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Residential Department: From the Editor: January 2018


From the Editor

2017 was the year of mortgage technology

r_2018-01_FTEAnother year is in the books, which means once again it is time for our readers to take stock of their production numbers and submit their data for our annual rankings of the nation’s top producers. The submission window for Top Originators 2017 opens on Jan. 3 and closes Jan. 31. If you want to be considered for any of our nine ranking categories, go to today and submit your info.

In addition, all verified entrants for Top Originators will be considered for a separate set of rankings, Best Mortgage Professionals. These additional rankings are based on the number of closed loans per state. Best Mortgage Professionals will appear on Ask a Lender (, a new consumer-facing platform created by the team of Scotsman Guide Media.

If 2017 taught the industry anything, it is that an online presence will be essential to residential mortgage originators. With purchase loans once again driving production numbers, originators must find new ways to market their services to potential homebuyers, which means going online because, more and more, that is where borrowers are looking for mortgages.

In fact, this month, we offer a trio of articles about new technologies that can help originators and mortgage companies locate and reach borrowers online more effectively. For an introduction to robotic process automation (RPA), which promises to reduce costs and improve customer service via online channels, turn to Page 73 to read the article by Russ Gould of Kofax. Next read the article by Gabe Minton of Guild Mortgage, which dives further into how AI (artificial intelligence software) can give originators more time for selling by automating drudge work. Minton’s article is on Page 86. Finally, flip to Page 104 to read what Debbie Hoffman of Symmetry Blockchain Advisors LLC and law student Alexandria Decatur have to say about how AI digital originators will impact the industry.

In addition, we have two articles this month that discuss strategies for grabbing the attention of online borrowers. Lauren Grove of Inlanta Mortgage Inc., presents three New Year’s resolutions originators should make this year to increase their social media presence. Grove’s article begins on Page 61. For a more traditional view of reaching online borrowers, turn to Page 138, where Dennis Black of Dennis Black and Associates provides tips for strengthening relationships with Realtor partners when working with online borrowers.

Although it seems like many issues lately have been dominated by discussions of technology and online marketing, our focus this month is on hard money loans. Our lead story, written by Robert Greenberg of Patch of Land, provides a primer on hard money lending sources for originators looking to land residential investor clients — including, of course, an online option. Greenberg’s article begins on Page 37. Then, on Page 56, Houtan Hormozian of Crestico Inc. takes a hard look at the facts that originators need to know about hard money loans before offering them as an option to their borrowers.

There is plenty more content within this issue, including an article on Page 81 by Terri Buckman of Finance of America Mortgage LLC about a new trend in non-delegated correspondence lending that could open up opportunities in 2018. Stay with us throughout the year to read about new technologies and new ways to build your business. And don’t forget to submit your data for Top Originators 2017. There is no better way to differentiate yourself from the competition.


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

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