Posts

Lender Launches Pacific Northwest Expansion

Churchill Mortgage is a lender providing conventional, FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 46 states. The lender announced it is expanding operations and recruitment efforts in Portland and the Pacific Northwest.


Featured Sponsors:

 


As one of the most competitive housing markets in the nation, Churchill’s Pacific Northwest expansion will ensure local borrowers have access to tools and strategies designed to help them make a smarter mortgage decision. Leading Churchill’s expansion efforts is Executive Vice President of the Northwest Region, Kevin J. Hanna, who brings more than 15 years of proven experience in the mortgage industry with an emphasis on management of retail and wholesale sales and operations. Hanna is an Oregon native and prior to joining Churchill served as president of Directors Mortgage.


Featured Sponsors:

 


“Churchill Mortgage believes in putting people over profits and strives to provide a world-class experience for not only its borrowers, but its real estate and industry partners as well,” said Hanna. “I look forward to furthering our ideals and leading Churchill’s growth efforts throughout the Pacific Northwest.”


Featured Sponsors:

 


“The Pacific Northwest’s housing market continues to demonstrate significant growth and opportunity for mortgage lenders and homebuyers alike,” said Matt Clarke, COO and CFO of Churchill Mortgage. “With Kevin’s leadership, Churchill will launch a significant expansion in the Pacific Northwest and serve as mentors to homebuyers as they look to achieve the true American dream of debt-free homeownership.”


Featured Sponsors:

 


Churchill also announced the addition of Travis Olson as Senior Vice President of the Northwest Region and Jeff Miller as Vice President of the Northwest Region. Olson is a proven sales leader, coach and recruiter having led numerous branches and regions through periods of significant growth in his more than 25 years of industry experience. Miller, a 19-year industry veteran, will support all dynamics of Churchill’s Pacific Northwest expansion including operations, marketing and overall strategy.

The Evolving Roles Of Mortgage Originators And Loan Officers

For years, many in the mortgage industry have used the terms “mortgage originator” and “loan officer” interchangeably. Today however, a new trend is emerging and the two monikers are developing into their own unique, individual roles. To understand this changing dynamic, and what their jobs will look like in the future, we’re going to dissect the two and see where the differences lie.


Featured Sponsors:

 


While technology has helped simplify management of the more tedious processes of mortgage origination, sales and borrower engagement, there remains a great deal of information for lenders to keep up with. From creative marketing strategies to new regulations and products, it is here where loan originators tend to shine. Rather than engaging with borrowers on the minute details of their loans, loan originators tend to focus instead on their overall book of business and the “big picture” strategies for clients. I occasionally also refer to them as loan planners or mortgage consultants. 


Featured Sponsors:

 


On the flip side, loan officerstend to be more adept at driving business through their branch or office. For these professionals, stress tends to build as they gather together a large book of business, but then have to back-up their sales with high-level research and study. Their preference is often to work directly with their borrowers on an individualized basis and help them identify the best loan for their own unique financial situations. These professionals are also tend to have a background in processing or underwriting, which typically means they are highly attentive to small details and nuances of specific loan structures.


Featured Sponsors:

 


That’s not to say one is better than the other, or more necessary to a productive mortgage business. In fact, the most successful lenders have the two tracks running parallel with each other and functioning akin to a pilot and co-pilot, or even a counsel and co-counsel in legal fields.  


Featured Sponsors:

 


This changing dynamic is important as it puts the borrower first by creating a synergy between the loan originator and loan officer, with both playing to each other’s strengths. Frankly, I see the loan originator as representing the first steps of a borrower’s journey, helping him or her identify possible strategies for their mortgage, building trust and offering general guidance on issues like credit scores, for example. Once this framework strategy is in place, borrowers can seamlessly shift to working with loan officers who can help them with the minute details and identify their personal pathway to debt-free homeownership. 

Taking a more in-depth look, one can see that it’s the originator who lays out the ‘big picture’ or 30,000 foot view for the borrower, and helps them narrow their focus to one or a few select options. Then, the loan officer helps them narrow that view even further to create a smarter mortgage plan that allows them to ultimately save money and build personal wealth. This works to the advantage of borrowers as they have access to not one, but two experts in the mortgage industry, each with their own specialization to help them identify the best possible loan. 

This trend will continue to develop as technology impacts how lenders do business with borrowers, particularly as data, machine learning and AI come to play as an integral part in the lending process. Using data, lenders are able to identify and interact intelligently with borrowers at the start of their decision making process, establishing trust prior to them even starting the mortgage process. When the borrower does decide to move forward with originating a loan, lenders will be better prepared to provide them the best quality advice regarding the loan options available. While the role of originator and officer may be diverging in some respects, when a borrower is deciding where to take their business, they do not look for individual titles or positions. Rather, they look for businesses that respect their financial position, care about their future and work with honesty and character. That’s why this changing dynamic is important, not because of job titles, but because it will offer lenders more opportunities to demonstrate their expertise, educate borrowers and guide them down a homeownership path that supports their long-term financial wellness.  

About The Author

Churchill Mortgage Promotes Liliana Nigrelli To Chief Compliance Officer

Churchill Mortgage, a lender that provides conventional, FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 46 states, announced the promotion of Liliana Nigrelli to Chief Compliance Officer.


Featured Sponsors:

 


In her role as Chief Compliance Officer, Nigrelli will be responsible for managing Churchill’s compliance team as it ensures the lender meets all state and federal regulations, tracks new or potential regulatory changes, and supports Churchill’s sales and operations teams. Nigrelli previously served as Churchill’s Vice President of Compliance. During her eight years at the company, she has successfully guided the lender through more than 80 state audits, in addition to overseeing multiple federal and agency audits.


Featured Sponsors:

 


Nigrelli’s success is not limited to her work within the compliance department. She has also been recognized and commended by her fellow Churchill employees for her willingness and effort to support every team, from facilities staff to individual loan officers. In 2017, Nigrelli was awarded Churchill’s coveted ‘Broomsweeper’ award, which recognizes one employee who has gone above and beyond in helping fellow staff and is based on a company-wide vote of all employees. 


Featured Sponsors:

 


“Our compliance team works to safeguard Churchill customers while ensuring our sales teams’ have the proper support to conduct their jobs with full confidence they are following all state and federal regulations,” said Nigrelli. “It’s a pleasure to accept this new role. I’m proud of the compliance team we’ve built and their great work each and every day.”


Featured Sponsors:

 


“Promoting Liliana to Chief Compliance Officer is an integral step in our efforts to promote greater levels of transparency and reliability for our loan originators and sales teams,” said Matt Clarke, COO and CFO of Churchill Mortgage. “We value Liliana’s dedication to building a cohesive compliance team and the knowledge she brings to the table, but more than those, we value her dedication to ensuring Churchill is a world-class lender in not only sales and operations, but compliance as well.”

Churchill Mortgage Supports Homebuyers With New ‘Rate Secured’ Program

Churchill Mortgage has launched its “Rate Secured” program to lock eligible borrowers into an interest rate for 90-days after engaging with the lender, whether or not they have a home or property already selected. Churchill provides conventional, FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 46 states.


Featured Sponsors:

 


Homebuyers today are increasingly challenged by rising interest rates, which can entice them to prematurely purchase a home before they are ready or avoid entering the market altogether. Following the success of its Certified Homebuyer Program, Churchill has introduced its Rate Secured program to give borrowers increased peace of mind as they navigate the home buying process. If the borrower does not find a home within that timeframe, they can then easily reset the rate for another 90 days, and more importantly, if interest rates should decrease during the lock time, the borrower will receive the lower rate at closing.  


Featured Sponsors:

 


“More than ever, borrowers need services such as these to help them make smarter mortgage decisions,” said Tom Gillen, SVP of Secondary Marketing for Churchill Mortgage. “Coupled with our Certified Homebuyer Program, Rate Secured allows borrowers to shop for their dream home with the confidence that their loan will close seamlessly, and at a rate they can plan around.”


Featured Sponsors:

 


“In today’s rising interest rate environment, buyers are more hesitant to enter the market and are appropriately cautious towards any future changes” said Mike Hardwick, founder and president of Churchill Mortgage. “Through Churchill’s ‘Rate Secured’ program, we are empowering borrowers to better plan their home searches by eliminating any surprises relative to their financing – all of which helps ensure a smarter mortgage process and better borrower experience.” 


Featured Sponsors:

 


Founded in 1992, Churchill Mortgage is a privately-owned company by its more than 350 employees. A full-service and financially sound leader in the mortgage industry, the company provides conventional, FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 46 states. As heard on personal finance expert and author Dave Ramsey’s nationally syndicated radio show, the lender’s mission is to help borrowers achieve debt-free homeownership and build wealth through a smarter mortgage plan, regardless of their starting point. Churchill Mortgage is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Churchill Holdings, Inc.

Develop A Team, Not A Shop

As the mortgage industry continues to evolve and lenders look to target new homebuyer markets, training and developing a healthy, diverse team of mortgage professionals has become all the more important. 


Featured Sponsors:

 


Why is this though? Simply put, borrowers want to work with lenders who understand their individual needs and are focused on providing a high level of service, and not simply trying to make a sale. For example, when we recruit VA loan specialists, we look to hire veterans or like-minded individuals because they understand the unique needs of veteran borrowers and what specific traits they should look for in their mortgage. 


Featured Sponsors:

 


Even more important however, is for lenders to instill the heart of a teacher in their employees. This means coaching staff on how to delicately guide borrowers through one of the most important events of their lives: purchasing a home.  It’s here where the memory, knowledge and experience of seasoned employees can play a significant role for those entering the industry and in need of that institutional wisdom. We often find that people don’t just want to know what they “can” do, but rather what they “should” do. This means focusing on advice and guidance, not just orders or commands.

Building a Better Path

But there’s a problem. Quite frankly, there is no traditional path into this business from the university system. As a result, most loan officers end up in the mortgage business by accident. My vision is to build a firm instead of a shop by borrowing the apprentice system used in the financial planning industry and other professions.


Featured Sponsors:

 


I’ve always been surprised that the mortgage industry lacks a structured mentorship program with high levels of accountability, training and guidance.  Mortgage shops are notorious for having a sink-or-swim mentality, saying “Here’s your compensation plan. Now, go find clients and do loans!” Too often, new originators are tossed into the deep end after receiving little more than half-baked training programs.

My business partner Rick Mount and I are beginning to develop some entry-level professionals on the California team at Churchill. This program is currently in its beta-test phase, but I can already tell that these new employees will be future leaders in the mortgage business. To find these future leaders, I look for five things — or the Five C’s: 

  1. Character (first and foremost)
  2. Competence 
  3. Care Factor 
  4. Consistency 
  5. Coachable 

This is my litmus test, which not only helps us find strong candidates, but with those five aspects firmly in place throughout the team, build a good, healthy staff of mortgage professionals. After finding the right recruits, we provide guidance personally and professionally, and also pair them with mentors — home-loan specialists who have done things very well for a long time. This way, our new, inexperienced recruits can learn mortgage best practices under the wing of a veteran pro before we launch them into their own position with their own client base.

Instilling Healthy Boundaries

That’s not the end of the process, however. One of my personal missions is to help my people find and put into place healthy boundaries that will protect them from themselves in the long term. Too often, I have seen bright-minded mortgage professionals come into the business with a passion for helping people become homeowners, only to have the business slowly take them over, like a tide, and push them to a place where they become slaves to the business.

To combat that unhealthy trend, we teach our people the importance of maintaining a healthy mindset by taking the time to plan out each week. We try to instill a mantra of 10 percent planning, 80 percent massive execution and 10 percent course correction, adjustment and wise counsel. This way, our people can attack each week with intention instead of spinning their wheels every day.We encourage and model daily discipline physically, mentally and with healthy family relationships in addition to building a successful mortgage business.

Establishing boundaries between work and life helps create healthier, happier mortgage professionals. Look, in this business, we often work with people who are experiencing one of the top-five emotional moments in their life. Buying a new home is right up there with getting married and landing that first job. It is a high-impact moment.

As mortgage professionals, one of the best gifts we can offer our clients is the space to be able to enjoy and fully experience the magic of that moment. But if we, as a group, are not at a healthy point in our own lives, both personally and professionally, we can miss the window of opportunity into that high-impact moment.

The path to creating a firm of healthy professionals instead of just leading a shop of drones who churn out loans is to ensure that everyone on the team is at the top of their game and are mentally, physically and spiritually healthy. My goal is always to be healthier on the inside than I am on the outside — and to make sure that this attitude permeates throughout the team as well.

About The Author

Churchill Mortgage Equips Real Estate Professionals With Strategies For Success

Churchill Mortgage has launch of its “Momentum Makers” campaign designed to help real estate professionals refine how they engage with homebuyers and win clients in today’s hypercompetitive market. Churchill is a leader in the mortgage industry providing conventional, FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 46 states.


Featured Sponsors:

 


Real estate professionals are under tremendous pressure to differentiate themselves from the competition and enhance how they operate in a digital world, all while providing exceptional homebuyer service and a personal touch with each engagement. In an industry defined by its “sink-or-swim” mentality, Churchill is now providing these professionals with a resource featuring tailored advice and guidance on how real estate professionals can enhance their customer acquisition strategies, online presence and use of technology. 


Featured Sponsors:

 


To sign up for Churchill’s “Momentum Makers,” or to view the latest resources for real estate professionals, click here:https://info.churchillmortgage.com/momentum-makers-archives


Featured Sponsors:

 


“As market competition for housing continues to grow, real estate agents are laser focused on serving their clients’ needs and identifying leads, not so much on the latest technology trends or online marketing tactics,” said Tanya Cross, Acquisition and Digital Marketing Manager for Churchill Mortgage. “Churchill’s Momentum Makers newsletter is designed to alleviate this burden and help real estate agents enhance their business strategies, without requiring tedious research or an expensive marketing budget.”

“The relationship between a mortgage lender and real estate agent is not solely built on the leads or clients they share,” said Mike Hardwick, founder and president of Churchill Mortgage. “Rather, the proper foundation for any successful, productive relationship is in the advice and insight shared between the two. Churchill is proud to offer our industry partners Momentum Makers as a resource to enhance their business.”

About The Author

The Right Tools For Success

With real estate inventory low and a new wave of first-time homebuyers entering the market, home shoppers need every advantage when it comes to finding the right house as quickly – and seamlessly – as possible. The process can quickly become overwhelming. Lenders’ expertise can make the search more effective and, ultimately, successful. In turn, more and more borrowers are turning to lenders at the beginning of their home search to ensure a better experience.

Featured Sponsors:

 

We live in an increasingly digital world. Homebuyers have come to expect the same digital experience when buying a home as they have when buying a cup of coffee through a mobile app. Fortunately, many of us in the mortgage industry are working to facilitate this experience, by providing borrowers with various digital tools, apps and online resources that are specifically geared toward the home-buying process.

Featured Sponsors:

Some of these digital resources include:

Home Search Apps

Real estate and home search apps offer a convenient way for borrowers to begin their search for the perfect home. According to the National Association of Realtors, 51 percent of buyers found their home online last year and 44 percent began their home search from a computer, tablet or smartphone. Mobile apps such as HomeScout allow prospective borrowers to see real-time MLS listings, save their favorite properties, receive same-day pricing updates and other alerts, and access local agents and loan specialists.

Featured Sponsors:

Mortgage Calculators

Online calculators allow borrowers to run all the numbers before they commit and see exactly how all the variables will affect their mortgage payment. From how much they can afford, to assessing interest rates and other points and fees, these tools offer users the opportunity to the find the right mortgage product. For lenders, these tools allow us to better understand a borrower’s budget and work within it to ensure they are not only getting a house they can afford, but also the right loan to facilitate debt-free homeownership.

Making sure borrowers understand the difference between the amount they can be approved for versus what is recommended for their budget is critical when it comes to their long-term financial success. Tools such as online mortgage payment calculators help ensure borrowers are on target.

Customized Mortgage Reports and Analytics

One of the best ways lenders can offer peace of mind for borrowers is with customized reports and analytical tools that compare different loan options and scenarios. These provide prospective homebuyers with a clear breakdown of the costs and benefits of each loan option. Having this information allows them to work in real-time with their lender to tweak the details and find the right program for their situation.

Homebuyer Educational Tools & Workshops

The home-buying process can be complex and learning face-to-face with local experts is a powerful method for borrowers to learn the ropes. And, for lenders, it can further establish that initial relationship. Whether in-person or through real-time webinars, these sessions prove invaluable for borrowers, helping them understand the processes and options. It can also, if posted online, allow them the freedom to access this information from anywhere, at their own pace.

Technology Only Goes So Far

While these tools are great resources for homebuyers, there is no substitute for the value an experienced mortgage lender can provide. Whether helping to answer questions or offering insight and advice, a knowledgeable lender can be tremendous support and the greatest tool in the process.

There is no “one-size-fits-all” product when it comes to a mortgage. Matching borrowers with the right loan can be a progressive process. As borrowers take the journey to homeownership, lenders should guide them along the way through upfront underwriting to position the borrower as a reliable buyer with more negotiating power. This helps borrowers close up to two to three weeks faster than their competition. In today’s housing market, it’s essential that lenders are able to provide this option to borrowers to help them market themselves as a trustworthy buyer during a bidding war.

Often in today’s high-speed culture, the mortgage industry can promise borrowers fast approvals and underwriting, but those same borrowers can end up feeling lost. By establishing one-on-one relationships with borrowers and educating them, lenders create trust and peace of mind in the home-buying experience.

Taking the time to understand borrowers and working to meet their needs – whether digital or otherwise – allows lenders to make sure potential homebuyers have all the tools to make the best decisions. Those choices can be the first steps towards building lasting relationships.

About The Author

Churchill Mortgage Expands California Operations

Churchill Mortgage has opened its newest branch in San Dimas, Calif. at 437 S. Cataract Ave, Unit 1-2, to enhance borrower service throughout the state. Churchill provides conventional FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 46 states.

Featured Sponsors:

 

Mike Hardy and Rick Mount will both serve as regional managers for Churchill’s operations in Southern California. Working together as a team since 2010, Hardy and Mount have more than 45 years of qualified experience in the mortgage industry guiding borrowers towards debt-free home ownership. Hardy’s background also includes experience as a Financial Advisor which allows him to better understand his borrower’s individual financial needs. Mount, prior to his work with Hardy, held several senior positions responsible for all aspects of the loan process.

Featured Sponsors:

Other members of Churchill’s San Dimas, Calif. office include Melissa Chavez and Emily Holtzclaw as production managers; Ira Newman and Alana Smock as senior processors; Alyssa Torske as a processor assistant; Kristin Whitmer as marketing coordinator; and Ayman Botros, Christine Gilmartin, Randy Harrington, Mathew Herrera, Jonathan Jaidar, Geoffrey Kautzman, John Harsh, Gabriel Lozano, Jessica Martinez, Kevin Sprague and Troy Alexander as home loan specialists.

Featured Sponsors:

“Churchill Mortgage’s mission to help borrowers save money, build wealth and achieve debt-free home ownership aligns with Rick and my own efforts to create a unique experience for each borrower that supports their overall financial goals,” said Hardy. “Joining Churchill is a natural transition for our team. We look forward to the enhanced level of service it will provide our borrowers.”

“All homebuyers deserve to work with a lender who is willing to put in the time necessary to ensure they make the best financial decision possible when purchasing a home,” said Mount. “Churchill Mortgage strives to fulfill this desire. As demand for housing in Southern California continues to grow, our efforts will be focused on guiding borrowers towards debt-free home ownership.”

“In a market as competitive as California, Rick and Mike’s leadership will be vital to helping borrowers make well-educated, thoughtful decisions regarding their next home purchase. We look forward to supporting their team as we continue to expand our Southern California presence,” said Mike Hardwick, president of Churchill Mortgage.

About The Author

Churchill Mortgage To Expedite The Mortgage Process For Homebuyers

Churchill Mortgage, a lender in the mortgage industry providing conventional, FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 44 states, announced the launch of its Certified Homebuyer Program to improve how borrowers search for and purchase a home.

Featured Sponsors:

 

 
For many borrowers, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the first and most important step towards making an offer on a house. Churchill, understanding the importance of expediting the process for homebuyers in a “seller’s market,” will now offer borrowers the opportunity to be pre-underwritten for their mortgage. This initial step will allow those borrowers to effectively get ahead of other buyers and have the confidence that any qualified offer they make on a house will go through in the most efficient manner.

Featured Sponsors:

 
“The first step to debt free homeownership is finding the property you want and getting it under contract, but in many markets, there is a high level of competition between borrowers who may be interested in the same property,” said Mike Hardwick, president of Churchill Mortgage. “Churchill’s Certified Homebuyer Program was designed to help our borrowers get a head start on securing funding so they are positioned to present offers that are already pre-approved and pre-underwritten – increasing their odds of having their offer selected.”

Featured Sponsors:

 
Founded in 1992, Churchill Mortgage is a privately owned company by its more than 400 employees. A full-service and financially sound leader in the mortgage industry, the company provides conventional, FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 44 states. As heard on personal finance expert and author Dave Ramsey’s nationally syndicated radio show, the lender’s mission is to help borrowers achieve debt-free homeownership and build wealth through a smarter mortgage plan, regardless of their starting point. Churchill Mortgage is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Churchill Holdings, Inc.

About The Author

Lender Supports Financial Literacy

Churchill Mortgage announced the winner of its $5,000 nationwide sweepstakes, which was developed in recognition of Financial Literacy Month and as part of its commitment to financial health and education. Officially established in 2004, Financial Literacy Month is celebrated every April and is dedicated to teaching Americans how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits.

Featured Sponsors:

 

 
The winner is 60-year old Michael Bodnar, a resident of Carnegie, Penn. and employee with the Port Authority of Allegheny County. “I enter contests quite frequently and this is my biggest win so far, so we’re going to be smart about how we use the money,” said Bodnar. “After all, that’s what financial literacy is all about: knowing your limits, identifying what your future needs will be and working toward that.”

Featured Sponsors:

 
Click here to read a Q&A between Churchill and Bodnar and learn how he plans to invest his winnings.

The National Financial Educators Council recently surveyed 2,409 people on what high school-level course would benefit them the most. An overwhelming 54 percent selected “Money Management (Personal Finance)”, emphasizing the need for greater financial educational resources. As a lender focused on providing borrowers with a personalized path to debt-free homeownership, Churchill is dedicated to educating borrowers to ensure that they choose the right home and build wealth over time through a smarter mortgage.

Featured Sponsors:

 
“Financial literacy is a bigger issue than saving for a home purchase – it’s about making wise decisions every day and understanding the lifelong implications of each one,” said Mike Hardwick, president of Churchill Mortgage. “Education leads to empowerment, which leads to more confidence in exercising responsible financial practices. As lenders, we have a fiduciary duty to help others by guiding individuals with the heart of a teacher and providing resources to help them achieve financial freedom.”

Founded in 1992, Churchill Mortgage operates with zero debt and focuses on providing borrowers with a personalized path to debt-free homeownership. The result is an educated borrower that chooses the right home and builds wealth over time through a smarter mortgage.