National Lender Expands In The Chicago Area

Mortgage Master, a national mortgage lender and division of loanDepot, LLC, announced today the expansion of their Northbrook office to better serve local borrowers with a broad suite of competitively priced lending products supported by excellent customer service. Along with the expansion of the Northbrook office, Mortgage Master also announced the promotion of Jorden Brok and Brett Lotsoff as co-managers of both the Northbrook and North River – Chicago branches.

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“In the short time that Jorden and Brett have been with Mortgage Master, their leadership and success in offering competitively priced financing options and excellent customer service has been exceptional,” said Mortgage Master President Paul Anastos. “Their dynamic leadership and knowledge is the perfect match for meet the growing demand for mortgage and nonmortgage productions throughout the entire Chicago market.”

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Both Brok and Lotsoff joined Mortgage Master in February of 2014 and share Mortgage Master’s commitment to personal attention and customer service. With nearly 30 years of experience, Brok is a seasoned lending professional licensed in five states. Lotsoff has over 20 years of experience in lending and is both a licensed loan officer and attorney.  These two senior executives will lead Mortgage Master’s expansion in the greater Chicago area as the preferred lender of choice for responsible borrowers and the employer of choice for financial professionals. Mortgage Master offers a broad range of product lines to accommodate most every lending need including personal, purchase, refinance, traditional, high-balance and jumbo loans.

The Big Deal About Millennials

According to CNN, many of our nation’s Founding Fathers could be considered the millennials of their day.

Sitting beneath their white wigs at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 were young innovators around the age of Mark Zuckerberg or Taylor Swift. In fact, James Madison — our nation’s fourth president — was the youngest delegate elected to the Continental Congress at 29. He authored the Constitution by age 36.

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Millennials have a “can-do” attitude about tasks at work and look for feedback about how they are doing frequently – even daily. Millennials want a variety of tasks and expect that they will accomplish every one of them. Positive and confident, millennials are ready to take on the world.

They seek leadership, and even structure, from their older and managerial coworkers, but expect that you will draw out and respect their ideas. Millennials seek a challenge and do not want to experience boredom.

Millennials need to see where their career is going and they want to know exactly what they need to do to get there. Millennials await their next challenge – there better be a next challenge.

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Millennials are the most connected generation in history and will network right out of their current workplace if these needs are not met. Computer experts, millennials are connected all over the world by email, instant messages, text messages, and the Internet.

How do mortgage lenders target this group you might ask. Mortgage Master did some research on millennials. They tried to find out how this group ticks.

Mortgage Master was founded in 1988 by Leif Thomsen and grew into one of the largest privately owned mortgage lenders in the nation. Since its inception, Mortgage Master has funded over $60 billion in loan volume.

In looking at this group, Mortgage Master found that when it comes to their priorities, Mortgage Master found that 52% view a successful marriage as a priority; 30% view being a good parent as a priority; 21% view helping others in need as a priority; and 20% view owning their own home as a priority. That should be good news for lenders.

Going further, the research found that 73% of them want to have children; 66% want to get married; and 93% want to own a home in the near future.

Millennial Info Graphic

What Los Need To Know


Stanton_ShaneHistorically, mortgage production slows at the end of the year. It’s also a time when many loan officers begin to explore the possibility of switching companies to find a better career situation. But rather than rushing into a decision, smart loan officers need to conduct a careful self-analysis and thoroughly research potential lender partners.

As they move through the process of making a potential change, loan officers need to consider several factors to help them find the right model-match to build a better business. In far too many instances, loan officers focus on a single, or current, pain-point that is impacting their business. For example, if their current company does not have a strong marketing support capability, then marketing becomes the issue they try to address. In many cases, this singular focus can lead loan officers into making a rash decision.

As a first step, a loan officer must decide what their individual business vision is for the future. This could include origination sources, production potential, product needs, company values, marketing strategy, and other factors. At our company we call this part of the process “business mapping.”

Business mapping provides a loan officer with a full 360-degree view of their business. It provides the loan officer an opportunity to systematically evaluate and decide which company is best suited to partner with to build a stronger business over the long-term. Clearly defining both a unique business vision and a plan to achieve success is critical.

Below are eight core areas loan officers should always include in their business mapping process. A monthly or quarterly examination of their business map will assure they remain on track.

Compensation: What is more important to you, making as much money as possible on every single transaction, or creating a business built on repeat business and referrals? Creating satisfied customers by always providing the best pricing and service possible ultimately generates more volume and in the end more income.

Volume: Do you want to self-generate 100% of your business or do you want company-supplied sources of business? If your goal is to increase volume growth through your own sources, you need to find a company that has the same focus. This will narrow your company choices to search and then allows you to verify if the lender has a high number of top-ranked producers and ask: How do you support those top producers to be successful?

Products and Price: Do you want a business predicated on having a full breadth of products, including unique niche products? Does having the best rates matter to your business? If your business is built on a single niche product, diversity and price typically won’t matter to you.

Marketing:   Do you want to maximize social media? Is client retention marketing important to you? Do you want to utilize co-branded marketing? Marketing is a key engine to volume delivery and growth. Loan officers need to fully understand what marketing support and tools a company provides to help increase business and enhance their own personal brand.

Culture: Do you want an open culture from top to bottom? Do you need to be held accountable by your manager to perform weekly business development tasks, or do you perform better with limited supervision? As an example, many of our loan officers are high-volume producers that would be held back by the micromanager. But many new originators we have hired do benefit from experienced oversight and direction.

Operational Support: Do you prefer to simply take the application and move onto the next deal, or do you feel being involved in the entire loan process is vital to best-in-class service? Do you believe in a partnership with your operations team, or do you not care who works your files? This is a big topic to consider, as many companies have their own vision of operational support.

Transitioning: What are your transition goals? Defining this enables you to ask some very important questions. Will your new lending partner help you to transition, even before you come on board? For example, if you are coming to a mortgage bank from a large commercial bank, will the new company help you get the proper licensing? Does the new company have a “concierge” team to help you adjust, or are you more or less on your own? One rule of thumb: If it takes you more than 10 minutes to do anything, and the company isn’t able to offer you some kind of help, perhaps you need to find a lender who will.

Chemistry: How important is it for you to have the right chemistry with your co-workers? The mortgage industry is a people business. You cannot underestimate how important having the right chemistry is with all the people you will be partnering with to succeed. Take the time to get to know your potential employers / partners.  Visit the potential branch office you will be working in, and if possible, the company’s national headquarters. Meet the team, ask questions and get a better understanding of the culture first-hand.

Once this process is accomplished, the loan officer will fully understand all that is important to their business. As a next step the producer needs to evaluate their current company’s business map against their own. If they aren’t lined up, it’s time to look elsewhere.

To find the right match, the loan officer might create a “decision matrix” leveraging what they discovered in their business map.

In the first column, include all the key factors, and rank them in order of importance. In subsequent columns, rate each company, including your current employer, and how they rank in each category. Once each company is evaluated, it should begin to become clear which firm represents your best model-match.

Making a switch to a new lender is a big decision and takes a lot of introspection and research. Success happens when loan officer priorities and lender priorities are in synch, rather than in opposition, to each other.  Strategically working through this process is beneficial to both the loan officer’s bottom line as well as the lender partner’s long-term success.

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Lender Continues Expanding

Mortgage Master, a super-regional mortgage lender and one of the country’s largest privately-owned mortgage companies, continues to expand its production infrastructure in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and now has 17 branch offices and nearly 150 loan originators in the important Tri-State market. This strategic expansion is generating significant production growth in these three states, with total annual loan volume increasing over 500 percent to almost $2 billion from $388 million originations over the last five years. This growth is being driven by Mortgage Master’s more than 25 years of mortgage experience, and unique business model, which provides borrowers with the best possible pricing, products and service, and helps loan originators increase production via innovative marketing and shared ideas from some of the top originators in the industry.

“We are extremely pleased with our growth in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and we are continuing to strategically open new branches and hire top loan originators in these markets to help borrowers while interest rates remain close to record lows,” said Paul Anastos, President of Mortgage Master. “Borrowers are demanding experienced, trusted and caring loan originators to help them navigate the mortgage purchase or refinance process. Mortgage Master’s responsible, supportive and sustainable lending model allows our loan originators to deliver borrowers the best possible pricing and mortgage solution so they can make the right decision.”

Mortgage Master’s five New York branches employ 43 loan originators and are located in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Garden City, Rye and Tarrytown. The five New Jersey branches employ 25 loan originators and are located in Hoboken, Fairfield, Cranford, Princeton and Wall. The seven Connecticut branches employ 41 loan originators and are located in Fairfield, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Hamden, Simsbury, Stamford and West Hartford.

“Over the last few years Mortgage Master has made a significant push into the greater New York City area. In less than two years we have grown to 30 employees from just 7 and we are actively hiring quality production professionals,” said Manhattan Branch Manager Scott Bonora. “Mortgage Master is uniquely structured to succeed in the New York City metropolitan area, and the surrounding states, and communities, because of our broad product portfolio, ultra-competitive rates and excellent client service.”

Mortgage Master is enthusiastically looking to increase its branch infrastructure in New York New Jersey and Connecticut, and recruit additional high quality loan originators.

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Lender Reaches Out To Lower-Income Borrowers

Mortgage Master, a regional mortgage lender and one of the country’s largest privately-owned mortgage companies, has become the first non-depository lender to join the Massachusetts Home Ownership Compact to provide affordable mortgage solutions to lower income first-time home buyers. As a signatory of the Home Ownership Compact, Mortgage Master has committed to make a good faith effort to provide Mass Housing mortgage loans to borrowers below the median household income in 2014.

“Mortgage Master is proud to call Massachusetts its corporate headquarters and we are committed to serving our local state community,” said Paul Anastos, President of Mortgage Master. “The recovery of the housing market, the dream of homeownership and the overall economic success of our local communities are things that are extremely important to us at Mortgage Master. We are excited to support the governor’s initiative and do our part – as a collaborative community member – in helping borrowers and working toward strengthening Massachusetts.”

“The Homeownership Compact is a great example of how government, lenders and non-profit agencies can work together to make affordable mortgages available to first-time homebuyers across the Commonwealth.  We welcome Mortgage Master to the Compact,” added Aaron Gornstein, Undersecretary, Department of Housing and Community Development of Massachusetts.

Governor Deval Patrick announced the Massachusetts Homeownership Compact in 2013 with the goal of providing 10,000 mortgage loans over the next five years to first-time home buyers with household incomes below the area median income. In the second year of the Compact, Mortgage Master is paving the way as the first non-depository mortgage lender to sign on.

“We are pleased to have Mortgage Master join the Compact,” said Esther Maycock-Thorne, President of the non-profit Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance. “Mortgage companies play an important role in reaching low-to-moderate income first time borrowers in our Commonwealth and we congratulate Mortgage Master on making this commitment.”

“We hope many more lenders join in by signing the Compact,” continued Mr. Anastos. “We have 10,000 mortgages to originate and no time to waste. Mortgage Master is eager to focus its capabilities towards such an important initiative that will help citizens of Massachusetts by strengthening our communities and keeping young families in the state as a solid economic foundation for the future.”

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Giving New LOs A Helping Hand

Mortgage Master, a super-regional mortgage lender and one of the country’s largest privately-owned mortgage companies, has formed a new internal team of professionals, which has a deep understanding of the mortgage process and functions including sales, operations, underwriting and closing, named—Loan Officer Concierge—dedicated to making the on-boarding process for new loan officers more efficient by offering value-added support and personal attention. New loan officers joining Mortgage Master are now able to continue to focus on serving clients and building business without any interruption, except for state licensing. Over the last four months, Mortgage Master has hired 46 experienced mortgage professionals.

The Loan Officer Concierge team is working with all departments of Mortgage Master, including recruiting, human resources, marketing, information technology, scenarios and operations to facilitate a smooth transition for loan officers joining Mortgage Master throughout the United States. The mission of this team is to help new loan officers to focus 100 percent of their time and energy on serving clients and building business.

“This enhanced on-boarding process demonstrates Mortgage Master’s commitment to offering the best possible support to loan officers so they can better serve their clients from day one,” commented Paul Anastos, President of Mortgage Master. “Starting any new job can be stressful, but this team of professionals is in place to assist our newest loan officers on a personal, one-on-one level to make their transition easier. “Mortgage Master offers a unique opportunity to high quality loan officers. Our model, not only provides borrowers with the best possible pricing, solutions and service, it also empowers loan officers to increase their own production and income.

“All new mortgage sales professionals face the same two questions on their first day at work when joining a new lender,” said Dan Rosenfeld, Branch Manager at Mortgage Master’s Simsbury, CT branch. “How fast can I start generating production? How do all of these new processing, underwriting, closing and pricing platforms work? Mortgage Master’s Loan Officer Concierge team was eager, and more importantly had the internal and industry knowledge to help me smoothly transition into my role and begin to immediately service my clients and build my pipeline. All my questions, some very specific underwriting or guideline questions and others very simple, were responded to quickly and answered accurately.”

“My on boarding experience with Sean Steinhauer and Terri Sicilia was wonderful. They have a deep knowledge of all of the systems, know the investors nuances, and understand what a loan officer needs to learn to be successful at Mortgage Master. The Loan Officer Concierge team is reflective of Mortgage Master’s culture—they always go above and beyond to help not only new loan officers, but all employees. There is no doubt in my mind that the Loan Officer Concierge support capability made an immediate difference for me,” added Craig Achtzehn Area Manager in Chicago.

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Lender Expands In The Midwest

Mortgage Master, a super-regional mortgage bank and one of the Country’s largest privately-owned mortgage companies, is expanding its Midwest production infrastructure and brand by opening a new retail branch office in Northbrook, Illinois. This is Mortgage Master’s fourth retail branch office in the Greater Chicago area and the fifth in the Midwest region.

In conjunction with the opening of its newest retail branch, Mortgage Master has hired mortgage industry veterans Jorden Brok and Brett Lotsoff as Co-Branch Managers to lead the Northbrook office. Mr. Brok and Mr. Lotsoff, who combined have closed over $2 billion in loan volume, have a deep understanding of the regional marketplace, and significant knowledge across all mortgage products categories including a specific expertise in Jumbo loans. In their new leadership roles, Mr. Brok and Mr. Lotsoff will continue to focus on expanding relationships with referral partners such as real estate agents, builders, accountants, and attorneys to provide borrowers with some of the lowest pricing and best in-class service in the Midwest market, They will also work with Brian Jensen Mortgage Master’s Midwest Regional Manager to aggressively hire high quality loan officers to further build-out the branch’s production team.

“We are extremely lucky to have Jorden and Brett, both exceptional leaders and mortgage origination professionals, join Mortgage Master to build our business and brand in this important Midwest market,” said Paul Anastos, President of Mortgage Master. “Business and excitement is already building about the Northbrook office, which is off to a fast start in helping borrowers purchase or refinance a home while interest rates are still historically low. Their leadership skills will help Mortgage Master continue to deliver dynamic service and the best possible pricing to borrowers in Chicagoland and throughout the Midwest.”

The new office, which is located at 1033 Skokie Boulevard, Suite 150, will offer mortgage lending services to borrowers in Northbrook and the surrounding communities on the North Shore and entire Chicago area.

Lender Expands To Texas

Mortgage Master, a super-regional mortgage bank and one of the Country’s largest privately-owned mortgage companies, has opened its first retail branch office in Austin, Texas after receiving its Texas Mortgage Banker License from the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending.

Mortgage Master is now able to originate residential mortgage loans in the State of Texas. The new office is located at 11614 Bee Caves Rd, Suite 270, Austin, Texas, and will offer high quality mortgage lending services to borrowers in Austin and surrounding communities.

In conjunction with the opening of the new Austin retail branch, Mortgage Master has hired Larry Weisinger as Branch Manager. Mr. Weisinger, who has over 15 years of mortgage industry experience, is being charged in his new role with attracting high quality loan originators and expanding production volumes and market share in the Austin marketplace, while providing some of the lowest pricing and best-in-class service to borrowers.

“After 25 years of responsible mortgage lending, Mortgage Master is excited about doing business in the great State of Texas, and helping borrowers find the right mortgage solution when purchasing or refinancing a home,” commented Paul Anastos, President of Mortgage Master. “As we continue to expand, Mortgage Master is attracting experienced leaders, like Larry, as well as high quality loan originators throughout the U.S. because of our supportive and sustainable business model, which provides borrowers with some of the best pricing available and enables loan officers to increase their production and income.”

Joining Mr. Weisinger in the Austin retail branch are two loan originators Christian Pfluger III and Christina Cadenhead. Additional loan originators hires are pending.

A Positive Note

*A Positive Note*
**By Tony Garritano**

TonyG***I’m looking forward to the weekend, aren’t you? So, I thought that I’d end the week on a positive note by telling you about a real success story. Mortgage Master, a super-regional mortgage bank, has generated record production volume of $3.97 billion for the first six months of 2013, compared to $3.25 billion in the same period in 2012. In 2012, Mortgage Master increased its originations to a record $7.3 billion, from $5.5 billion in 2011.

****Mortgage Master, which was the leader in Massachusetts in terms of residential loan production for the full year 2012 (bank or mortgage banker), maintained the number one position in Massachusetts for the first half of 2013, according to data compiled by The Warren Group. For the first six months of 2013, Mortgage Master’s Massachusetts production was $2.17 billion.

****“Our model of providing the best possible pricing and service to borrowers, and the commitment of our talented employees, have been the driving force behind our success over the last 25 years,” commented Paul Anastos, President of Mortgage Master. “As we expand and leverage our successful model across the U.S., we continue to hire quality loan officers looking to join a lender that is committed to helping borrowers find the right mortgage solution.”

****First Half 2013 Highlights

****>> Generated record production of $3.97 billion compared to $3.25 billion in the same period in 2012.

****>> Maintained #1 leadership position in Massachusetts (bank or mortgage banker) with $2.17 billion of residential loan volume.

****>> Average production per loan officer was $16 million for the first six months of 2013, significantly above industry averages.

****>> From July 2012 to June 2103 closed $8.1 billion in loans or 25,700 units. For this period, average production on an annualized basis per loan officer was $32 million, significantly above industry averages.

****>> Jumbo loan production increased 65% compared to the same period in 2012.

****>> 19 loan officers ranked in the top 300 of loan officers in the U.S. by 2012 dollar volume.

****>> Added 31 new loan officers.

****>> Licensed in 4 new states including, Illinois, Michigan, Texas and Wisconsin.

****>> Expanded branch network by adding 5 new branch offices in Brooklyn, NY, Chicago, IL, Lisle, IL, LaJolla, CA and Simsbury, CT

****>> Opened a new operation center in Lisle, IL.

****There you have it, a really feel-good story. Now enjoy your weekend my friends!

Successful Lender Expands Its Infrastructure

*Successful Lender Expands Its Infrastructure*
**Mortgage Master Profiled**

***Mortgage Master, a super-regional mortgage bank, is enhancing its operational infrastructure by opening a new operations center in Maitland, Florida, as well as expanding its operations centers in Sea Girt, New Jersey and at its corporate headquarters in Walpole, Massachusetts. This expansion is a direct result of the company’s rapid growth, and is now projecting 2012 originations to increase to over $7 billion, from $5.5 billion in 2011.

****As a first step in its long-term national expansion plans, Mortgage Master has opened a 4,700 square foot Operations Center in Maitland, Florida and appointed Candy Burke-Robertson to serve as Operations Manager of the Southeast Region. Ms. Burke-Robertson, who has 30 years of experience in the mortgage industry, will lead the operations team, which currently consists of approximately 20 professionals, as the Company continues to hire in all departments. This new operations center is a key part of Mortgage Master’s plan to expand its geographic footprint and positions the Company for continued responsible growth.

****“Mortgage Master is making the necessary investments in its operational infrastructure, from talent to technology to geographic expansion, to ensure the right people, processes and procedures are in place to enhance our lending value chain,” stated Paul Anastos, Chief Executive Officer of Mortgage Master. “Central Florida has a great deal of operations talent and this new center will offer tremendous support to our production professionals. The addition of Candy and her entire team will help position Mortgage Master as a more dynamic service company as we to continue to grow in Florida and throughout the southeastern.”

****The company is also currently expanding its operations center in Sea Girt, New Jersey and its operation center at its corporate headquarters in Walpole, Massachusetts.  In addition, Mortgage Master is in the advanced stages of renovating its corporate headquarters building, which includes an additional 14,000 square foot expansion.

****Over the last 12 months, Mortgage Master has added over 120 employees, many of whom will offer operations support to help bolster Mortgage Master’s elite retail sales force. The company continues to hire processors and underwriters, as well as established loan officers, to further enhance its operational excellence and grow its retail production platform.