Facing all of those challenges, many independent mortgage professionals
find the idea of joining a branch network increasingly seductive. And while being a lone wolf is appealing, branch network membership has its advantages.
The support of a major corporate entity can mitigate a lot of the everyday headaches an originator would otherwise have to deal with and free him to do what he does best: make loans. And whether you’re coming from a tiny brokerage or a giant bank, joining a branch network can be just what the doctor ordered, says Paul Anastos, president of Mortgage Master.
“It’s a really compelling argument whether you’re coming from a small broker or a large bank – we can offer the best of both worlds,” he says. “People coming from small brokers often find they can’t be very price competitive. They also have challenges like keeping up with compliance and marketing. Whatever it is that they need, they generally lack because they don’t have the scale or the size to avail themselves of what’s out there. You have a different problem at these large banks, where you almost get swallowed up by the system. We provide that perfect middle ground. It really meets the demands of a wide area. To me it’s not a question of who fits. It’s really a question of who doesn’t fit.”
While branch networks offer many benefits, not every network is for every originator. So, if you decide to go the branch route, how do you choose the right network for you?
“Everybody’s pain point is going to be different,” Anastos says. “A lot of what it comes down to is understanding what they need – what they’re missing. What about their business would they not want to change, and what about their business is not working?”
With new regulatory hurdles being thrown up all the time, it’s getting tougher for originators to go it alone. Independent originators have to worry about much more than just writing loans; they have to develop marketing strategies, fulfill continuing education requirements, and somehow remain compliant in an industry where that’s getting more and more complicated.