United Wholesale Mortgage launches platform for brokers

Lenders from Pontiac, Michigan United wholesale mortgage (UWM) on Wednesday launched a new platform for independent mortgage brokers to access purchase leads, past clients and real estate agents – a move to attract and retain loan officers in a shrinking mortgage market.

UWM, the country’s largest wholesale lender, has been challenged in recent years primarily by rising mortgage rates, declining funding volumes and fierce competition in the wholesale channel rocket mortgage.

Dubbed ‘Boost’, the new platform is a one-stop shop, allowing previous clients to call on behalf of their previous brokers and be routed directly to them. The marketplace also offers buy leads at a discount tailored to broker needs.

“Remaining with previous customers and forging new connections are two of the most critical and challenging parts of any business,” said Mat Ishbia, President and CEO of UWM, according to a press release. “Boost saves brokers time and helps them build and maintain relationships for short-term and long-term gains.”

The platform will also identify potential real estate brokerage partners in the mortgage brokerage space and arrange face-to-face one-to-one meetings. Rocket Pro TPOthe wholesale arm of the lending giant, began connecting its brokerage partners with real estate agents rocket housesthe company’s real estate platform, in October 2021.

The launch of UWM’s new platform follows a decline in the lender’s overall production in the first quarter of 2022. UWM reported a quarter-on-quarter increase in profit and increased its purchase volume to a record level, but overall lending declined over the same period, primarily as a result to refinancing.

According to its earnings report, UWM originated $38.8 billion in mortgage loans in the first quarter of 2022, down 29.7% sequentially and down 20.8% year-on-year. Purchase loans increased to $19.1 billion from 24.9% of total lending volume in Q1 2021 to 49% in Q1 2022.

So far, the company has been proactive in introducing new products. In March, UWM introduced two new offerings in the non-QM mortgage space: a bank statement loan product for self-employed borrowers and a product to qualify investment property borrowers based on monthly rental income rather than their current income.

UWM also exerts pressure on its competitors through prices. In May, the lender announced that through June 30 it would benchmark loans of up to 40 basis points against those of 20 different competitors on each conventional, state or jumbo loan for a primary, secondary or investment property.

The lender’s move comes at a time of increasing competition. In January, Rocket Pro TPO announced a program to pair each of its brokers with a team of in-house experts composed of underwriters, underwriters, underwriters and underwriting coordinators to help brokers navigate the loan underwriting process.

In April, Rocket launched a program to guarantee financing for loan completions within 15 days to attract brokers. The promotion, which runs through the end of the month, grants borrowers a $2,500 loan if the loan does not expire by the promised due date.

However, UWM’s most aggressive move was in March 2021, when the company told brokers it could no longer work with Rocket Pro TPO or Fairway Independent Mortgage and still working with UWM.

To back up the rule, the company sued three brokerage businesses this year for, among other things, sending loans to its competitors America’s MoneyLine, Kevron Investments Inc. and Mid Valley Financing & Inv. inc.

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