As we inch our way to end of the second quarter, now might be a good time for brokers to re-evaluate their business plans. The coronavirus pandemic tossed a pretty big wrench into everyone’s expectations for 2020, but it hasn’t been all bad news for brokers.
“It’s a somber time in America but interest rates are sitting at a historic low and Americans are looking to save money,” said Austin Niemiec, executive vice president of Quicken Loans Mortgage Services (QLMS). “The next few months will, without a doubt, be the busiest time the broker community has experienced in a while.”
After ensuring they are well-equipped for a busy summer by investing in technology, marketing and process, Niemiec says, brokers will have an opportunity to help more Americans now than they ever have in their entire career. As for QLMS, they are continuing to hire and train aggressively, gearing up to support brokers during this crucial time.
When looking over original projections and goals set at the beginning of the year, Niemiec says to reach higher.
“I am challenging brokers to triple their goal for refinance volume and whatever they set for purchases, I am challenging them to exceed it,” the QLMS leader said. While most brokers are behind pace on purchase deals, with discipline, a strong focus on pre-approvals and staying in front of referral partners, he says those goals are achievable.
The latest report from the Mortgage Bankers’ Association (MBA) saw purchase applications continue to recover, increasing for five consecutive weeks. Government purchase applications, including FHA, VA and USDA loans, were 5% higher compared to a year ago, as home purchases continue to climb out of the grave. While refinances were slightly down compared to the week before, it was still 160% higher than the same week in 2019.
“As states come out of shelter-in-place orders, home buying and selling activity is starting to pick back up,” said Niemiec. “This recession is different from the last, being caused by a global pandemic as opposed to a fundamental flaw in our financial system.”
In these challenging times, some top lenders have gone as far to shut their broker business down, while others removed products or altered pricing. Niemiec says he’s proud the way QLMS has reacted, providing consistency in their platform, price, and speed to certainty throughout the crisis.
“We are thrilled with our delivery to our broker partners and they have been leveraging QLMS’ products and services at a level I never imagined. It’s awesome to watch,” he said. “One of our biggest advantages is the fact that Quicken Loans has spent 35 years investing in infrastructure founded on technology. Our operations and capital markets teams are able to leverage that investment to improve their processes, and it allows us to keep up with demand, despite the challenges.