Finding a Mentor, Being a Mentor, & Transitioning from Retail-To-Wholesale (With Willie Newman) – Episode 112

Posted April 19, 2022

Looking back at his 32 years in the housing industry, Homepoint President and CEO Willie Newman has come to the conclusion that Brokers Are Better. In this special episode of Broker-To-Broker, Marc and Willie talk about the history of the wholesale channel, the importance of both finding and being a mentor, and why retail bankers should transition to being a broker. 

When Willie first joined the industry in the 80s, he had a mentor who theorized that brokers, mostly doing hard money loans at the time, were going to become a much more significant part of the mortgage process. Willie believed him, hopped on for the ride, hasn’t left since, and never plans to leave. Willie credits a large amount of his success to his mentor pushing responsibilities and having faith and trust in Willie. And while Willie and Marc admit that it isn’t the easiest thing to do, delegating tasks and trusting your staff is the key to growth and long-term success. 

Other Brokers, even those close enough to be your neighbor, are not competitors. Always outnumbered by homeowners, brokers have to lift each other up with the goal of increasing mortgage broker market share. Brokers are better, but we’re even better together.  A rising tide lifts all boats, and the more we help each other, the more homeowners will recommend using a mortgage broker, and the more market share brokers will earn back. The goal should not be to maximize profit but to maximize homeowners helped and families housed. And the only way we can do that is if we all collectively get better together. 

Marc and Willie also admit that the wholesale channel isn’t for everyone. If you’re only in it for the money, then being a broker isn’t for you. You need to have a passion for helping people; homeowners and brokers. They understand that it can be hard to step away from the perceived safety net retail lenders provide, but as Marc and Tom mention, the best security blanket is providing the best possible deal to the consumer. And as rates rise, more retail lenders will most likely continue to make additional cuts, on top of the mass layoffs we’ve already seen. 

Independent Mortgage Brokers have freedom. They have the ability to find and choose the best possible deal and most personalized scenario for their clients. For brokers, It’s not about the transaction. It’s about the commitment to helping homeowners realize their dream. That’s why, Willie says, “Brokers Are Better.”


(3:25) Origin of Homepoint

(9:50 ) The importance of mentorship

(14:21) Transitioning from retail-to-wholesale 

(24:37) Successful Broker/Lender Relationships 

This Episode Is Sponsored By Homepoint

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