A leader with Homepoint since it was founded in 2015, Lisa Patterson played a key role in growing the company’s third-party origination business, as Homepoint has grown to the nation’s third-largest wholesale lender and 10th largest non-bank lender. Patterson has more than 25 years of experience in the mortgage industry, including previous stints at CitiMortgage (formerly ABN AMRO) and Cole Taylor Mortgage.
What interested you in starting a career in the mortgage industry?
Like many people, I got into the mortgage industry by accident. However, once I entered, I quickly realized how interesting the mortgage industry is and what an amazing opportunity it is.
What’s the career highlight you’re most proud of?
I have been a part of three successful startup mortgage companies. Earlier in my career, I was on a team of nine people, and we were working out of an old lawn mower shop. We started this company right after the financial crisis, so the market was in a very interesting place. Additionally, there were some big compliance changes that were implemented at the same time. We built that company completely from scratch — we took the loan origination system out of the box and went from $0 to $600 million/month in three years.
What are the biggest challenges facing mortgage brokers and what’s your advice for overcoming them?
Mortgage brokers have to be nimble because they’re dealing with multiple customers and sometimes it can difficult to find consistency amongst your different lending partners. One particular challenge that many brokers face comes down to the smaller budgets, resources and headcounts they have in comparison to their retail competitors. Oftentimes, they just don’t have the same level of support infrastructure in place as retail lenders, so they can be at a disadvantage when it comes to things like technology, marketing and brand awareness.
My advice for brokers is to partner with the strongest wholesale lenders that have your best interests in mind, and that treat you as a true partner — not just for the origination of a loan, but throughout the entire life of the loan. It’s important to stay connected to your client, so when they’re looking to refinance or purchase a new home in the future, you’re easily top of mind. By partnering with lenders that keep you connected to clients and provide you with value-adding services and support, brokers will be best positioned to grow and sustain their business.
How do you see the mortgage industry evolving in the future?
I think the mortgage industry will continue to evolve and become a lot more data-driven. Mortgage companies will continue to find innovative, useful ways to utilize data to improve the process and experience for consumers and their partners. I think more lenders will come around to view the mortgage as more than a singular transaction and treat the servicing of a loan as an avenue to help their customers by providing long-lasting, well-rounded financial health and support. Because of the complexity of the mortgage process and the magnitude of the investment, I think consumers will continue to want to have that human connection and guidance — not just when initially buying or refinancing a home, but over the course of their loan as well.
If you could go back to your first day in the industry, what advice would you give yourself?
I remember my first day like it was yesterday, thinking there was no way I was going to get the hang of the mortgage industry. There were so many acronyms and things that I had never heard of. It’s really important to learn as much as you possibly can. Be curious. Ask a lot of questions. Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know”. Don’t expect to understand everything at once. There is a lot of information and it’s constantly changing. Take it in. Absorb it. It’s very challenging — you learn something new every day.