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like a small-business owner, but with all that back-end support.” TECHNOLOGY, SOFTWARE AND CRM SUPPORT One of the greatest advantages of joining a branch network is gaining access to the kind of cutting-edge technology – and technological know-how – that may be beyond the reach of an independent originator. “Academy is cutting edge with their technology, whether it’s on the marketing side, the loan operating software or the CRM,” Duvall says. “We’ve invested at a large level in several great in-house projects or thirdparty vendors who’ve customized things for our platform.” Anastos says that providing originators with the latest technology is a critical part of helping them succeed. The last thing a branch network wants, he says, is to fall behind – particularly in a rapidly changing industry. “You have to think about how the business is changing,” he says. “We know what our salespeople are strong at. We’ve got an unbelievable team, but we didn’t bring them in to be technology experts. So we try to surround them with all the tools that they need – and constantly update those tools. The last thing you want to be is Blockbuster Video, where you have a great concept but the world changes around you and you’re not prepared for it.” COMPLIANCE SUPPORT With new regulations popping up seemingly every day, compliance has emerged as one of the biggest challenges to mortgage brokers in the last few years. And relieving some of that burden is one of the most important things a branch network can do. “It’s become so daunting to stay on top of regulatory changes, not only from the CFPB but from individual states,” Anastos says. “There’s such a laundry list of items that you have to pay attention to that it becomes almost impossible to do any selling. We take all of that off their plate so they can concentrate on their business.” Compliance support isn’t just a time-saver,

HOW ARE BRANCH NETWORKS PERFORMING? MPA wanted to know how well branch networks were performing in six key areas, so we asked originators to rate them on a scale 1-10. Here’s what they said: Underwriting/processing support and turnaround time Compliance support Autonomy with support Technology, software and CRM support Marketing and brand awareness Training and education 0










BROKERS’ MARKET SHARE DROPPING Many originators are moving into the branch network simply because it’s becoming harder and harder to be an independent broker. In 2005, brokers accounted for more than 30% of total loan originations. By 2013, it was around 10%. Market share 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0%




2013 Source: Inside Mortgage Finance

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Mortgage Professional America issue 9.02  
Mortgage Professional America issue 9.02  

The magazine for mortgage professionals in America.