014.
Wind, who has 25 years of financial and mortgage-related experience at companies such as Lehman Bros., JPMorgan Chase and CitiMortgage, is a household name within the broader industry, thanks to his senior role with the Mortgage Bankers Association. He regularly speaks on panels at MBA conferences and is on the MBA’s board of governors.
Wind also has served the past 18 months on the board of directors for MERSCORP, a national electronic registry system that tracks the changes in servicing rights and beneficial ownership interests in mortgage loans that are registered on the MERS System.
“I encourage action, to think boldly and embrace change,” he said. “Not every effort will result in success, but the cumulative impact from the continuous pursuit of new ideas and innovations can transform an organization.”