HousingWire recently spoke with Austin Niemiec, executive vice president of Rocket Pro TPO, about how the company plans to build off its recent rebrand and how its “We’ll figure it out” approach helped it continue to support broker partners throughout 2020.
HousingWire: How has the Rocket Pro TPO rebrand impacted the company as a whole?
Austin Niemiec: The response to the rebrand really affirmed all of the thoughts we had prior to launch.
We knew it was the right thing to do for the broker community, and our partners across the country are echoing the same feelings based on how it is impacting them. It has been incredible to witness the overwhelming amount of positive feedback we have received from the broker community.
Whether it is in response to our powerful tech tools in PathFinder – which finds solutions to a broker’s questions in mere seconds – or the fact that they can now leverage the Rocket name, we are seeing a groundswell of support for these initiatives and the rebrand as a whole.
We continue to bring on new partners at a record pace as LOs across the country come to understand the level of dedication and assistance we are offering. We also consistently remind the broker community that the rebrand was not a one-time event. It is just the beginning of an even stronger commitment to our partners and the entire broker community.
HW: 2020 was a wild year in the mortgage industry, and Rocket added its own series of changes. How is the company planning to build off of everything that happened this year?
AN: This year was full of twists and turns for everyone – the mortgage industry is no exception. Back in March and April, as other lenders were tightening their guidelines and closing their doors to additional business, we remained open for the broker community – giving them the ability to help their clients take advantage of historically low rates. We were prepared for the challenges that came, in part, thanks to being a technology-based lender and having the liquidity to be prepared for any market condition.
We have always been well-capitalized and our company was prepared so our team members could work from anywhere. While other lenders were concerned with margin calls or how to transition to a work from home setup due to the pandemic, our focus stayed on supporting our partners and their clients.
That period was confirmation that we were operating in the right way, and the numbers speak for themselves. We had nearly 1,000 broker partners sign up to work with us during March and April, something we are very proud of.
We want to guarantee local independent mortgage brokers who partner with Rocket Pro TPO are always able to continue helping their clients and growing their businesses, just like they did in March and April.
HW: What challenges do you foresee with those future goals, and how do you plan to tackle them?
AN: Whenever a company experiences intense growth like we have, it needs to focus on growing its team as well. Rocket Pro TPO has hired thousands of new team members since we switched to remote work in early March. We are lucky that our team is forward-thinking and has been able to hire, supply tech equipment and fully train new team members completely remotely.
This all starts with our culture and, specifically, our ISMs. One of our ISMs, or the core ideals we live by, is “We’ll figure it out.” This has been the theme of 2020. Even though we have never hired or trained team members remotely, we embraced it with a “Yes before No” mentality. We figured it out for the safety and wellbeing of our team.
It has been an interesting transition; however, we are a team that is equipped with a culture and way of thinking that allows us to pivot on a dime and we are seeing that pay off in dividends for our partners.
There has been no disruption in service and, if anything, we have demonstrated that we are continuously willing to double down on our support to make sure their business continues to run smooth during this current era of abundance.