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Residential Department: From the Editor: April 2013


From the Editor

A lot of preparation and planning go into our annual Top Originators rankings. Believe it or not, we start working on the initial set-up of our online-entry system, e-mail marketing campaign and more in early October, so that by the time January rolls around, we’re prepared to handle the hundreds of submissions, e-mails and phone calls that come pouring in.

We weren’t prepared for this.

Between this past Jan. 3 and Jan. 31, nearly 1,500 originators entered their data to see where they stood among the highest-producing originators in the country. Needless to say, this record-breaking number of submissions created some of the toughest competition we’ve seen yet. In fact, the competition was so tight, we increased our

Top Dollar Volume rankings to include 300 originators — and even with this expansion, the last originator on our list closed more than $75 million in loans.

If $75 million is the bottom of the list, what does that mean for the top? The No. 1 originator on the 2012 Top Dollar Volume list is Cohen Financial Group’s Mark Cohen, who closed a staggering $590,146,685 in loans. This is his first year atop the list, and he shares his thoughts on the market and what it takes to be a top originator on Page 16.

To many of us, $590 million is a mind-blowing figure. But to give you an idea of exactly just how much money that is, I pulled up a few other numbers to compare. That loan volume is more than:

  • 2012 box office gross of “The Dark Knight Rises”: $448,139,099 
  • The 2007 gross domestic product of American Samoa: $575.3 million
  • Advertising revenue for the 2013 Super Bowl: $240 million
  • The New York Yankees 2013 payroll, Major League Baseball’s largest: $195,998,004

Although Cohen’s total volume production is impressive, all of the entrants to this year’s Top Originators rankings were equally impressive in their own right. Starting on Page 23, you can see the top originators from across the country ranked by dollar volume, loans closed, Federal Housing Administration volume and more. 

In addition to the expanded Top Dollar Volume list, you’ll notice a few other changes we’ve made this year. We’ve added a short list of companies with the most ranked originators, and we’ve included reverse-mortgage originators in our rankings for the first time in an online-exclusive list at

All told, the nearly 1,500 entrants to Top Originators 2012 closed more than 326,000 loans for a whopping production of more than $93 billion. For more on the numbers behind this year’s rankings, read this month’s BackSpace on Page 98.

Whether they closed $5 million or $500 million, however, mortgage originators are clearly the engine that drives the housing market. We can’t wait to see what you do this year.


Jennifer Garrett was an editor at Scotsman Guide. For questions on this article, call (800) 297-6061 or e-mail

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