Top Originator: competitive advantages of partnering with a bank

by Candyd Mendoza24 Feb 2021

Many loan officers may not consider joining a bank as an advantage, but for Marc Gurgiolo (pictured), it makes all the difference.

Gurgiolo is a mortgage lending specialist at OneWest Bank, where he closed more than $135 million in 2019. He said that working with a large commercial bank allows him to concentrate on originating mortgages since they have an in-house marketing department to do the advertisements, and they already have a pipeline of refinances in their portfolio.

“We’re not middlemen,” he said. “Whenever rates go up a little bit, our funding opportunities are a lot more [extensive]. Half of the brokers are gonna be out of business or will be fine. We’re more secure, I think. You might not do the top, as you see some of these brokers do, but we’re also not self-sourced guys.”

But partnering up with a bank also has its downsides, he explained. For starters, banks can be overly regulated with all sorts of appraisal restrictions, which tend to drag out turn times.

“We sell as many as we can, and whenever operations fill up, the bank increases the rate a little bit to stop it, and production shuts down,” he said. “So, it is capped at how many processes you have. So you have to manage that,  because when rates go up you can’t have 100 processors on the books. Then it comes down to the lack of brokers. We’re gonna have to deal with many people. You’re more limited on how many loans you can do.”

Gurgiolo’s tip for young loan officers is to do what you have to do to get some deals. Once you’ve built a pipeline with at least a few hundred deals under your belt, then you can make 150bps on a deal. “But you have to sacrifice that at first to close some loans,” he said.

Gurgiolo started in subprime 15 years ago. In 2008, he joined IndyMac in the midst of the mortgage collapse. He had to switch to another company that same year due to the crisis but came back to IndyMac when it was placed under the conservatorship of the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Having gone through all that, Gurgiolo says 2020 feels like nothing but a mere hiccup since he’s with OneWest Bank.

“We’re a large commercial bank. So, on the banking side, we did have our difficulties, but on the mortgage side, we never skipped a beat, and the rates have been so good. We didn’t really notice it on our end. As far as ours is concerned, I don’t think there’s one loan officer who’s not happy right now.”

But despite the ups and downs, whether he’s with a bank or with a broker, or if the rates are sky-high or historically low, Gurgiolo believes that it all comes down to hard work.

“I don’t care if rates go up,” he said. “I mean, I care, but I don’t care that much. I know, I’ll still be able to do it every year.”