Over the past several years, the chief complaint among many mortgage brokers has been lenders that remove the broker from the equation after a loan has been originated.
Brokers have taken issue with some lenders allegedly proactively contacting borrowers for refinance or other mortgage opportunities without involving the original broker who brought the lender the loan in the first place.
That complaint led a movement called BRAWL (Brokers Rallying Against Whole-tail Lending), in which a group of brokers called out lenders that, in their view, were disassociating brokers from the life of the loan.
Coinciding with the rise of the BRAWL movement, which eventually morphed into the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts, has been a rise in mortgage broker market share.
The most recent data suggests that mortgage brokers now may be responsible for a quarter of the mortgage market, and United Wholesale Mortgage, which works exclusively with mortgage brokers, has risen to become one of the nation’s largest lenders.
UWM said it wants to keep it that way, and the only way it can do that is to help the mortgage broker community originate more loans and stay connected with their borrowers for the life of the loan.
Now, UWM is rolling out a series of tools designed to do just that.
UWM recently launched Brand 360, a customizable client management tool for mortgage brokers that offers borrower outreach, alerts and monitoring post-closing as well as fully customizable marketing materials. And UWM is giving this tool to brokers at no cost.
According to the company, one of the features of Brand 360 is the ability to automate borrower communications.
Using the tool, a mortgage broker can get an email or text alert on client communication opportunities including when the borrower eligible to drop mortgage insurance, when a property has been listed, when the borrower qualifies for a lower interest rate, and more. Brokers can then send emails on their own or have UWM reach out on their behalf.
Brand 360 offers several other tools, including marketing resources and analytics, and according to UWM CEO Mat Ishbia, the product was created for a simple reason – to keep mortgage brokers in front of the consumer throughout the life of a loan.
The mortgage broker channel has seen what Ishbia calls explosive growth over the last several years. According to Ishbia, one of the main reasons the company created these tools is to further support business growth by putting more control back into the hands of brokers.
In an interview with HousingWire, Ishbia said mortgage brokers are the best place for consumers to get a loan, but they often struggle with staying in contact with clients once the lending process is completed.
“Brokers do a fantastic job taking care of their clients, but they don’t do as great as a job staying in front of them, you know, wishing them happy birthdays, following up when they list their house,” Ishbia said. “The things many large retail mortgage companies do with technology; brokers don’t do a great job with.”
While several tools for brokers already exist in the marketplace, Ishbia said they are often too expensive for the typical broker. With the launch of Brand 360 – which Ishbia said is so easy an 8-year-old can use it – UWM aims to give brokers the ability to compete without burning a hole in their wallet.
UWM’s aim here is twofold. Mortgage brokers, unlike in-house loan officers, work with different lenders to get multiple mortgage offers for their borrowers. They also do not typically have access to many of the tools that in-house loan officers are given by their companies.
UWM, in providing these tools to brokers for free, is helping brokers compete with retail lenders and/or big banks, while also remaining competitive itself in the increasingly competitive world of wholesale lending.
“UWM sees a future with a robust wholesale channel and thriving brokers,” Ishbia said. “We are investing heavily today to ensure that brokers can continue to thrive in 2020 and beyond by staying in close contact with their consumers.”