Where does a mortgage broker go for leads and referrals?

Dallas broker secures several borrowers monthly using one method

Where does a mortgage broker go for leads and referrals?

Those championing the independent mortgage broker as the best choice for homebuyers convey the message consistently in the hopes of helping consumers. United Wholesale Mortgage – the nation’s largest wholesale lender – created a portal to help consumers achieve the goal, recently showcasing the success of one of its brokers in utilizing the site.

Jennifer Gormer (pictured), of Integrity Home Lending, was last month invited by UWM to help celebrate National Mortgage Brokers Day on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Her presence on the trading floor – during which brokers helped ring the closing bell – came largely due to her judicious use of FindAMortgageBroker.com, including a recent instance where she was found on the site by a borrower needing to quickly close in order to use money on a down payment for a new home.

It sure beats finding a broker via Google, Gormer said during a recent telephone interview with Mortgage Professional America. “It’s innovative because so many people don’t know where to start,” she said of FindAMortgageBroker.com.

The problem, Gormer said, is that there is no degree of specificity to such a random Google search, let alone distinctions made among the various types of lenders available. “Many people don’t know the difference between retail and wholesale and a mortgage broker versus a lender,” she said. “FindAMortgageBroker.com is one place where you can type in ‘I need a loan’ or ‘I’m looking for a mortgage’, they can actually type in their city and state. Those of us that are on FindAMortgageBroker.com who have excellent ratings, reviews, positive experiences, we get pushed to the top just like Google.”

It’s like Google, but better

A search for a borrower in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas, for example, would quickly find Gormer in the top tier among those listed for that region of the country. “We’ve had a lot of referrals, and I get a lot of great feedback from people who come to us from FindAMortgageBroker.com,” she said.

Powered by UWM, FindAMortage.com was created from the belief that working with an independent mortgage broker is the best move for homebuyers, UWM officials wrote on its website. The site yields the ability for a borrower to shop 100s of loan options on their behalf to find a monthly payment that fits their needs.”

Time savings were a main consideration in creating the site, according to UWM. Many borrowers, officials said, don’t think about their mortgages until after they have found a home – causing unwanted and potentially costly delays in the closing process. In using FindAMortgageBroker.com, borrowers are teamed with independent mortgage brokers at the very beginning of the homebuying process.

Gormer said she doesn’t view others on the site – including those working in the same Dallas region as she – as competition. “In my opinion, we’re our own competition,” she said. “Dallas has a lot of lenders, and I just don’t look at it as competition. Really, it’s our performance that drives it. Someone can be on the same site, but if the reviews aren’t the same, if they’re not closing loans within the average seven to 10 days, most of those borrowers will come to us and choose us over their competition.”

Apart from the various broker choices, she touts use of an independent mortgage broker for the financial savings alone. Industry officials have trumpeted the same savings potential with an independent broker – translating to an average of $9,400 when using a mortgage broker versus a lender.

Portal is an extension of her philosophy

Even before the portal’s creation, Gormer had always sought to help borrowers achieve homeownership above everything else, she said. That sense of duty has been forged by virtue of a varied career in the industry that started in 2004.

“I’ve seen the good, bad and the ugly,” she said. “I was here when Dodd-Frank came in; I’ve worked in retail; I’ve been an executive. I mean, I’ve done it all. I’ve trained every role in the mortgage industry.”

Her experiences along the way yielded the ideals of integrity, consistency and reliability - her top priorities she said - noting she named her mortgage company after the first of those characteristics as Integrity Home Lending.

Figure out when, where, and how to start a mortgage company here.

She cited the example of two recent customers – a mother and her son – who she helped become homeowners. The son is a recent high school graduate who secured his welder’s license, she said. “He got his diploma; got a certificate for welding; he’s been working; he has a good income; he’s protected his credit score; and has been saving his money.”

He inspired his mom to follow suit, and Gormer had attended the closing just two days before her interview with MPA. “I shed tears,” she said of the single mom becoming a homeowner in her own right. “These are two generations of first-time homebuyers. We changed the trajectory of their lives. This is what it’s all about – this is why I get up every day.”

Gormer’s prolific and fruitful use of the portal earned her a trip to the New York Stock Exchange at the invitation of United Wholesale Mortgage officials who solicited compelling stories from brokers for eligibility. She told MPA she found the experience thrilling, and enjoyed the camaraderie in visiting with colleagues. But clearly, finding professional fulfillment is right around every corner in her Dallas home base far from the trading floor.

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