United Wholesale Mortgage prides itself on one accomplishment more than anything else. More than its industry-leading turn times, and more than the fact that it is the fastest-growing mortgage lender, overall, in the country, UWM is proudest to say it has played a hands-on role in growing the mortgage broker channel.
According to Bureau of Labor statistics, the number of loan officers, processors and other mortgage professionals employed in the wholesale channel has grown from 55,000 in 2011 to 94,000 at the end of 2017.
But why is that the achievement that UWM highlights and circles on its resume?
Because, according to UWM President and CEO Mat Ishbia, that’s where it all starts.
“Everything we do as a business is for mortgage brokers, and everything we’ve been able to do as a company is because of mortgage brokers,” Ishbia said.
“All of our technology, client service, marketing support, operational processes, it’s all designed to help brokers grow their business. When mortgage brokers grow their business from doing eight loans a month to 12, or from 15 loans a month to 20, we grow our business at UWM along with them.”
It’s a simple concept: When a company depends completely on increasing its clients’ business in order to grow its own business, all of its objectives should put its clients’ needs first.
Mortgage brokers have indeed taken kindly to UWM’s committed efforts to growing, and the results show in the numbers.
Through the first six months of 2018, UWM had taken a commanding 20.4% of market share in the wholesale channel en route to closing $19.4 billion in loan volume. The closest competitor, Caliber Home Loans, closed $6.2 billion in loans for a 6.6% market share in the same timeframe.
Astonishingly, UWM’s market share means that one in every five loans that a mortgage broker closes in the United States goes through UWM.
But Ishbia is quick to spin it the other way for motivational purposes, pointing out that it means that, “For every 100 loans, brokers are sending 80 of them somewhere else, which means we can do our jobs even better.”
The thought of UWM realizing that it “can do its job even better” is a noble and humble mindset from UWM’s leader – and a scary thought for the rest of the industry.
The company is already closing loans in an average of 14 business days. It already has some of the best pricing on Elite loans and some of the cheapest mortgage insurance rates in the country.
UWM is at the front of the line when it comes to technology it gives mortgage brokers access to, like the nation’s first-ever true 100% virtual e-closing process, which allows mortgage brokers to give a consumer a full virtual mortgage experience from application through closing.
In addition to those business-focused items, UWM has also gone above and beyond its industry competitors to put mortgage brokers first and provide them with extra resources aimed at growing their business.
These resources include:
• Broker Brilliant Ideas:
Mortgage brokers can submit their feedback and ideas for implementing or improving tools and services directly to UWM, many of which get executed.
• Marketing Toolbox:
A library of resources to facilitate communications and marketing efforts with borrowers and real estate professionals, including customized flyers, social media posts, email and press release templates, radio scripts, videos, and more.
A website that educates borrowers, real estate professionals and loan officers on why the wholesale channel is the best choice across the board – and helps consumers and real estate agents easily locate a mortgage broker in their local area.
That focus on putting mortgage brokers’ best interests at the front and center of its business objectives is what has earned UWM its reputation as one of the “good guys” in the wholesale industry, based on the lender scorecards that have been developed by the broker advocacy movement BRAWL (Brokers Rallying Against Wholetail Lending).
BRAWL has cast a spotlight on every wholesale lender in America by evaluating them on a number of metrics and rating them in three categories – essentially good guys (true partners), middle-of-the-road, and bad guys (wholetail lenders).
UWM’s designation as one of the good guys has given additional credibility to its pro-broker business practices, but it has also hurt the company.
“BRAWL making the lender scorecard available throughout the industry was the equivalent of the NFL making each team share their respective playbooks with one another; everyone got to see our plays,” Ishbia said.
“In a perfect world, none of our wholesale competitors would know why brokers love us so much, so they couldn’t copy us.”
While UWM won’t shun the positive press it receives from third parties, the company doesn’t need the outside hype to validate its business practices because it believes very strongly in its own mission of wholesale broker growth.
“We know who we are as a company and what we believe, and it’s all about mortgage brokers being the best place for consumers to get a home loan, the best place for Realtors to partner with, and the best place for loan officers to work,” Ishbia said.
“Regardless of what other wholesale lenders do, we’re fully committed to growing the broker channel and doing what’s best for mortgage brokers.”
UWM continues to bet its future on mortgage brokers, and if current trends continue, chances are looking pretty good that UWM will continue to be the big winner in the mortgage industry because of it.