The landscape for wholesale reverse mortgage lenders is changing, with large wholesalers now out of the market and new ones having entered in the past year. Many are seeing the potential to make waves on the wholesale side. They say the time is right to grow their businesses. Many are not large-scale operations. Yet.
“We’re very focused on growing our entity without the bureaucracy,” says Glenn Wallace, Nationwide Equities president. “We want to make sure this organization grows with same level of customer service we have built so far. The product is generic. Rates are generic. Service is where we set ourselves apart.
Nationwide Equities launched its wholesale channel in September 2011, growing the business on average from nearly five loans a month last year to more than 11 loans per month to date in 2011.
Other lenders, too, have seen triple digit growth including Associated Mortgage Bankers, having closed 45 wholesale loans to date in 2012, Reverse Mortgage Solutions, which has grown its wholesale channel from 41 loans last year to more than 60 to date in 2012. GMFS LLC, MCM Holdings and First Maryland Mortgage Corp have also more than doubled their business year-over-year. Sun West, previously averaging 70 loans a month in 2011, is now closing close to 200 monthly.
There are also new wholesalers, who have yet to do substantial volume in 2012 but have made their entries since last year, according to Reverse Mortgage Insight. Among those new companies now in the business are High Tech Lending, Continental Home Loans, Silvergate Bank and WCS Funding.
Despite MetLife having a substantial piece of the wholesale marketplace, smaller lenders may have more of an opportunity for growth not based on the exit of the large bank, but more generally on their small size.
“We saw a major opportunity because of the service level we can provide, and the interpersonal level we can have with clients directly as compared with the big companies,” Wallace says. “We are able to turn around a loan in 24 to 48 hours where they just can’t. The accessibility of people is also something you won’t find at a large institution.”
Written by Elizabeth Ecker