MPA: What’s going on right now at UWM?
Laura Lawson: We’ve added over 500 people this year, and we’re still looking for about 60 team members. That’s massive for us. We have a lot of programs for young talent to be attracted to the industry. The average age in the industry right now is in the 50s, so we’re trying to get young minds interested in the mortgage industry. We’ve even partnered with Michigan State University on sales programs and curriculum.
Sarah Deciantis: UClose is also a system we’ve just rolled out, too. It basically allows the broker to close the loan on their own. They draw their own closing documents and do the whole package – and it was built for TRID. There’s no, ‘Oh, shoot, we’ve got to pull back now’ – it’s ready for TRID.
MPA: That’s a good point. How well do you feel UWM is prepared for TRID?
SD: We were actually prepared when it was supposed to roll out the first time (in August). We got a couple more months to perfect and tweak and find those holes – so we haven’t had any issues. We haven’t had any glitches in the system, it hasn’t gone down. We haven’t found anything yet that has stopped the process.
LL: We always look far ahead of the game. With 200 IT people in-house, we can develop (the system) so it’s best for our clients. I think now that TRID is here, our competitors are looking at us and trying to catch up. It’s always nice to be the one who has momentum at the start.
MPA: UWM head Mat Ishbia is a big proponent of planning for the future to maximize profitability. Any advice on that?
LL: You need to invest in the right technology, and make that investment now. You have to have great people, but you need technology to support the great people.
SD: Whatever your goals are for the future, you need to start planning today. You need to set those small goals to achieve the bigger goals.
MPA recently sat down with Sarah Deciantis, vice president of marketing for United Wholesale Mortgage, and Laura Lawson, UWM’s chief people officer. Here’s what they had to say: