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Residential Department: From the Editor: March 2017


From the Editor

Forget spring cleaning and focus on summer buyers

r_2017-03_FTE_birdhousesIt’s March, which means spring is on our doorstep. After spending yet another cold winter huddling inside, people soon will begin emerging from their homes, their apartments and their parents’ basements to think about moving out, moving into a place they can call their own, or moving up into a bigger home.

Summer homebuying season is just around the corner, and mortgage originators across the country should start getting ready for it now. This summer may well make or break your year as a loan originator. With interest rates likely to increase throughout 2017, all signs point to a seismic shift in the housing market this year away from the dominance of refinances and more toward a purchase-centric market.

In fact, the Mortgage Bankers Association predicts that refinance originations will decrease by 40 percent this year, and that purchase originations will comprise as much as 67.5 percent of total originations in 2017. With those numbers in mind — and prime homebuying season just around the corner — we present our annual business-development issue.

We start out this month with an article by Michael DiMaggio of Stearns Lending LLC. DiMaggio discusses what branch managers need to do to grow their branches and help them prosper. Turn to Page 35 to read this article. Next, take a look at the article by Ben Wu of LoanScorecard starting on Page 53. Wu has some ideas on how to use technology to grab non-agency originations.

For those originators who may have spent most of the past 10 years on the phone in a cubicle, John Meussner of Mason-McDuffie Mortgage offers some practical advice on how to survive outside the cube. Read Meussner’s article on Page 62. If you are in a higher-priced market, don’t miss the article by Matthew J. Tomiak of Redwood Trust Inc. on how to capitalize on the new prime jumbo. Tomiak’s article begins on Page 95.

We also have an article about how to leverage events to make your mark in your community by JJ Mazzo of Summit Funding Inc. on Page 86; an article that can help you move past deadlines and build for the future by Sarah Valentini of Radius Financial Group Inc. on Page 110; an article about cultivating and maintaining referral relationships by Dennis Black of Dennis Black and Associates on Page 118; and an article about how to build your business through social media by Maureen Cioni of Mortgage Network Inc. on Page 134.

In addition to all of the great business-development advice presented in this issue, we also have articles on underwriting technology, online lending technology, recruiting challenges and a thought-provoking analysis of how post-crisis mortgage regulations have missed the mark by attorney and broker William P. Matz, which begins on Page 79.

How originators and lenders fare over the next few months could mean the difference between turning in a banner year and busting their tails just to catch up to last year. Speaking of last year, the deadline for lenders to submit their 2016 origination data for our annual Top Mortgage Lenders rankings is March 17. Don’t miss out! Visit for more information. The rankings will be published in the June issue. Don’t find yourself on the outside looking in this summer.


Will McDermott is managing editor for Ask a Lender. Reach him at or (800) 297-6061.

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