"If mortgage companies aren't marketing to these individuals, then it’s not going to change"
Many mortgage companies are trying to embed diversity and inclusion into their culture – but it is easier said than done. While the housing industry has made strides in advancing racial equity and supporting underserved communities, it still has a long way to go before the playing field is leveled for all homebuyers.
In a Women of Influence panel discussion, MPA sat down with industry leaders Cindy Nassar, , chief operating officer of PCV Murcor, Dianne Walker, VP processing at Network Capital, and Natalie Verrette, president and chief operating officer of Champions Funding, to address these issues.
“People want to do business with people who look like them or are like them. I think that they’ve got to see people in the industry that look like them just to build more trust,” said Nassar. “They’re interconnected - as soon as the inside starts to look different than the outside. It needs to be intentional about marketing to those communities. If mortgage companies aren’t in these neighborhoods or aren’t marketing to these individuals, then it’s not going to change.”
“We market across the country through so many different marketing avenues to get the message across that homeownership is important, and it’s available,” Walker said. “I think the mortgage industry has changed, and it’s evolved over the years and companies like ours work to accommodate all.”
In addition to external efforts, Verrette pointed out that more must be done internally to combat redlining, a housing policy that has hindered Black and Hispanic families from qualifying for a home loan for decades.
“We have folks who wish not to choose because they’re scared of being declined for a mortgage simply because of something completely out of their control. They didn’t choose to be born a certain race, color or sex,” Verrette said. “So, we’re attacking this imbalance within our country from different directions of how we staff internally, with how we mitigate risk from a credit risk perspective of extending mortgages out to borrowers, how we market to them, and how we educate them.”
“You have to give people hope. And the only way that you’re going to introduce people to this industry is that the people that are in the industry have to be out there showing them and teaching them about it. So it’s really up to us. We have to be the change that we want to see in the world.”
Watch the full panel discussion here: Do women enjoy a level playing field in the mortgage industry?