In addition to the stability afforded by bigger organizations -- net branch recruiters are promoting search engine help, government loan programs and high commission rates for prospective branches. Attendees to a recent net branch conference were highly optimistic about originations because of reduced competition.
Bob Duane and Cary Hise were recognized for their top producing branch at PrimeSource Mortgage Inc.'s 18th annual conference during January in Albuquerque, N.M., a press release said. Last year, volume at the Grapevine, Texas, branch doubled from 2008.
Roswell, N.M.-based PrimeSource, which noted that the conference was attended by a majority of its 35 branch owners, awarded branch of the year to an office in Amarillo, Texas, led by David Rieff. In addition, Texas originators Scott Chronister and Lisa Hagee were both awarded "Rookie of the Year."
"The overwhelming perception that was derived from the weekend was the fact that with 75 percent fewer loan originators in the marketplace, the 'survivors' are now positioned beautifully for the return of the origination market in 2010 and 2011," according to PrimeSource. "Optimism returned to an all-time high as the conference was drawn to a close."
PrimeSource announced in September 2009 the addition of branches in Texarkana, Texas; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Rio Rancho, N.M. Upcoming additions were expected in California, Kentucky and Montana.
Christensen Financial Inc. said in a recent news release that its new marketing platform utilizes search engine optimization to convert "the basic branch Web site into an application machine." The Longwood, Fla.-based firm claims it achieves a page-one ranking for its branches in addition to helping them keep up with constantly changing state and federal mortgage regulations.
"The top Web sites are not there by accident, they are there because they use specialized tactics that help shape the design and content of their site to achieve a high approval by search engines," Christensen said. "Optimized sites and a highly concentrated marketing release are just two factors helping Christensen Financial Inc. branches realize page-one rankings on over 1.8 million clicks-per-month.
On the home page of its Web site, Lend Anywhere claims its branch model gives mortgage brokers access to Federal Housing Administration programs and the ability to refer business in all 50 states. The cost of the program is "less than a fraction of the income of one closed loan."
"Unlike a mortgage net branch, the Lend Anywhere program introduces you to an industry leader," Lend Anywhere explains. "This federally chartered credit union has the ability to lend in all 50 states.
"Most importantly, they are seeking top-quality associates like you to help them expand their business and become one of the fastest growing mortgage companies in the country."
United Residential Lending LLC, which now operates as iServe Residential Lending, issued an October news release indicating that it was seeking licensed mortgage bankers in the Northeast to join its retail branch network. The six-year-old company's offerings include FHA, agency and jumbo programs, and it is reportedly authorized to operate in 19 states -- though its recruiting efforts are focused on Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
Chief Executive Officer Gary Willis noted at the time that the iServe's strong warehouse lending and take-out lending relationships are an attractive option to small firms facing increasing agency-capital and net-worth requirements.
|In promotional material, Nations Funding Source says it operates in 47 states, closes more than 500 loans a month and pays out more than $1 million weekly to its brokers and loan originators. Derek Parent, an executive for the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company, noted that branches can continue to process their own loans.
Nations Funding says it provides government programs. An application to get the approval process started costs $299. On closed loans under $250,000, the company keeps $650. For loans above $250,000, the fee is 10 percent of the total mortgage broker commission.
In a recent statement, Cendera Funding Inc. reported that it had reached 20 branches with 150 employees. The Fort Worth, Texas-based company is reportedly licensed in five states -- including Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon and Tennessee -- and was expected to enter six more states as part of an expansion plan.
Late last year, Mortgage Network Inc. -- or MNET -- acquired American Eagle Mortgage.
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