Capital and interest – DBusiness Magazine


Jay Farner is Vice President and President of Rocket Mortgage, having risen through the corporate ranks as a close associate of Dan Gilbert and cementing his key role in guiding Rocket in the aftermath of Gilbert’s stroke in 2019 Rocket was released to the public with advice from Farner last August.

Q: How does Rocket handle the competition?

Further away : How can we disrupt the business we are in and bring value to our customers? If we do that, then most of the work we do here is focused on executing our own strategies and less on what the competition is doing.

Q: Can this group of mortgage companies use their concentration here for the greater good of our region and our state?

Further away : I’m not familiar with the collective effort, but we can leverage our work for the greater good on a variety of fronts. Our mission isn’t really mortgages per se, but how to build a technology platform that transforms complicated transactions. We also donate our success and profits to the community.

Mat Ishbia started in his father’s small business as a 12th employee, managing fax machines and earning $ 18,000 a year. In 2013, he was CEO and blew up UWM to an employer of 9,000 people. Ishbia made it public in January 2021.

Q: How did you grow in the business after your father, Jeff Ishbia, started it?

Ishbia: In 2009 we started to grow more than we expected, and over the next two years I bought the business and took over from my father. He has his fingerprints all over the company; he taught me to treat people. He is a smart businessman and has started a lot of businesses. This turned out to be very, very tall.

Q: What is the key to the UWM culture that attracts so many applicants?

Ishbia: We are all part of something special together. It’s not just the amenities here, the basketball court and the library and the massage room and the arcade. The important thing is how we treat people, how we all eat lunch in the cafeteria. We take care of people and treat them well.

Phil Shoemaker cut his teeth in the Texas mortgage industry, but was intrigued by Willie Newman, founder and now President and CEO of Homepoint. Shoemaker joined the company in 2019 and is now President of Originations. The company has 2,600 employees.

Q: What intrigued you about Homepoint, which prompted you to leave Caliber Home Loans?

Shoemaker: Some things were unique. We are very attached to culture and create a company that has a little more balance between the different constituents. There are investors, associates and partners. Often, companies are too investor-focused.

Q: How is the Homepoint business model different?

Shoemaker: We operate by doing a decent amount of production that gives us efficiency across our fixed cost structure. We do this with a sales and support team present in each market, dispersed across the country. This gives them closer ties with partners, and it’s a good alternative to what UWM and Rocket have to offer.

Lee Smith joined Flagstar Bank in 2013 and in 2020 moved from COO to President of Mortgage Operations. In April, Flagstar announced a merger with New York Community Bancorp, which will retain the Flagstar brand in the Midwest and a regional headquarters in Troy, including mortgage operations.

Q: Why does Flagstar have such an oversized mortgage business?

Black-smith: Other banks have not focused on the mortgage industry. The difference manifested itself in a low interest rate environment like 2020. Sixty percent of our income is generated by our mortgage services business, which was one of the pillars of the merger. This amount was 90 percent. With our partner, we will be a bigger and more diversified bank.

Q: How would you describe Flagstar culture?

Black-smith: It’s very team-oriented, transparent and communicative. You can never communicate too much here. We are stronger together. Anyone can talk to anyone about anything, anytime. There are no silos. We believe in great service, trust and responsibility. We don’t micromanage; we give our team the tools and the platform to be as successful as possible.

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