Ellie Mae®, the leading cloud-based loan origination platform for the mortgage industry, announced today the expansion of the strategic partnership with Optimal Blue®, the leading secondary marketing automation platform in the mortgage industry. The expansion includes the collaboration on multiple next-generation, API-based integrations between the Ellie Mae Digital Lending Platform and the Optimal Blue’s Marketplace Platform™ – specifically the company’s flagship Product & Pricing, Hedge Analytics, and Loan Trading solutions. Additionally, Optimal Blue’s Hedge Analytics and Loan Trading solutions now join Optimal Blue’s Product & Pricing as recommended solutions in the Ellie Mae Marketplace™.

Focused on creating a seamless, end-to-end workflow between lenders and investors, Ellie Mae and Optimal Blue are underway with new initiatives to rethink how to best leverage Ellie Mae’s Digital Lending Platform and Optimal Blue’s industry-leading pricing, hedging, and loan trading capabilities to benefit both sellers and Investors. Their collective efforts will create new and further enhance existing integrations between Optimal Blue and Encompass Consumer Connect®, Encompass LO Connect®, Encompass TPO Connect®, and Encompass Investor Connect® solutions that will enable a completely automated data and document exchange between their lender and investor clients. The companies plan to collaborate on these new integrations and efficient workflow improvements throughout 2020.

“Ellie Mae is thrilled about the expansion of our partnership with Optimal Blue,” said Parvesh Sahi, senior vice president, business development for Ellie Mae. “Ellie Mae is committed to enabling further innovation on the Ellie Mae Digital Lending Platform with industry-leading partners like Optimal Blue. This investment to deepen our partnership enables both originators and the purchasers of mortgage loans originated on Encompass to benefit from Optimal Blue’s broad secondary marketing capabilities.”

“Optimal Blue is proud of the work we have done over the past several years to strengthen our Ellie Mae partnership,” explained Scott Happ, President & Chief Executive Officer of Optimal Blue. “Increasing the joint value proposition to our mutual clients by building deeper and more meaningful pricing, hedging, and trading integrations between our platforms to create more efficient workflows is very exciting news for Optimal Blue, Ellie Mae, and our clients.”

ABOUT ELLIE MAE
Ellie Mae is the leading cloud-based loan origination platform provider for the mortgage industry. Ellie Mae’s technology solutions enable lenders to originate more loans, reduce origination costs, and shorten the time to close, all while ensuring the highest levels of compliance, quality and efficiency. EllieMae.com or call 877.355.4362 to learn more.

###

PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

PRESS CONTACT FOR ELLIE MAE
Erica Bigley
Ellie Mae, Inc.
(925) 227-5913
Erica.Bigley@elliemae.com

Caitlin Coffee
Allison+Partners
(312) 635-8204
EllieMae@allisonpr.com

© 2020 Ellie Mae, Inc. Ellie Mae®, Encompass®, AllRegs®, Mavent®, Velocify®, the Ellie Mae logo and other trademarks or service marks of Ellie Mae, Inc. appearing herein are the property of Ellie Mae, Inc. or its subsidiaries. All rights reserved. Other company and product names may be trademarks or copyrights of their respective owners.

Spillane Consulting Associates, Inc. (“SCA”), a professional consulting firm for banks, credit unions, and non-depository institutions based in Weymouth, MA, has partnered with Optimal Blue to create a new offering focused on empowering community financial institutions to more easily and more profitably buy and sell loans with enhanced execution techniques. Through this turnkey offering, SCA’s expert consultants provide clients the ability to easily buy specific loan pools to support unique balance sheet needs or CRA requirements, efficiently sell loans to a broader and more diverse network of buyers to mitigate risk, and seamlessly execute advanced asset-liability management strategies to increase profitability – without any further investment in software, resources, or loan trading expertise.

Since 1991, SCA has enabled community financial institutions to advance their mortgage lending capabilities by delivering innovations and successful financial management strategies that streamline process flows, improve compliance results, enhance system utilization, and optimize staff composition. However, over the past several years, SCA has observed that many community financial institutions were not well positioned to take full advantage of the sophisticated mortgage lending strategies or breadth of counterparty options that their larger competitors leverage, thereby missing opportunities to improve liquidity, increase profitability, and mitigate risk.

Under this unique offering fully supported by Optimal Blue’s industry-leading Loan Trading solution, SCA’s team of seasoned industry experts become an integral extension of the community financial institutions’ mortgage lending department. SCA’s broad network of buyers and sellers as well as their ability to match counterparties based on balance sheet needs enables secondary marketing transactions to be handled more quickly and more profitably for community financial institutions. Initially focused on clients in the Northeast, this program will soon be expanded to all community financial institutions across the United States.

“For close to three decades, SCA’s mission has been diligently focused on making community financial institutions more efficient and more successful,” explained John Spillane, CEO of SCA. “By pairing our expertise with the sophisticated loan trading automation of Optimal Blue, we’ve been able to dramatically enhance the mortgage lending and balance sheet management capabilities of the traditional community lender to keep them on par with their larger competitors.”

“Optimal Blue has experienced dramatic growth in our Mortgage Marketplace, both in the size of our network and in the extent of our innovations,” said Scott Happ, CEO at Optimal Blue. “We are proud to bring our proven Mortgage Marketplace loan trading capabilities to the community banking industry through this partnership with SCA.”

ABOUT SPILLANE CONSULTING ASSOCIATES, INC.
Founded in 1991, Spillane Consulting Associates, Inc. provides professional consulting services in the areas of compliance, quality control, staffing, technology, and management services to the mortgage banking industry. We value our strong and long-standing client relationships and believe our personalized service is especially important in today’s environment. For more information, please visit www.scapartnering.com.

###

PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

PRESS CONTACT FOR SPILLANE CONSULTING ASSOCIATES, INC.
William Dolan, CMB
Director, Business Development
(781) 356-2772
wdolan@scapartnering.com

– Tight Integration Builds on Legacy of Disruptive Secondary Marketing Automation and Sets the Stage for Significant Ongoing Enhancements –

Optimal Blue, the leading provider of secondary marketing automation and services in the mortgage industry, announced today the completion of a “lights-out” integration between its comprehensive hedge advisory and loan trading platforms. The announcement exemplifies Optimal Blue’s ongoing commitment to provide enterprise, end-to-end automation through superior technology with functional depth.

The only one of its kind, this real-time integration uses a library of proprietary APIs to seamlessly automate vital functions within the secondary marketing process that to date, have been increasingly complex and resource intensive. Further, the two-way integration builds on the advanced workflow automation that is already established within the Optimal Blue platform.

For years, Optimal Blue clients have recognized the significant competitive advantage of a seamless integration between the company’s flagship product eligibility and pricing and hedge advisory platforms by automatically updating the hedge position based on loans locked in the product eligibility and pricing engine. The new and highly anticipated “lights-out” integration between the hedge analytics and trading platform takes it a step further by fully automating the feed of loans that are “ready-to-sell” and returning post-trade updates to sync hedge positions in real time.

“We are thrilled to deliver this next generation of automation to our clients,” said John Ardy, Vice President of Resitrader by Optimal Blue. “More than half of our clients have already transitioned to the integrated platform and those that remain will be migrated over the next several months.” Optimal Blue anticipates monthly trading volumes to exceed $5 billion upon completion of client onboarding.

Optimal Blue views this integration as the foundation for several significant innovations and ongoing enhancements, like the use of proprietary machine learning algorithms to assist buyers and sellers optimize their trading strategies, as well as a fully automated “lights-out” loan execution to deliver a full roundtrip automation experience linking buyers and sellers. In addition, Optimal Blue is pursuing the expansion of axe posting for CRA, non-QM, and Jumbo transactions.

“There is considerable value in a unified technology platform,” explained Scott Happ, CEO of Optimal Blue. “This integration provides further transparency into whole loan transactions and delivers the connectivity, efficiency, and liquidity necessary to thrive in today’s competitive environment.”

###

PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

– Industry-First API Enables Seamless, System-to-System Integrations for Investors –

Optimal Blue’s digital loan trading platform, Resitrader, announced today the launch of the first in a series of robust APIs designed to create a “lights-out” integration with investors’ in-house systems and automate critical functions throughout the digital loan trading process. The first of its kind, this comprehensive API allows the investor to connect directly to the Resitrader marketplace and effortlessly automate pricing, offer pick-up, bid tape retrieval, bid placement and return, seller assignment, trade confirmation, and commitment.

Designed specifically for innovative investors operating at scale with an existing trading technology platform in place, the “lights-out” APIs embed and trigger the market-leading capabilities of Resitrader without requiring the investor to ever leave their own in-house systems.

The investor is able to actively engage with Resitrader’s digital loan trading marketplace and hundreds of participating buyers and sellers, significantly increasing productivity without the prerequisite of training on a new platform. They can monitor deal flow in real time as the systems communicate directly on pricing and trading, and benefit from the speed, accuracy, and scalability provided.

Sellers benefit as well, in the form of speed of response, accuracy, and the ability to reallocate most of their time to making more informed execution decisions.

“The Resitrader APIs are another step forward as we create an open architecture that links buyers and sellers across the Optimal Blue platform,” explained Scott Happ, CEO of Optimal Blue. “Our hedge advisory clients, as well as those that self-hedge or use another hedge provider, will benefit from this new technology as we continue to pursue our goal of serving all clients and vendors across the secondary market.”

###

PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

– Resitrader by Optimal Blue connects lenders and investors in real time to accelerate results –

For the last several years, the mortgage industry has experienced a disruptive wave of technology innovation by vendors aiming to improve results and lower costs. Until recently, the vast majority of these innovations have focused on automating the front-end of the digital mortgage loan process, leaving significant opportunities to automate post-closing processes such as whole loan pricing and loan trading. Now, Optimal Blue has upended the status quo in the mortgage industry by building a revolutionary digital marketplace that is transforming the way loans are bought and sold in the secondary market.

Optimal Blue’s recent acquisition of market leader Resitrader created the largest loan trading platform in the industry. In the last year, Resitrader saw a 350% increase in the number of sellers and more than 300% growth in loan trading volume, while also increasing the offer-to-purchase rate for sellers on the platform.

“Given Optimal Blue’s unique and strong market share position, the acquisition put us in the front seat to create an industry-standard platform for whole loan pricing and trading,” explained John Ardy, vice president of Resitrader by Optimal Blue.

By connecting lenders and investors in real time, Resitrader automates what used to be a manual, email-based trading process and makes it incredibly scalable. Besides the immediate time savings, the Resitrader platform fosters real relationships between engaged buyers and sellers, which is mutually beneficial to both sides.

Benefits for sellers

On the sell side, Resitrader empowers the lender to optimize true best execution by offering loans to an entire marketplace of buyers instead of the four or five investors they are used to dealing with. Originators can connect with new investors almost instantly and accelerate the traditionally protracted, difficult shadow bidding process, so what used to take weeks is now accomplished in seconds by clicking on someone’s name to view their pricing.

Benefits for buyers

The transparency of pricing within the platform creates the opportunity for sellers to find investors quickly and provides investors with valuable insight into the competitiveness of their bids. Resitrader reports this information automatically, so investors can see why they won or lost certain bids and adjust their strategy accordingly.

“Resitrader takes a function that was manual from end to end and fully automates all of it,” continued Ardy. “It streamlines communication and eliminates the latency that occurs with the manual process. It’s very exciting — in an area that was never very exciting.”

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Understanding their critical role as investors, Optimal Blue has paid special attention to streamlining connections with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The company completed an early integration with Fannie Mae’s Pricing and Execution – Whole Loan application last year and was first to integrate with Freddie Mac’s Loan Selling Advisor in August. Because Optimal Blue operates in a SaaS environment, Resitrader clients had full access to the new capabilities on the same day.

The integration with Loan Selling Advisor allows the user to seamlessly acquire Freddie Mac pricing data and compare against alternative executions, such as bulk bids. It also enables the automated commitment of Freddie Mac loans by returning trade confirmations directly back to the Resitrader user, so they don’t have to use multiple systems to conduct a single transaction.

Optimal Blue then followed up with an enhanced integration that fully automates the cash pricing and commitment process to include cash pay-ups for fixed-rate mortgages across all specified loan attributes. Prior to this integration, sellers would have to download and print a .PDF from Freddie Mac and calculate these loan details.

Now, that data pull takes seconds.

New efficiencies

Once buyers and sellers see the ability to interact at such a fast rate, the platform quickly becomes indispensable to their business model.

Jim Glennon is the director of secondary services at Optimal Blue and he noted a major gain in efficiencies using Resitrader for Optimal Blue’s full-service hedge advisory clients. “As we add new layers of innovation to our core platform, we are giving lenders and investors incredible new opportunities to get things done faster and better. This is part of the mortgage process that no one spent much time on, and now it has caught up to the rest of the digital mortgage process,” Glennon said.

As significant as the evolution of the Resitrader platform is individually, the seamless integration of Optimal Blue’s solutions across the entire secondary market platform is the true game changer.

“When Resitrader operated independently, we were able to grow to $2 billion a month,” said Ardy. “Now, backed by the power of Optimal Blue’s Digital Mortgage Marketplace, our growth rate will accelerate and catapult Resitrader into the largest industry destination for digital loan trading and bring considerable value to platform participants.”

As adoption of these interactive loan trading platforms flourish, Optimal Blue aims to continue looking toward the future of the industry with an ongoing commitment to deliver market-leading mortgage automation.

###

PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

– Mutual Clients Immediately Gain Efficiencies in Pricing, Committing & Trading Freddie Mac Loans –

Optimal Blue, the leading secondary marketing automation platform and largest online exchange for whole loan trading, announced today the completion of integration with Freddie Mac’s Loan Selling AdvisorSM application programming interface. By connecting the two platforms in real-time, Optimal Blue has enabled significant workflow efficiencies for its clients by fully automating the process of pricing Freddie Mac loans and securing Freddie Mac commitments.

The planning for this highly demanded interface began months ago, guided by the initial goal of bringing additional operational improvements to Freddie Mac sellers and servicers that utilize Optimal Blue’s innovative whole loan trading platform, Resitrader. Available immediately to all Resitrader clients without the burden of time-consuming system upgrades, this integration enables users to seamlessly acquire Freddie Mac pricing data and facilitates comparisons against alternative executions such as bulk bids. Additionally, this advanced integration enables the automated commitment of Freddie Mac loans by returning trade confirmations directly back to the Resitrader user, thus eliminating the need to utilize multiple systems to conduct a single transaction.

“Optimal Blue’s integration enables me to swiftly compare live quotes and complete pricing from Freddie Mac against all of my execution options,” explained Anthony Bruschi, Director, Capital Markets Trade Desk at New Penn Financial. “Additionally, I am able to commit all loans with Freddie Mac efficiently and accurately without ever having to leave the Resitrader system.”

Now that Freddie Mac’s Loan Selling AdvisorSM has been integrated with Optimal Blue’s Resitrader, the company has turned its attention toward leveraging this automation with the other solutions in its enterprise secondary marketing platform. Optimal Blue’s next phases will enable Freddie Mac pricing and commitment integrations with its hedge advisory and market-leading product and pricing solutions. In doing so, Optimal Blue will provide an efficient, end-to-end user experience for loan officers and secondary professionals conducting business with Freddie Mac.

“Optimal Blue is completely aligned with Freddie Mac’s commitment to deliver compelling innovations to our joint clients,” said Bob Brandt, Vice President of Marketing and Alliances at Optimal Blue. “Our end-to-end pricing and commitment integration between the Resitrader platform and Freddie Mac’s Loan Selling AdvisorSM is a perfect representation of this, bringing first-to-market innovations to our clients to further facilitate automated transactions between the buyers and sellers of mortgage loans through our Digital Mortgage Marketplace.”

ABOUT FREDDIE MAC
Freddie Mac makes home possible for millions of families and individuals by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Since our creation by Congress in 1970, we’ve made housing more accessible and affordable for homebuyers and renters in communities nationwide. We are building a better housing finance system for homebuyers, renters, lenders and taxpayers. Learn more at FreddieMac.com, Twitter @FreddieMac and Freddie Mac’s blog.

###

PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

– Combination Expands Network of Buyers & Sellers Supporting $750 Billion of Transactions –

Today, Optimal Blue announced the acquisition of Resitrader, creating the mortgage industry’s largest mortgage loan trading platform. With the addition of Resitrader, Optimal Blue now supports $750 billion of transactions each year across its Digital Mortgage Marketplace, including nearly $600 billion of rate locks processed through its product and pricing engine and more than $150 billion of transactions through its hedging solution.

Since its founding in 2015, Resitrader has focused on bringing automation and transparency to the spot market for mortgage loans. Resitrader’s interactive trading environment enables buyers, sellers, and their advisors to transact in real time using an auction process and replaces the widely-used method of exchanging bid tapes via email. The solution also helps traders optimize executions by supporting shadow-bidding, the posting of axes, chat-based communication, and color reports. Resitrader has achieved remarkable success with its trading platform over the past year, recording a 400% increase in transactions.

“Two years ago, Optimal Blue set out to build a Digital Mortgage Marketplace that facilitates transactions between originators, investors, and the providers both use. This acquisition is another key step in that journey,” explained Scott Happ, CEO of Optimal Blue. “Resitrader is the clear market leader in bringing efficiency, transparency, and security to a critical and expanding segment of the mortgage market, and we are excited to offer this innovative solution to our clients.”

By making Resitrader available to Optimal Blue customers, the company expects a major expansion in trading volume over the next year. The platform will be integrated with Optimal Blue’s hedging solution and substantially expand the company’s capabilities in the bulk bid market, an execution widely used by lenders employing a mandatory delivery strategy. More than 50 buyers are already active on the platform and over 150 sellers are expected on the platform by year end. Additionally, Optimal Blue will seek to expand third party relationships with hedge advisors and whole loan traders needing access to the bulk market. John Ardy, CEO of Resitrader, said “We are thrilled to join an organization that shares our vision of creating the industry’s premier platform for trading mortgage loans.” He added, “With Optimal Blue’s backing, I expect Resitrader to continue its rapid growth, bringing depth and breadth to the market.”

The company is proud to share that John Ardy, Seever Sulaiman, CIO of Resitrader, and the entire Resitrader team joined Optimal Blue upon close of the transaction. According to Happ, “John and Seever are proven innovators and bring considerable experience in building trading platforms to our team. There is no limit to what we can do together.”

###

PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

– Optimal Blue’s Intelligent Trade Blotter Enables Easy Modeling and Trade Execution; Draws High Praise from Clients –

The comprehensive pipeline risk management and hedging capabilities of Optimal Blue’s Enterprise Secondary Marketing Solution just got better. Today the company has unveiled a highly-advanced trade blotter feature that empowers its clients to easily model coverage and execute trades, leverage a streamlined workflow for associating longs/shorts, and benefit from enhanced business intelligence capabilities.

The functionality is garnering rave reviews from Optimal Blue clients. They have noticed a significant increase in efficiencies as related to modeling, adding, lifting and rolling coverage, as well as the planning and executing of trades.

“It is great to be able to see what someone has modeled, rather than relying on screen shots or word of mouth,” said Patrick Ruybal, Risk Management Specialist at All Western Mortgage. Ruybal further explained that his team enjoys being able to set up buy/offers as first-in, first-out, stating “The dealers have gone this route, and we prefer to remain in line with our dealers and lift coverage as needed by order of trade date, based upon the security.”

Another bonus, Ruybal adds, is the ability to lift from multiple dealers at once for the same security. “Optimal Blue’s trade blotter has saved considerable time in this process and reduced the manual task of working within spreadsheets. Our team is free to allocate that much needed time elsewhere.”

Zalman Zwiebel, Secondary Market Director at Ark Mortgage, said that leveraging this feature has dramatically increased efficiency. “What I love most is when I have multiple trades at the same time. I am now able to enter all data at once as opposed to previously entering data separately,” Zwiebel said.

###

PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com

As a mortgage originator grows, it becomes apparent that many processes which worked in the past need to be changed to accommodate the larger volume. Most owners or managers are familiar with the origination process and can make good decisions regarding changes to those processes. The secondary market, however, typically is a mystery and not as well understood.

Originators with a best efforts strategy often hear that they can make more money selling mandatory if they have enough volume. However, they have no way of assessing that statement. In addition, there are many other considerations a mortgage company must evaluate before making a decision to sell their loans mandatory.

The improvement in price achieved by selling loans mandatory is often referred to as the best efforts – mandatory spread. This is the difference achieved by pricing to the loan officers based on best efforts rate sheet and the price achieved by selling the loans mandatory. However, this revenue opportunity does not come without a cost. When selling mandatory, the loan originator now has to manage the fall out assumptions and the interest rate risk from lock to commitment of loans at funding – a task that previously was passed on to the best efforts investor. To accomplish this, the originator must implement a hedging strategy.

An originator can implement a hedge strategy in several ways. They can hire the appropriate talent to perform this task or they can outsource this task to a hedge provider to manage it for them. If they decide to manage it in-house, they still must decide what analytical tools to use. This can be a complicated decision and one that will be addressed in a future column. In addition to how to manage the hedge, there are many other internal changes that an originator must address when making the transition to a mandatory commitment strategy. These include:

Loan Delivery: In my experience, this can be more important than the best efforts – mandatory price improvement on an operation. When growing it becomes very onerous to manage each lock individually with the investor. By moving to a mandatory strategy, most originators say the improvement in operations creates about 1 -3 bps improvement to profits. Loans are delivered in bulk instead of individually improving loan delivery efficiencies. Also, loans data is final (no management of loan data during the underwriting process) and loan substitutions in commitments are allowed so there is much more flexibility in delivery.

Lock Desk: For a mandatory strategy, a centralized lock desk is a necessary. Some shops let their loan officers manage the locks. This will not work with a mandatory strategy. I recommend implementing a centralized lock desk first while you still are operating with a best efforts strategy. This will reduce dramatically the work required of a lock desk and will pave the way for the transition to mandatory commitments. When a new lock comes in at a best efforts shop, the lock desk must turn around and lock the loan with the investor. Data changes have to be managed on an individual loan basis. With a mandatory strategy, this does not have to be done. In addition, the lock desk would have to administer any lock changes with the investor based on the investors lock policies. With a mandatory strategy, lock policies are determined by the originator. This includes extensions, relocks, renegotiations and other changes. This means there can be consistent policy that can be published for all loans locked by the originator. In addition, the economics of the lock policy are managed by the originator and not passed along to the investor.

Underwriting: I suggest, although it is not required, that you create a common underwriting guideline per product when selling loans mandatory. Best efforts shops lock loans with the investor as soon as they lock a rate with the customer. It makes sense to underwrite to the investors guidelines. When selling mandatory, the investor is not selected until funding of the loan. Therefore, underwriting to a single guideline gives the secondary markets group the most flexibility to sell the loan to the investor with the highest price. Issues arise when investors have soft overlays that are different from other investors. In that situation, there should be a mechanism to include or exclude investors available for the sale of the loan.

Pricing: Many originators begin a mandatory strategy for selling loans but continue to use best efforts pricing for origination. I highly recommended that the originator transition to one pricing strategy per program to match the common underwriting guidelines. Many loan officers are used to picking the investor with the best price so this might require a cultural change within the organization. And this could take time. If the originator decides to continue to offer pricing based on investor best efforts rate sheets, extra care should be taken to make sure that best efforts pricing offered can be sold mandatory at a profit. Sometimes, investors offer a very aggressive best efforts price for a short period of time. In such cases, it could be more aggressive than mandatory pricing. This typically is a short-term phenomenon and will adjust back to a price that is lower than mandatory. But any origination occurring during that time could experience a loss. I would recommend either (1) adjusting origination spreads to compensate for the difference or (2) locking loans best efforts at the time the lock is taken from the customer.

Investor Management: When going from a best-efforts to a mandatory strategy, it is important to make sure that (1) your current investors are aware of the new delivery strategy and (2) they are evaluated to ensure that they are the best outlets for the new strategy. Many investors offer incentives on the delivery method used by the originator. By notifying investors of the change in strategy, it will ensure that the originator will make the most profit from the change.

There are a lot of opportunities to improve profitability and efficiency with a mandatory strategy. I have seen many customers successfully go from best efforts to mandatory but the work on the above items needs to be done first. For originators who have volume over $10 million per month and a net worth over $3 million that want to get to the next level, this is a worthwhile endeavor. But as you could see from the items described above, many operational changes have to take place to be successful.

This article was featured in the May issue of Mortgage WOMEN Magazine. View the entire article here.

###

PRESS CONTACT FOR OPTIMAL BLUE
Robert J. Brandt
Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
(469) 609-5585
bbrandt@optimalblue.com