HW+ Member Spotlight: Brian Hale
This week’s HW+ member spotlight features Brian Hale, founder, and CEO at Mortgage Advisory Partners (MAP). Hale recently launched MAP, his new consultancy business, to help mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers, banks, homebuilders and real estate agents improve their mortgage-related businesses. With over 40 years of mortgage experience, Hale has held C-suite positions for some of the top housing companies in the industry, including ClosingMark Financial Group, Stearns Lending, MetLife Home Loans, MetLife Bank, Countrywide, Wells Fargo and Fleet Mortgage.
Below, Hale answers questions about the housing industry:
HousingWire: To start off, what is your current favorite HW+ article?
Brian Hale: “In a purchase market, rookie LOs may struggle,” by Maria Volkova because it points out how ill-prepared in so many ways some, if not many, companies are to make the shift to the purchase market.
HousingWire: What has been one of your biggest learning opportunities?
Brian Hale: Listening to my father regarding life and dealing with people and building relationships (the ability to quickly build rapport with people from the barroom to the boardroom), and having four great mentors in my life who seemed to fortuitously come along at exactly the right moment, took an interest in me and taught me so much.
HousingWire: What has been the most useful tech tool for you?
Brian Hale: My iPhone combined with OneDrive and OneNote to allow me to be virtually paper-free in dealing with, assisting, and communicating with clients from anywhere, at any time. To be honest, at my desk, I would say my Dell XPS laptop is my most useful tech tool which powers ten different peripherals and is the operations center of my business.
HousingWire: Could you name a time where you felt successful in your job?
Brian Hale: When I was named to HousingWire’s original Vanguard Award list.
HousingWire: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Brian Hale: There is a difference between authority and responsibility. You can delegate your authority endlessly downward and even occasionally upward, but you can never delegate an ounce of your responsibility.
HousingWire: What are 2-3 trends that you are closely following?
Brian Hale: How companies are preparing for 2022 with 50% of the volume compared to 2020 and predominantly purchase volume, demographics (millennials), post-Covid technology-enhanced work models, outsourcing and margin compression vs. costs.
HousingWire: What keeps you up at night and why?
Brian Hale: Where the next generation is coming from in our business. There is a lot of young talent in our industry, but not enough. There is no natural feeder into our business. Which one of you went to graduate school to become a mortgage banker? The MBA is doing a good job with its CMBA programs for people in the business, but it’s also not enough.
The industry supporting the single largest consumer debt market in the world needs a greater outreach to universities to develop talent the way many other finance industries have done. In addition, every leader in our industry has an obligation to mentor and develop.
HousingWire: What do you think will be the big themes for the housing market in 2022?
Brian Hale: Purchase volume will be key. Volumes will likely be 50% of just two years earlier. We will not have wrung enough capacity out of the industry so many players will be struggling, margins will likely have improved from earlier this year but still be challenged. There is now and will continue to be a recruiting war for good talent, continued deployment of technology and outsourcing in search of lowering unit costs, reduced compensation models, a renewed regulatory challenged environment.
HousingWire: If you could change or implement one piece of housing regulation, what would it be and why?
Brian Hale: The originator compensation rules. I think the original intent of the rules when written in 2010 were honorable but like many regulations, they have been proven to be unfair, unbalanced and more often than not counter to the original desire to protect customers. I am not arguing for a return to the old days or “overage”.
Those approaches were always foolish and often discriminatory in nature. Smart people should be able to get in a room and fix how certain groups are unfairly impacted or enhanced with the current rules and level the playing field while embracing the original goals. I would be glad to consult with anyone working on this issue pro bono.
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