The National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year with a ceremony planned at its annual convention in September in Las Vegas. Since 1973, the organization has provided individual brokers with education and expertise while representing the mortgage industry on legislative matters.
Ernest Jones Jr. took over this past fall as president of NAMB. He notes that a stalwart crew of volunteers and paid staffers have managed the organization. He hopes to engage the next generation of mortgage professionals who will help support NAMB well into the next 50 years.
“My main thing is laying a foundation for sustainability into the future,” Jones said. “We need to make sure we attract those individuals who are coming behind us to keep it going.”
Jones spoke to Scotsman Guide about NAMB and his priorities for his one-year term in office. He also talked about his expectations for the coming year and the place of brokers in the mortgage market.
Why did you want this role?
My initial goal was not to necessarily become NAMB president but to make a difference in the mortgage industry beyond just doing loans. I feel we don’t have enough individuals giving back to an industry that really enables us to make a very good living.
What are your priorities in this term?
My primary goal is to lay a foundation for sustainability into the future. To do that, we need to grow our membership. My second goal is communicating effectively to let people know the difference that NAMB is making.
What probably gives the broker the biggest advantage is that he or she may be in better touch with what’s going on immediately around them in their community.
Why should brokers be members of NAMB?
NAMB is the only professional trade association that’s been around for any substantial period of time that’s been representing mortgage professionals. It’s the organization that supports what we do in taking care of the consumer.
What are your expectations in the near term for the mortgage market?
Uncertainty. You will have some number crunchers who will say this or that is going to happen. Regardless of which way it goes, families are going to still need homes. People will still need places to live.
Do brokers have any competitive advantages in a slower market like this?
I think so. What probably gives the broker the biggest advantage is that he or she may be better in touch with what’s going on immediately around them in their community. And they may have built relationships that can sustain them during a downturn in the market.
What should homebuyers consider in today’s market?
Too often, homebuyers focus on the interest rates and the payments, and not all the other things that come with owning a home. There are so many factors that you need to consider that the broker looks at with you.
Where are you going to be with your career in two years? Are you going to get married? Are you going to have a family? Should you even consider buying anything other than a two- or three-bedroom home? There are so many variables.
You see the broker as having an advisory role for clients, right? That it shouldn’t just be a transaction but a conversation?
Exactly. I’ve been on both sides. I think, as a broker, you have the latitude maybe to have that conversation more freely than a lender in some respects.
My primary concern has been that I want to look out for the best interests of my customer, regardless of whether I’m working on the broker side or whether I’m working for the lender on that side. At the end of the day, we all do the same thing. ●