“The control afforded to a correspondent can help the ability to grow profitably” said Chaffin, director of sales and marketing at FirstFunding. “A lot of brokers think that if they choose to be a correspondent that they can’t be a broker anymore. That is not true – many of our customers continue to broker a portion of their loan volume.” “Also true is that control in today’s world is dependent upon complete and accurate data.”
FirstFunding, a Dallas-based non-bank warehouse lender, was one of the first to devote significantly to the broker/banker conversion space over a decade ago. The company continues its focus on relationship and service-driven values and proprietary customer-driven technology platform. Their platform, called FUEL, helps capture data needed for customers looking to transition into the banker channel. “Helping the transition of brokers to bankers is one of our niches. It is where we started and where we still focus, but we also provide broader spectrum warehouse lending services.”
“FUEL is a browser-based proprietary platform that we built for our customers. It captures much of their data so they have it all in one spot and accessible via their browser wherever they are,” said Chaffin. “We capture document images, loan data, activity dates and times - everything that they need to submit to us for a funding. We capture that data for them so they can pull customized reports and have better control of their operation.”
In addition to FUEL, the company also released a new service level called FastPass that gives FirstFunding customers direct control over their wire ordering process. Also browser-based, FastPass allows customers to order their wire from anywhere, as long as they have an internet connection. For many customers, this reduces or eliminates the need to use a fulfillment company. “[FastPass] provides a quality control of much of [the correspondent’s] loan data compared to the documents and supporting documents,” commented Chaffin. Rolled out in August, FirstFunding recently introduced the platform to select groups at NAMB National last month and are building upon it as the platform approaches two months in service.
Driven by their brokers-turned-bankers customer-base, Chaffin mentioned how FirstFunding is committed to developing and implementing new technologies in the future to bring ease and simplicity to their clients. “We are going to keep rolling out new technology. Most of it is data-driven. We are focused on e-closing and e-mortgages,” he said. “We think that once that hits and is adopted, it’s going to be a game changer.”
If you are looking to gain more control over your operation and your profitability, correspondent lending may be the answer says Greg Chaffin.