Q: For the benefit of those that are not familiar with this region, what is the state of housing in the Northeast?
Andrew Pettola: Having serviced the Northeast market directly for the previous 24 years, I’ve experienced the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows. It’s an extremely interesting paradigm in consumer makeup, average loan balances and density that can vary greatly, in many cases within a few short miles.
The Northeast tends to lag a bit as compared to the West Coast in terms of market activity, but I believe that for the first time in a while, consumer confidence is peaking. Extremely low gas prices and a low/static interest rate environment play into a strong purchase mix, which bodes extremely well for the spring market.
Q: In your new role at Envoy Mortgage, what are your goals and how to do you plan to achieve them?
Andrew Pettola: My goals at Envoy are very simple and they reflect my career-long objectives. I’m a huge proponent of doing what I say I’m going to do and my goals at Envoy are multifold but conjoined. First and foremost, I plan to expand the regional branch footprint from five branches to ten within my first year. I will not, however, grow for growth’s sake. The growth has to be calculated and profitable.
The opportunity that Envoy provides for retail loan officers and branch managers from an operational, marketing and technological perspective is second to none, and I will look to grow the territory with only the “best in class” candidates. Within the scope of that growth I will also focus on expanding my existing branch base with top talent and production strategies.
Q: The Northeast is home to a lot of expensive housing markets. What is Envoy doing to ensure that potential homeowners can obtain quality housing that is affordable?
Andrew Pettola: As I mentioned earlier, the Northeast market contains markets within itself, sometimes within a few short miles of each other. For many years, the nonconforming jumbo segment of the Northeast market has been left to the local banks and credit unions to service, and competitive options for both wholesale and retail were limited at best. However, liquidity and appetite have come back to the jumbo space, giving correspondent lenders the ability to offer affordable options in this segment.
Envoy in particular has done a great job of R&D, and has multiple, highly competitive nonconforming products available for the higher average loan balance markets as well as solid products for the lower ones. Programs like these will add greatly to affordability and accessibility for potential homeowners in every range.
Q: You’ve had 12 years of experience in retail banking and 12 years of experience in wholesale banking. Which side of the fence are you more comfortable on?
Andrew Pettola: After being a retail broker/owner for the first 12 years of my career and making the change to wholesale, I never thought I would be having a retail career conversation again. My 12 years in wholesale were absolutely amazing and I’ve had many successes while making lifelong colleagues and friends. Wholesale afforded me the ability to service and build markets throughout the country and “lifted the veil” to aspects of lending that I would never have seen on the retail side.
Going into my 25th year, I found myself at a crossroads and had opportunities in both channels. In weighing out the options and seeing what Envoy had to offer, the company made an otherwise monumental decision a relatively easy one.
Envoy Mortgage is online at http://envoymortgage.com
Phil Hall has been (among other things) a United Nations-based radio journalist, the president of a public relations and marketing agency, a financial magazine editor, the author of six books and a horror movie actor. Also, as you will discover, he is not shy about stating his views.