The face of the mortgage borrower is quickly changing and Hispanic Millennial, or Hispennial, borrowers are increasingly buying more homes. During a panel at the NEXT Mortgage Technology conference, experts from three mortgage companies explained what they’re doing to reach this growing demographic.
HousingWire’s Kelsey Ramírez moderated a panel on Hispanic Millennial borrowers featuring Eva Melgarejo, director of cultural affairs for New American Funding, Barbara Yolles, chief marketing officer for The Money Source, and Tamela Hartsfield, affordable lending senior manager at Freddie Mac.
She asked the panelists about what their mortgage companies are doing to help facilitate homeownership in Hispanic communities.
Freddie Mac engaged in “test and learns”, Hartsfield explained. “We look at our guidelines and say 'what if we massage this guideline, would it offer a better opportunity to get someone a home if they’re in a particular multicultural community?'”
“We make it a point to really educate the community,” Melgarejo said, explaining that New American offers workshops for first-time homebuyers. “We take that platform so we can educate on the importance of credit and what are those roadblocks they face as they go apply for a loan.”
What about on the servicing side? Yolles explained that at TMS, which is both a mortgage lender and servicer, there's a lot of research and data around English-speaking Hispennials seeking out companies and brands that connect with their culture.
"We made a strategic decision to say that owning a home is the most important purchase of someone's life and while origination is important, it's usually a 2- to 4-week process and it ends," Yolles said, adding that TMS focuses on its servicing portfolio by focusing on the relationship with Hispanic mortgage borrowers.
"It shouldn't end at closing," Yolles added.
Another way to reach the community is understanding what each one may need.
One way of doing this, Melgarejo said, is to understand what the community needs and to be present.
“We’re able to gain their trust if they can see us and that means that maybe a video isn’t enough,” she said, adding that New American Funding translates its social media messaging to Spanish to reach out to borrowers but stressed it is important to have local partnerships with local leaders, too.
“It’s very crucial to partner up with those leaders in the community that already have that trust,” she added, explaining that if you’re trusted within the community, you’re also likely to be recommended to others.