A small drop in mortgage rates will set off a frenzy, he says
With more than 20 years in the mortgage industry, Jason Kindler (pictured) has seen his share of cycles – both good and bad. Given such institutional knowledge, he sees more cycles across the horizon sparked by a potential drop in rates – and he’s bracing for pandemonium.
“I think home prices are probably the best that they’re going to be because we’ve still got appreciation, we still have demand, we’re still going to have enough inventory and rates are pushing 8%,” he told Mortgage Professional America during a recent interview.
“Even if it shifts down 2% and we start getting to 6% or in the 5s, you’re going to have pandemonium,” the president of First Coast Mortgage Funding said. “You’re going to see buyers bidding on houses, going over the sales price, everything like that. I believe that right now, it’s important to educate the buyer that ‘yes’, rates are the highest they’ve been in decades. However, we’ve still got appreciation and we don’t have enough houses to sell if that shifts downward. What’s going to happen?”
MPA caught up with Kindler at the recent FUSE conference in Las Vegas organized by the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts. He touched on the changes that have occurred in his industry in the wake of inflation and higher mortgage rates.
“Everyone in the business is now learning how to do business a little bit differently,” he said. “People are really having to figure out ways to strategize, how to help their realtor partners, how to help their clients because it’s not just flowing in like it was in 2021. Everyone’s trying to reestablish themselves.”
For this industry veteran, such shifts are old hat: “I’ve been doing this for 22 years,” he said. “You go through cycles and some people haven’t been through that. I look at it like now is the time to shine and capture market share. You don’t have to worry about just keeping up. Now you have some time to build some better relationships.”
Bracing for the broker channel to swell
By one measure, it’s said the number of loan originators will have halved by the end of 2023 compared to last year. Kindler foresees the broker channel growing exponentially during the industry upheaval.
“What will happen is there will be more retail officers who come on to the broker side because we’re independent,” he said. “Being independent, you have a lot more control. That’s why we’re independent versus being with a bigger company - they have to shrink and really worry about that. With less originators, the broker channel will grow.”
He dispensed advice to industry newcomers too – including those migrating from retail – who have fewer years under their belt: “If you’re making that transition – especially if you’re going to be a broker-owner – make sure that your expenses are in line and under control so that you can weather any storm,” he said.
He also cautioned against rapid expansion, saying he has taken a more methodical approach with his company’s growth: “In my experience, instead of grow, grow, grow, grow, grow and then it shifts, we were very steady and intentional about it,” he said. “And so in our company, we never hit a period where it was do or die. We’ve never had that.”
The secret to his success
During the conference, Kindler participated in a panel discussion titled “We Are Mortgage Champions: Top Volume Originators”. He was joined on the panel by Tom Ahles, president of growth at AIME; Michael Cain, loan officer for C2 Financial Corp.; Major Singleton, mortgage broker at Edge Home Finance; Braiden Shaw, broker-owner at Fulcrum Home Loans; and Nancy Bayat, vice president of Amerify.
So what is the secret to being a top volume originator?
“The simple answer is I show up every day, meaning I’m engaged every single day,” he said. “And you put good people around you and show those people how to do the same thing you’re doing and duplicate that. That’s how you continue to grow. For me, I have a niche that I focus on – builders. There are a lot of brokers who don’t focus on builders. Basically, I have been able to sustain better production through leaner times because I have those relationships.”
Kindler credited AIME with swaying him to join the broker channel after having spent much of his career on the retail side. His epiphany came during an AIME-produced podcast in which he participated. “AIME helped me make my final decision when I was leaving retail to come to broker. AIME was the reason I did that. All the education, everything that is put out helped me understand what the broker channel was about having been out of it for 10 years.”
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