We are excited to launch the premiere edition of the AmeriHome Angle, a monthly “quick read” designed to inform, educate, stimulate and hopefully assist our clients, prospective clients and business partners with achieving greater success.
As the 4th largest national Correspondent Lender* doing over $45 billion in annual volume, with over 600 national clients and servicing over 300,000 loans, we plan to share our perspectives, tips and insights on the various sectors of the mortgage finance and origination business.
The goal is to be brief, add value, and get people thinking.
I am fortunate to spend many days each year talking directly with our clients and partners across the country while also participating on the National MBA Board, the MBA Residential Board of Governors, the California MBA Board of Directors, and several other advisory boards for our industry. Here are some of my observations and thoughts as we look ahead to 2020:
- What is going to happen to interest rates? At AmeriHome we do not bet on interest rates (or other factors outside our control). We hedge appropriately and always strive to be nimble so we can promptly react (ideally quicker than our competition). Whether ramping up for a refi market or downsizing to cut costs and remain profitable in a down market, speed is one of the major keys to success in this business.
- To outsource or not? I get asked this frequently and while there is no easy answer, here are the key questions I always start with:
- How big is the function (with respect to complexity and expenses)?
- Is the benefit worth the effort and risk?
- What are the core competencies (and possible differentiators)?
With all the advancements in technology over the past several years, the benefits of outsourcing (and the loss of control that goes with it) can be equaled or even surpassed with process and system enhancements. We always weigh those options in our decision making. After all, why pay a vendor their profit margin when, with a little effort and creativity, you can keep 100% of the savings in your company’s pocket?
- As I travel around the country I observe companies who consistently outperform their peers across various market cycles. I ask myself why? What are they doing that others are not? A couple of key differentiators are common to the most successful, and rare (or at best inconsistent) with the others:
- They make decisions and move with haste–this is not to say they rush or are careless, only that they look at the data, weigh their options and execute without requiring 100% certainty. Others are in a constant state of analysis, data collection or implementation. Perfection is a high bar and our industry is constantly moving. So while we always strive for perfection at Amerihome, I’ll take the 70-80% benefit now and work on it through continuous improvement later.
- Focus, focus, focus. “Shiny Object Syndrome” where the executive team moves from strategy to strategy, and priority to priority, without fully executing on previous initiatives. While not only frustrating and confusing for the team, it is a major waste of resources and creates huge opportunity costs. The more aware, aligned, and consistent ALL are on the objectives and goals, the better the results. Completing a few major projects exceedingly well will always yield better results than finalizing numerous ill-conceived projects half a#@ed.
- Smart people matter. And you need smart people in vital roles. Make a list of your vital roles: how do you feel about the talent level? Also, and we’ve likely all learned this the hard way, experience and time in the industry does not necessarily make someone smarter, wiser, or more effective (maybe just older 🤔).
Thanks for your time,
Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director