Southern Top Producers are less smitten by self-service mortgage tech

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The availability of customer-facing self-service mortgage technology was not as key to job satisfaction for loan officers based in the South compared to their counterparts nationwide, according to the 2019 Top Producers survey.

While 50% of respondents across the country said it was extremely important for their company to provide this technology, 43% of those from southern states — the smallest percentage among the four regions — felt this way.

A growing number of companies, with the most recent being Ally Bank, are partnering with fintech providers to create a better user experience.

The region's No. 1 producer reflected on the role consumer-facing technology would have on his business. "Intuitive online loan applications can reduce operations steps, fully preparing a borrower for underwriting post-application," said Max Leaman, a branch manager and senior loan officer in New American Funding's Austin, Texas, office.

A different viewpoint on technology's place in the process came from Ray Shanahan, a mortgage loan officer at TowneBank Mortgage in Charlotte, N.C.

"I think phones are good. I prefer direct contact," explained Shanahan. "I think technology is important for loan origination, but for everything else it just gets in the way and people lose that personal contact."

Loan officers in the South placed a greater emphasis on the availability of government-guaranteed products that offer consumers the ability to get loans with lower down payments and credit scores.

Nationwide, 66% of the responding originators said offering Federal Housing Administration loans was extremely important for their success in 2019. In the South, that rose to 74%, the highest among the four regions.

Having Veterans Affairs and/or U.S. Department of Agriculture mortgages was extremely important for 79% of southern-based originators; the nationwide share was 62%.

"A lot of customers do not understand credit scoring, that they can get in with a low down payment, or the way they are paid effects them getting approved," said Josh Moody, a loan originator with Goldwater Bank in Plano, Texas. "Educating your borrowers is the only way to make your clients understand the process and the programs."

Here are the top 20 mortgage originators based in the South:

Rank Name Company City Volume # of loans
1 Max Leaman New American Funding Austin, Texas $230,804,863 822
2 Craig Stelzer CrossCountry Mortgage Delray, Beach, Fla. $169,450,435 578
3 Matt Andre FBC Mortgage Lake, Mary, Fla. $168,709,884 646
4 Robby Oakes Corporate Investors Mortgage Group Chapel, Hill, N.C. $137,461,199 463
5 Reginald Maddox McLean Mortgage Fairfax, Va. $126,705,198 315
6 Adam Slack Guaranteed Rate Wilmington, N.C. $115,142,972 454
7 Sam Rosenblatt Academy Mortgage Hunt, Valley, Md. $111,756,817 366
8 Lance Johnson Regions Mortgage Charlotte, N.C. $111,364,599 197
9 Matthew Schwartz Golden Empire Mortgage Southlake, Texas $97,954,843 411
10 Josh Moody Goldwater Bank Plano, Texas $83,613,483 390
11 Tish Ashley Highlands Residential Mortgage Dallas, Texas $83,515,388 281
12 Khai Nguyen Thrive Mortgage Dallas, Texas $80,083,440 365
13 Sean Fritts McLean Mortgage Fairfax, Va. $79,882,775 196
14 Ray Shanahan TowneBank Mortgage Charlotte, N.C. $75,995,956 322
15 Matthew McDuffee FBC Mortgage Tampa, Fla. $75,846,415 367
16 Dustin King Triumph Mortgage Collierville, Tenn. $73,628,975 230
17 Mark Raskin PrimeLending Dallas, Texas $70,350,939 225
18 Tammy Saul Federal Hill Mortgage Baltimore, Md. $70,275,314 236
19 Adam Cornacchio WSFS Mortgage Wilmington, Del. $68,174,599 234
20 Douglas Bateman Amcap Mortgage Grapevine, Texas $67,508,852 299
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