Austin Niemiec is the executive vice president of Quicken Loans Mortgage Services (QLMS). He has led QLMS through meteoric growth, doubling the number of partners over the last year, and closing more loan volume in 2019 than in the previous five years combined.
Niemiec oversees an ever-expanding team of account executives based in Detroit and Charlotte who work directly with QLMS’ thousands of partner mortgage brokers, regional banks and credit unions. Niemiec joined Quicken Loans in 2009 as a mortgage banker, where he learned the various needs of homeowners and mortgage brokers through his work with thousands of clients.
HousingWire sat down with Niemiec to discuss homebuying season and how partnering with QLMS can help brokers prepare.
HousingWire: According to the MBA, mortgage application numbers were at an 11-year high in January, leading some to say spring homebuying season began early this year. How does an early kickoff to homebuying season affect brokers’ ability to prepare for a higher volume of purchases?
Austin Niemiec: It’s a beautiful problem to have! With interest rates at a 3-year low, it is critical loan officers capitalize on their clients’ refinance opportunity while it’s here. Recent reports have said more than 11 million Americans can reduce their mortgage’s interest rate by 0.75% if they refinance today. To have a successful 2020, brokers need to push the real and tangible savings clients can achieve with their help.
That said, elite loan officers should always be building scale and efficiency to capitalize on the purchase market during a refi boom. The key is preparation and great partnerships. Here at QLMS, we take pride in helping brokers do both.
HW: What are brokers doing to partner with Realtors during this important time of year?
AN: The key is differentiation – be innovative. The focus on real estate agent relationships has never been as big a focus as it is now.
Being a professional, responding to your real estate partners with urgency and having unique tools to help them win more business is critical in this space. Brokers are not only selling their services to clients; they need to be networking with Realtors to ensure leads are constantly flowing through their doors.
One of the many tools we provide our Pinnacle Partners, that also helps Realtors, is Fresh Start. Brokers get access to a team of credit consultants who can assist clients who don’t qualify for a purchase and, after developing a customized strategy tailored for the client’s success, turn them into a qualified buyer.
Agents love it, and it allows brokers to separate themselves from the competition! The best part is that it’s free.
HW: How does partnering with QLMS help lenders get ready for purchase season?
AN: We are obsessed with delivering brokers speed to certainty. With Quicken Loans being the largest lender in the country, QLMS is able to tap into that expertise to provide some of the fastest initial underwrites in America.
We also partner to create award-winning technology, like “The Answer,” to ensure brokers are pros 24/7/365.
Agents are looking for their clients to be able to close fast. Partnering with QLMS puts more tools in the toolbelt of brokers to help deliver top-notch results, ultimately providing the best experience for American families and real estate agents all across the nation. This is one of many ways we are Stronger Together with our partners.