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Residential Department: Q&A: John Councilman, NAMB — The Association of Mortgage Professionals: September 2014


Q&A: John Councilman, NAMB — The Association of Mortgage Professionals

John Councilman, president-elect, NAMB — The Association of Mortgage Professionals

Industry participation is vital to success.

The mortgage industry may encompass thousands of people from all around the country, but at times the mortgage arena feels downright tiny — a world in which everyone knows everyone else. That’s not especially surprising, either; networking is a big part of originators’ lives, so much so that their careers often depend on it.

Since 1973, NAMB — The Association of Mortgage Professionals has been serving mortgage originators in that very respect, providing brokers and bankers with the opportunity to interact, learn and stay on top of industry developments. We spoke with NAMB President-elect John Councilman to learn more about the association’s current objectives and its upcoming national conference.

What are a few of your goals as president-elect of your association?

Believe it or not: There are about 50 goals that I have, but one of the first things that we want to do is provide more services for our members. Those are things like webinars, programs and various different relationships that we want to build that have been not as strong as we would like them to be.

How must NAMB evolve to keep pace with the industry today?

There are a lot of things that we can do, and we have some pretty hard-working people and some pretty hard-working staff. We’re always trying to grow membership; there’s no question about that. [Our membership is] probably at about 5 percent of the people who are mortgage originators in the United States right now. I understand that some of those are working for mortgage bankers, and they don’t think that they really need any help, but that’s a serious mistake for people to think. If you’re perfectly happy with everything you’re doing right now, you’re a pretty sad individual, as far as I’m concerned. There’s usually room for improvement in everybody’s life, and you should always be growing and looking to do things better and to improve the industry.

Tell me about NAMB’s annual, national conference that’s occurring this month. What are a few of the panels you’ll be offering at the conference?

People want to learn how to sell better, and we’re certainly addressing that. We’re having a  panel of Realtors [who] are going to be there explaining to loan originators how they can reach Realtors in a better fashion and go out there and get more Realtor business.

There are also going to be panels on learning how to interact with various existing programs such as FHA [Federal Housing Administration] and VA [U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs] and that sort of thing, and then there will be [panels about] a lot of the changes that people are implementing in their business models like non-QM [qualified mortgage] products.

What’s your current assessment of the FHA market and the administration as a whole?

Everything is down a little bit right now, but FHA is still very viable. [FHA Commissioner] Carol [Galante] is a person who listens, and because of that, she’s made some really wise decisions with FHA. She’s brought them out of what everybody thought was certain disaster, and I’m just really impressed by her. As I said, she listens — she takes counsel — and that’s something that is invaluable. I don’t worry about FHA when you have somebody like that there.

As an industry veteran, what advice might you have for up-and-coming mortgage originators?

You need goals. You need to be able to improve what you’re doing with your skills and your knowledge. How do you do that? There are some very concrete ways. Jump forward and get a professional designation — like a CMC [certified mortgage consultant] or a CRMS [certified residential mortgage specialist]. It’s something that people look at and say, “What are those initials after your name?” And you can say, “Well, I’m a certified originator. I’m not just the everyday originator. I have certain credentials and knowledge that other people don’t have.” These are things that make you feel better, and you’d be amazed: When you feel better about yourself, and you feel more confident in your skills, that relates to the people you’re talking to.


Raymond Fleischmann was editor of Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition. For questions about this article, call (800) 297-6061 or e-mail

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