From the Editor
BY JENNIFER E. GARRETT, EDITOR
Although being A jAck oF All trAdes hAs its AppeAl, mAny people simply
wAnt to Find their niche. oF course, thAt c An meAn A lot oF diFFerent things.
for some, it may simply mean finding a home in the mortgage industry after trying other
fields. Or it may mean specializing in one property or product type and becoming an expert
on it. for others, it may mean finding a market segment within the industry that is not only
fruitful, but fulfilling, as well.
Mary anne Ehlert, president and founder of Protected Tomorrows Inc., tackles that subject in
this month’s backSpace feature on Page 66. There is a growing number of families in the U.S.
that include members who have special needs — from those living with alzheimer’s disease
to physical disabilities that raise accessibility issues. These families also need to finance their
homes, and mortgage brokers and originators who understand the issues they face can help.
Helping others while also improving your business is at the heart of cause-related marketing,
according to the Penfed foundation’s Dan Schenk. On Page 56, Schenk describes how
partnering with a nonprofit organization can increase the reach and success of your marketing
efforts. On Page 30, Calyx Software’s b.J. bounds discusses how establishing yourself as a
specialist and marketing your niche can help focus your business.
but before marketing their niche, brokers should explore the options available to them.
The federal Housing administration (fHa) Section No. 203(k) loan program is another
growing niche that may be an opportunity for brokers to expand their business. This product
allows homebuyers to finance the renovation or rehabilitation of a home as well as purchase
the property. On Page 21, the National association of the remodeling Industry’s Morgan
Zenner explains why, although repair work can be done by any contractor, partnering with
experienced 203(k) contractors may be the most beneficial to all involved.
Collaboration also is emphasized as a key ingredient for success in the distressed-property
niche by Suzanne ball of america’s InfoMart Inc. on Page 26. When working with foreclosed
properties, americor Mortgage/Vacation finance’s bob Waun advocates that brokers think
outside the box on Page 42.
regardless of whether you specialize in a particular property type or if you prefer to keep
your options open, finding financing is always the goal of mortgage originators. If you’re
unfamiliar with the opportunities that hard-money lending can present, check out the basics
from HML’s yanni raz on Page 33.
FEATURED TOP ORIGINATOR
Kathy Shaw, First Place Bank
No. 32 Most Loans Closed (2010)
BY JENNIFER E. GARRETT
Consistency is the name of the game for Kathy Shaw, senior vice president
at first Place bank in Dayton, Ohio. In 2010, her total loan volume was
$110,576,803; in 2009, it was $110,146,088; and she expects similar
results for 2011.
Shaw credits a strong referral base and repeat business to her consistent results. and key to
referrals is good customer service. “I’m a hands-on person,” she says. “I have people who
support me, but I don’t pass things off.” being in contact with the client is important because
“it’s stressful to do a mortgage, especially these days.” Her clients feel comfortable referring
people to her because they know she will take care of them, she says.
Shaw specializes in construction-to-permanent loans. Despite the down market in construction,
“there are still people building,” she says. “There will always be people who want to build their
That said, she anticipates her total loans closed will continue to inch downward. She closed 450
loans in 2009 but only 421 in 2010, and she predicts that her 2011 numbers will be lower still.
Shaw is optimistic about this year, however. “I think that 2012 will be better than 2011,” she
says. “all it’s going to take for people to start buying and building is a little more confidence.”
View Scotsman Guide’s Top Originators 2010 rankings at scotsmanguide.com/ Top2010. for more information on the
upcoming Top Originators 2011 rankings, visit scotsmanguide.com/TOlist.
In the Past Month
Housing starts and permits issued increase
WaSHINGTON, D.C. — New home construction in the U.S.
increased 9. 3 percent this past November compared to
October, according to the Commerce Department.
Housing starts climbed to a seasonally adjusted annual
rate of 685,000, compared with a downwardly revised figure for October of 627,000.
The rate of privately owned housing starts was 24. 3 percent
more than November 2010, when there were 551,000 housing starts.
Permits issued for privately owned housing units increased
5. 7 percent from this past October to November. Permits issued increased 20. 7 percent year-over-year.
Tracking home sales and prices
Housing starts: Feb. 16
WaSHINGTON, D.C. — Pending U.S. home sales increased
7. 3 percent this past November, according to the National
association of realtors (Nar).
The Pending Home Sales Index jumped 10. 4 percent in
October after three months of declines. November’s increase put the index at 100.1, up from 93.3 in October. from
November 2010, the index is up 5. 9 percent, Nar said.
In addition, sales of existing homes increased 4 percent from
October to November to hit a 10-month high, Nar reported.
Existing home sales in November came in at a seasonally
adjusted annual rate of 4. 42 million, up from 4. 25 million in
U.S. home prices, however, declined 0.2 percent this past
October compared with September, according to the federal
Housing finance agency.
Home prices are down 2.8 percent from October 2010
and down 19.2 percent from the peak of april 2007, the
Foreclosures down 3 percent in November
Existing-home sales: Feb. 22
f Hfa house-price index: Feb. 23
Pending home sales: Feb. 27
IrVINE, Calif. — foreclosure filings on U.S. properties decreased 3 percent this past November from October and 14
percent from November 2010, according to a report from
The report also said one in every 579 U.S. housing units
was in foreclosure in November.
Scheduled foreclosure auctions reached a nine-month high
in November, corresponding to a surge in default notices
that began in august.
Nevada, California and arizona posted the top state foreclosure rates, realty Trac said.
Nevada had the nation’s highest foreclosure rate for the
59th straight month despite artificially low foreclosure activity because of a new state law changing the state’s foreclosure process, realty Trac said. One in every 175 Nevada
housing units was in foreclosure in November, more than
three times the national average.
Fed promises to keep rate low through 2013
WaSHINGTONS, D.C. — This past December, the U.S.
federal reserve said it would keep its federal fund rate and
its reinvestment policies intact.
The decision to keep the lending rate unchanged was widely expected as the fed has said it would likely keep its rate
at historic lows through the middle of 2013.
“Indicators point to some improvement in overall labor
market conditions” since November, the fed said, “but
fixed business investment appears to be increasing less
rapidly and the housing sector remains depressed.”
In addition, the elevated rate of inflation from earlier this
year “has moderated ... and longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable,” the fed said.