United Wholesale Mortgage is betting big on the continued growth of the broker channel, building an extension of its already-large headquarters in Pontiac, Michigan, to house its expanding team.
The company recently revealed plans to expand its existing 600,000-square-foot-office by building a new 900,000-square-foot facility across the street, with plans to connect the two by bridge.
The addition will bring its total footprint to 1.5 million square feet across 150 acres, UWM said, which will be needed to accommodate the astounding growth it’s predicting. By 2025, the company said it expects to see its current staff count to jump from 4,100 to 7,000.
UWM Chief Strategy officer Alex Elezaj told HousingWire that UWM’s hiring spree is already strong, as it has added 1,500 people since the first of the year and is continuing at a clip of about 200 to 300 new hires a month.
“The whole premise behind the new building is the growth of the broker channel and the confidence we have in independent mortgage brokers,” Elezaj said. “There is a tremendous amount of business out there that we are going after pretty aggressively, and we need the space and we need the people.”
Elezaj said UWM, a 2019 Tech100 winner, expects to double its origination goal this year, surpassing the $50 billion benchmark it set for itself and instead closing out 2019 with $100 billion in originations. That’s a substantial jump from the $41 billion origination volume it saw in 2018.
“When we look at our overall strategy and where we see the broker channel going, with more and more brokers going back into wholesale, we’re forecasting doing well over $200 billion in originations over the next couple of years,” Elezaj said.
To attract top talent, the company is taking the idea of office amenities to the next level with features like a basketball court, a Starbucks, a hair salon, and a doctor’s office.
Elezaj said the average age of UWM’s employees is 32, and that the addition of such amenities is all about appealing to Millennials and creating a place where they would want to come into work.
“It’s all about convenience. We thought, ‘What do people do after work? What do they do on their way to work? And how can we help make their lives easier?’” he said. “We’re all about creating a great culture and a great place for people to be.”