No. 1 wholesale mortgage lender still posting strong gains
Across the mortgage industry, much of the news sounds like doom and gloom: Rates are up and inventory is down, which all adds up to fewer originations. Still, there are some bright spots —companies that are bucking the trend and seeing continued records.
In 2017, United Wholesale Mortgage hit $29.5 billion in loan volume and closed more than 106,000 home loans throughout America, an all-time high. UWM finished 2017 as the No. 1 wholesale mortgage lender for residential loans in the US, claiming the top spot for the third consecutive year.
Those numbers gave UWM a 15% stake in wholesale market share, which is a 4% uptick from a year ago. Despite a down year in mortgages, in which the market declined by 11% overall, UWM grew its loan production by 29%. UWM hired more than 900 people in 2017 and plans to hire 700 more in 2018.
“We hear that our competitor numbers are down and they are laying people off. We are experiencing the opposite in our business right now,” said Allen Beydoun, UWM executive vice president. “We are growing every month. Q1 2018 was a significant increase over Q1 2017. We had a record-setting Q1 this year — best ever in company history in 30-plus years.”
At the same time, UWM is dedicated to brokers’ success, earning a rare “True Partner” ranking from Brokers Rallying Against Whole-tail Lending. BRAWL, a national network of independent mortgage brokers, only placed six companies in that category of the 30 that were ranked in the inaugural Lender Scorecard.
UWM President and CEO Mat Ishbia has publicly supported the BRAWL movement and is slated to speak at the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts’ workshop in Irvine, Calif., on April 11.
“Our big thing is making sure the wholesale channel grows and brokers continue to dominate the market,” Beydoun said. “UWM will continue to grow its market share by continuing to help brokers grow their market share. Right now we are focused on client service technology and partnership tools. We focus 100% on building true partnerships with our clients. We know our success is reliant on their success, and we have to earn their business every day. There are no guarantees. We slip up or something happens along the process, there are 10 different lenders our clients can go to.”
In February, UWM announced that it will offer conventional high-balance loans nationwide, providing access to a more cost-effective loan product in areas that previously lacked high-balance loans.
UWM also pioneered a true virtual e-closing experience, giving borrowers the ability to close loans from any computer, tablet, Android or Apple device with a web camera and internet connection – without the need for a single document to be wet signed or for a notary to be physically present.
The company hosts monthly broker visits at its Troy, Mich., headquarters to provide an opportunity to connect with UWM leaders and learn new industry best practices.