Center Stage with

by 01 Jan 2008
Welcome to The Niche Report?s very first ?Company Spotlight?. Company Spotlights will be monthly interview-style articles that allow our readers to gain knowledge and insight into a company that helps us, as mortgage originators, do our job. This month we are proud to spotlight, a company that created and hosts an extensive search engine used by loan officers looking to place their loans with a wide variety of wholesale lenders. I met Tom Sato from at the NAMB West Conference in Las Vegas this past November and I was immediately captivated by his demonstration and expertise of their product. Being an originator, I tried to grill Tom about crazy scenarios all the while peppering him with question after question. I was so impressed by his answers I invited him and to be our very first Company Spotlight. So without further adieu? 1) Give us a description of service(s) that offers. is a loan search and pricing engine that solves one of the fundamental problems a loan officer faces today?Which lender will fund my loan? Finding an appropriate loan in today?s market is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Hundreds of lenders have exited the market. There are literally thousands of loan programs loan officers have at their disposal but keeping track of them is a nightmare. Originators are constantly being bombarded with fragmented information and have to rely on their memory, read detailed guidelines, look through multiple lender Web sites one at a time, or wait for account executives to return their calls. On average, an originator can spend two to five hours researching a single loan! Building efficiencies into a loan officer?s daily regimen was a critical mission of the team. The solution gives originators access to lender guidelines on both the wholesale (broker) and correspondent (banker) channels. All guidelines are updated on a daily basis. A user can search detailed and complex loan scenarios such as foreign national programs (visa types), special occupation incentive programs (teacher, police officer, etc.), pre payment penalties, seasoning requirements, etc and get exact product matches. In addition to fast product matching, the service gives the originator the ability to run or re-issue credit using their existing credit reporting agency (CRA). Currently, the system interfaces with more than 168 CRAs. The customer?s credit can be imported into the search for simultaneous ?credit grading? while executing a search. ?We go way beyond just a FICO score. The system actually reads the trade lines and derogatory credit and decisions the loan based upon the content of the credit; similar to DU or LP. The loan officer can also quickly print or email fully merged pre-approval letters, access the most up to date daily rates, view a PDF of the actual lender guideline, and get easy links to the lender?s Web site. It?s like having your own personal underwriter & processor 24/7,? says Salvatore Tomaselli, founder and CEO of SearchMyLoan. 2) Tell us about the origin and background of Give us a historical perspective on the founder, executives and employees at was founded by the company?s CEO, Salvatore Tomaselli, in March of 2005. Tomaselli, a New York native, has more than 22 years experience in the mortgage brokerage industry. ?The problem of locating the ?best-fit? for a customer is a dilemma that has gotten even more difficult since loan products have become increasingly more complex. The mortgage industry needs an information repository, similar to Reuters or Bloomberg, which maintains the most up-to-date data about loan products in one centralized system.? Currently the team has grown to a staff of more than 40 people in the last year, comprising of our development team, quality assurance (QA) team, our Knowledge Processing Unit (KPU) data analysts and our sales team. ?I was able to assemble a group of knowledgeable dedicated professionals committed to innovating and solving the problems loan officers face daily,? said Mr. Tomaselli. 3) Tell us about the company culture. The company culture at is evolving as we grow. We are still clearly a ?start up? organization, a ?child?. The culture of the company represents its personality and ours is developing much like the way a ?child? matures. We jokingly call ourselves the ?Google? of the mortgage industry. Our clients are depending upon us to deliver accurate results every time they execute a search, and we must meet and exceed their expectations. Walking into our data analyst?s area is a rewarding sight. Little ?logo? flags, with each lender they are responsible for are posted on each team members desk. ?When I saw that, I knew our company culture was beginning to emerge. For me, that was a great milestone. At the inception of a company, let?s face it, there really isn?t a culture but as the company matures so does its culture.? Currently we are dedicated to growing and making it a world- class organization. 4) Who are your main competitors? And what are your plans to gain market share or retain market share? Up until the release of, no comprehensive solution has been developed in the area of loan search technology. Currently there is no defined market leader in the loan search space. is very different from our competitors because of the approach we have taken in delivering fast and accurate results to users. Our biggest differentiating factors are that we have mapped more than 150 attributes and we can search across that data very efficiently. The typical search time is less than 5 seconds! In addition, we have the ability to ?parse? or grade the borrower?s credit history. Both of those factors are important because it enables the system to yield the most accurate results. Market share and customer loyalty are very important to us. In 2008 we are focusing on channel marketing and partnerships that will drive unbelievable value to our subscribers. Customer loyalty and retention is very important in subscription-based models, and we understand that we have to continually raise the bar and deliver outstanding results. . 5) How will stay ahead of both the rapidly changing technology and mortgage environments that are inherent to your business model? Fortunately, staying on top of technology has not been a major obstacle. The system is built upon a very robust and flexible platform that allows us to adapt to different guideline types (i.e. A-paper, Alt-A, Sub-prime, FHA, etc.). This architecture allows our developers to adapt to changing guideline types with ease. One of the biggest challenges in the loan search arena is obtaining and maintaining accurate guideline information. Our lender liaisons are continually forging relationships with new lenders to increase our ?data arsenal.? Relationships are very important to us, but coupled with that is process automation to insure that our data, program accuracy and entry time is as efficient as possible. We have built some exciting processes to maintain the data fidelity and streamline the information flow. We know our success is about having the most comprehensive database?It?s an arms race and we are ready for war! 6) What can we expect to see from in the near future? In the near future the team is focusing on quadrupling our lender database, streamlining integrations with CRAs, LOS systems, and partnering with third-party vendors to drive exceptional value to our subscribers. Our goal is to be the best search engine available on the market and to earn the business of the loan originator in the field. 7) Where do you see 5 ? 10 years from now? That?s easy?the market leader in mortgage search technology for all types of mortgages!



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