Scotsman Guide > Rankings > Top Lenders 2013 > Freedom Mortgage Corp #1 Top Wholesale

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Top Mortgage Lenders 2013: #1 Top Wholesale Volume 


Freedom Mortgage Corp.


This past year, Freedom Mortgage Corp. dealt with the changes in the mortgage industry with several strategies, according to its president and chief executive officer Stanley Middleman (pictured). Freedom diversified its business interests, kept prices low and accepted lower margins. It also expanded its correspondent-lending business and compensated for lost origination revenue with servicing revenues.

These strategies paid off. Freedom’s 2013 origination volume at $15.8 billion surpassed the 2012 figure of $13.8 billion. Middleman shares the following five secrets of success, emphasizing that they are interwoven:

1. Learn from experience

Success is cumulative. We have been in business since 1990, and the greatest catalyst for our success has been our experience and our ability to use our cumulative experience to lead us to the place that we are today.

2. Understand the market

When interest rates rise a little bit, you lose your refinance volume and you are faced with a purchase-money market and some refinance volume, you have to look at your business and say, “What am I going to do in this marketplace?” There are three choices: You can get bigger, you can get smaller or you can go home. We’ve chosen to get bigger.

3. Use economies of scale

By being a larger organization, you are able to take advantage of the economies of scale, and you can get by on lower margins as long as you are getting contribution margins from your other divisions. The growth of our business lends itself to choosing to go large, and it may give options to those who choose to take their chips off the table and become part of a larger organization.

4. Diversify

To be successful in origination in today’s market, you have to be able to subsidize that origination through a blend of offerings, which allows you to subsidize some of the channels that are less cash-flow positive. Fortunately, we have been able to do a good job of generating internal liquidity by having a good blend of channels.

5. Be tech-savvy

In order to be a good rule-follower today, to be price-competitive, to take advantage of a corporate structure and to let your experience do the work, you have got to be technology-savvy. (VW)

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