As published in Scotsman Guide's Commercial Edition, January 2006.
With the Mortgage Bankers Association's Commercial Real Estate Finance/Multifamily Housing Convention & Expo starting on Feb. 5, we asked the organization's 2005 chairman -- Michael Petrie, CMB, president of Indiana's P/R Mortgage and Investment Corp. -- about his tenure, his 25-year career and the association.
What was your role with MBA? The role of chairman is to be the public face of the organization -- to go out and meet with members throughout the country, making sure they know that MBA is representing them well in terms of advocacy and educational opportunities.
What do you find exciting about the mortgage industry? The people. To be an originator, you're an intermediary. It has to be win-win. I've always said that in order to be in the win-win business, you really can't be a jerk. So in our business, you meet really nice people.
In an October 2004 interview, you said the three biggest policy issues facing MBA during your tenure would be Federal Housing Administration (FHA) revitalization, predatory lending and government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs). What progress did you and MBA make on these issues? The biggest issue we have now for the multifamily people is GSE-oversight reform. Now that we've got pieces of legislation passed out in the House and Senate, now is the time when there's going to have to be some form of compromise if we're ever going to get a bill out. FHA revitalization is going pretty well. The organization has created accelerated processes to help speed things up in the multifamily arena. On the single-family side, we're trying to help the FHA improve its technology to speed up the execution and delivery. We're (also) working to help improve financial literacy, which will help fight predatory lending.
MBA's mission is "to create an environment that enables its members to invest in communities and achieve their business objectives." What does this mean to you? What we do as lenders is find capital so people in our communities can invest in them. We bring in this capital so that developers and builders can do what they need to do to provide places for people to work, shop and play.
What is the best advice you've ever received? A saying by Calvin Coolidge: "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." For 25 years, it's been taped to my desk.
Melinda Young is an associate editor at Scotsman Guide. Reach her at (800) 297-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.