United Wholesale Mortgage CEO on mortgage charges
Mat Ishbia, CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage, attended Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the health of real estate and its outlook for mortgage rates
SEANA SMITH: United Wholesale Mortgage is available today on the New York Stock Exchange and rings the closing bell on the hour. And in case you didn’t already know, today’s National Mortgage Brokers Day. We want to get down on the floor of the stock exchange with the CEO on Brian Sozzi. Brian
BRIAN SOZZI: Hello. Thank you Seana. Mat, it’s nice to see you in person for a change.
MAT ISHBIA: Yes. I am very happy to be here and to see you in person. We did a lot of zooms. So almost back to normal.
BRIAN SOZZI: Yes! For sure. So there is a sign in front of the New York Stock Exchange that says findabroker.com. Can you find brokers in this environment?
MAT ISHBIA: Yes. Findamortgagebroker.com. And there is a 1-800 BROKER. [? There’s ?] Places to find. The key is that mortgage brokers are the best place to get a mortgage. And that’s why we try to make it known, to convey it to consumers, to educate consumers. That’s one of the great things about going public in trying to educate consumers about finding a mortgage broker.
BRIAN SOZZI: Labor is scarce. How do you like her?
MAT ISHBIA: Well, mortgage brokers are out there in the community. You know, we find a lot of people. And they have been doing that for years. It’s not like her first year, first month. These mortgage brokers find the best deals for consumers buying or refinancing a home. And that’s where you go – findamortgagebroker.com – to find them.
BRIAN SOZZI: We talked a lot about housing in the Yahoo Finance office. It’s not that affordable. It’s been a year and a half, two years with property prices. How has that affected your business?
MAT ISHBIA: You know it was great You know, business was good for UWM. We look forward to continuing to grow and expanding the business with our mortgage brokers. But you know, at very low prices right now and obviously apartments there is a small shortage of inventory. But people take advantage of it. And that’s why we’re excited. It was a great first half of the year. Excited. Another better second half.
The story goes on
BRIAN SOZZI: We’re done with the bank receipts. But within that bankroll there is a lot to focus on. Net interest margin kind of weak. How do you make money? Are you making a lot of money in this low interest rate environment?
MAT ISHBIA: Yes absolutely. So you have a low interest rate environment. But, you know what? The key, besides making money, is taking care of the consumers, taking care of them [? kind ?] Experience and money follows. And so we focus on victory and success. And money follows. Our margins are actually very good. Our profits are good. We are looking forward to the first half. And as I said, the second half will be even better.
BRIAN SOZZI: What is it about the second half that attracts you?
MAT ISHBIA: Just, you know, buy. You know, buy business. The prices have risen a bit. So many companies in the mortgage sector only live on that [? refi. ?] This is not UWM. If you want to live in the [? refi, ?] You know we will do good, but buying is really the strength. And that’s what you’ll see in our second quarter, third quarter, and beyond. And we look forward to that with our mortgage brokers.
BRIAN SOZZI: How is the Federal Reserve rejuvenation affecting your business?
MAT ISHBIA: You know, it only affects prices. If rates go up I’m telling you that there is a mortgage company that you really want to be involved with if rates go up. This is UWM because we do a lot when shopping. Prices are falling, prices are currently low. 30 years as a couple. You know, that comes out of a lot of great mortgages. People can do business. So our business is long-term, not just short-term with low interest rates. So the Fed’s rate cut will not affect us. In fact, I think it will help us achieve a competitive position, help us become the number one mortgage company overall.
BRIAN SOZZI: How do you feel from your side – what is – how does the US economy grow with growth? How do you feel?
MAT ISHBIA: I feel good about it. I think you know COVID was obviously a strange time for everyone, you know? And to see how things are developing right now and to see how people in the world return to normal. I think the economy is doing fine. And I think it will go well this year and into 2022.
BRIAN SOZZI: Last time we spoke, I think you had 9,000 employees. How many do you have now Did you break the 10K mark?
MAT ISHBIA: Yes. We’re just down there. We have around 9,300 people. We’re all back in the office, working hard, helping mortgage brokers grow, and helping our consumers. It makes a lot of fun. It is exciting. The energy is contagious. And just happy to have them all back.
BRIAN SOZZI: Do you want people back in the office?
MAT ISHBIA: Absolutely. We want the people back. We are better together. I tell our team that. We are better together. We serve customers better. We work better together. We work together. We have energy. We have a great campus. We have, you know, basketball courts and dry cleaning and arcades. And it’s great fun to have them all back. And that’s why we’re excited.
BRIAN SOZZI: You know, we talked several times during the pandemic. This is the first time I’ve met you in person. You have just as much energy here as on the other side of a zoom camera. Why are you so excited about this business?
MAT ISHBIA: Well i just love it. I love what i do. I love our clients, our mortgage brokers. I think it is the best way for consumers to get credit. Therefore, educating consumers is very important to me. And I love my 9,000+ people. We built it together. We are a family. And we will continue to build on it. We’re just getting started.
BRIAN SOZZI: Nice to see you at last. UWM CEO Mat Ishbia, nice to see you.
MAT ISHBIA: Thanks for the invitation.
BRIAN SOZZI: Seana, back to you.