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Feb 25, 2022

Insight and inspiration for a rapidly evolving home buying landscape


Have you accomplished any of your 2022 planning goals yet? Have some of your goals changed already? No matter where you are so far with this year’s goals you’ll want to listen to David Schroeder, Caliber’s EVP for third-party originations, as he hosted two recent editions of the Home Connection Podcast with an insightful 2022 planning discussion.

David was joined by Caliber partner Matt Nouraei from 365 Home Lending in California. Matt said that when he started with the company in 2017, they focused heavily on purchase but it transitioned to more towards refinance and cash-out; however, he’s already seeing more purchase transactions this year. David was also joined by Caliber account executive Maureen Kilbourne-Reynosa, and they both provided in the trenches insight on the ever-changing marketplace as well as the Caliber products that are helping them achieve their goals.

Dave started things off by highlighting the combined power of Newrez and Caliber. He quickly presented a challenging question when he asked, “How are you going to grow your business?”

With the Mortgage Bankers Association forecasting that 2022 will be a transition year from a refinance market to a purchase market, there is a tremendous current opportunity for purchase. Factors for the increase in purchase activity include the theory that rising interest rates will drive out speculative buyers so the housing inventory shortages should see some relief.

Matt said that thus far in 2022 he’s already seeing more purchase and rental properties transactions. He believes that a few keys to success at 365 Home Lending have been the result of building personal relationships, providing exceptional service to real estate agents, and closing on time. Matt also stated that he’s been working with Caliber for three or four years.

The Importance of Technology in 2022

The focus turned to technology, and Dave asked Maureen what some of the things were that account executives were doing differently that others might learn from. She pointed to the Caliber Blueprint for Brokers platform as an example of a technological advantage. “Yesterday, I had a broker tell me that he can't believe how much he can do on your platform, and she was really surprised because, with other lenders, you're limited on what you can and cannot do.”

Indeed, brokers with a higher adoption rate of Blueprint have seen a reduction in cycle times (average time from loan created to loan cleared) of 3.5 days allowing borrowers to get into their new home quicker and more efficiently.

Dave added that Caliber provides extensive support and education with the product, as well as the fact that there are also bi-weekly classes on the platform along with the ongoing availability of the Brigade support team.

Learn more about how the Brigade supports brokers on our January 2022 podcast.

The Video Era

Dave pointed out that with the sudden onset of the pandemic, it became critical to be able to utilize technology to maintain and build relationships without being face to face. “Video is amazing. Just 18, 24 months ago, you get on a call like this one and people wouldn't have their camera on. Now everybody's natural with it and expects it.”

Maureen agreed that video technology has been helping to grow their business. “If somebody had told me in 2019 that I would be doing broker presentations over a video camera, I would have said, ‘Are you crazy?’ Today it’s BombBomb videos and all of that stuff I now do.”

Matt said that video messages to real estate agents and clients have really worked for him. “It can be an introduction, a happy birthday or just thanking them for their business. It goes a long way to put a face to your voice and that makes a big difference with your online reviews.”

Dave segued to other areas where Caliber technology is making a difference when he asked if Caliber technology or the Caliber process is really optimizing and making it work or for them.

Maureen responded by noting that Caliber has also been leading the way with other areas of technology. “The Caliber (Blueprint) platform is very easy to use, and it’s so good now. I had a broker tell me yesterday that they can’t believe how much can be done on our platform,” she added. “I can order VOE’s, and I have control of my own LE and can resend it out. This broker was very surprised, because with other lenders you’re limited on what you can do.”

Working Smarter

David pointed to Smart Series – the non-qualified mortgage Smart Series loans Caliber has developed with Newrez – as another great example of new products that are empowering brokers to grow their business. With the return of non-QM loans to Caliber Wholesale in late 2021, the market is now poised for the non-QM demographic to surge back to life. “There's a huge, huge opportunity out there to help these people and put them into homes,” Maureen stated.

The Smart Series suite of non-agency products are for individuals that have had a recent credit event and self-employed borrowers. They include the recently upgraded power of Smart Series of products; SmartVest, SmartSelf, and SmartEdge, all designed to differentiate brokers and help them close even more business.

Matt cited Caliber Reconnect as a technology tool that he expects to be using more in the coming year, due to the fact that he was already seeing an uptick in building permits and the potential for repeat business. Caliber Reconnect helps brokers keep track of those they’ve worked with before and enables them to reach out at the right time to continue the relationship.

As the first podcast ended Dave said, “Anytime we can end by talking about Reconnect, it’s good.” Matt added, “You guys have done a very good job with it and that's a very big deal. We get the Reconnects all the time, which is pretty great that you guys are getting us back that business.”