MBA’s Independent Mortgage Bankers Conference took place January 22-25 along the scenic Florida coast at the Ritz Carlton in Amelia Island. This conference brought together mortgage banking professionals from around the country to discuss the latest industry trends, challenges and projected changes to come in 2018. The two main conference days were jam-packed with insightful presentations from industry thought leaders across varying organizations, appealing to a broad scope of professionals.
Setting the Scene
Attendees were greeted by industry frontrunners Bill Cosgrove, Dave Motley, and Dave Stevens, followed by featured speaker and New York Times Bestselling Author, Brad Meltzer. Meltzer’s TED-style talk asked the thought-provoking question of how we will be remembered, noting that our job title and accomplishments may not define our legacy. This session paved the way for the rest of the conference, bringing about the latest advancements in mortgage, and the impacts they may have on organizations.
A Focus on Compliance
A common theme across the exhibit floor and general sessions remained prominent: compliance. Predictions for the market this year include: continued inventory shortages nationwide, $81 billion dollars less in total loan origination volume (FNMA) and an acceleration of purchase business that will be twice the rate it was in 2017 (MBA), so the pressure is on Mortgage Loan Officers and Realtors alike to reach out to consumers frequently and consistently with engaging materials. The need to market more – individually and on a co-branded basis – can make staying inside the lines of corporate policies and guidelines more difficult. In the event MLOs stray outside corporate purview to develop and deploy their own materials, the organization and its brand are left vulnerable to compliance disputes - and the significance of tracking these materials grows.
Executives from top mortgage and legal companies dedicated an entire session to compliance, and the major challenges organizations are facing in 2018. They touched on the changing landscape from government interference and the implications of the law.
Laws will not change, but who enforces and the theories under which they are enforced is changing.” – Jonice Gray Tucker, Buckley Sandler LLP
The implications from deficient fair lending risk management programs are endless. From fines and remediation, to compliance rating downgrade, growth limitations and reputational risk, these are hefty penalties we all want to avoid. Perhaps we could take a page from Michael D. McAuley, a Principal of Garrett, McAuley & Co., who presented on the 10 things mortgage companies must do in 2018. He preached the importance of deploying a business plan with “What If” modeling, so that organizations are fully equipped to alter their plan when external forces interfere.
Setting Goals for 2018
Macroeconomic, regulatory and other factors that may be out of individual control can have a significant impact on volume overall, but it’s important to stop focusing on production and start focusing on profitability. Top performers establish specific goals that ensure growth and expansion for their individual teams and practices so that they can weather market conditions and overcome obstacles.
The Independent Mortgage Bankers Conference was an inspiring, energizing event for all involved. From compliance, noteworthy ‘must-do’s and strategic development, there was valuable information for all. We are grateful to the MBA for hosting this event, and for creating a space for industry professionals to discuss the key initiatives and challenges impacting business today. Kicking off the year with a powerful conference has set the stage and we look forward to what lies ahead.