LAS VEGAS -- The ACUMA Mortgage Lending Leadership Conference had a full itinerary of sessions and speakers, but attendees could hardly concentrate on the lessons at hand. Instead, speakers and audience members alike buzzed about two hot topics: efforts toward a credit union-controlled secondary mortgage market and plans for a big impression at next month's National Association of Realtors conference in Orlando, Fla.
In fact, Thursday's post-breakout group session was transformed into a marketing brainstorming session, with mortgage lenders suggesting catchy slogans for the NAR booth. Most ideas centered on the message that credit unions have plenty of liquidity and are actively seeking mortgage loans.
ACUMA President Bob Dorsa said he's excited about the potential for credit union-realtor partnerships.
"Credit unions have a fiduciary responsibility to represent their members, and realtors have the same fiduciary responsibility to their customers. It's a great match," Dorsa said.
Thursday afternoon's sponsored wine and cheese reception included the industry's newest mortgage superstars: members of the CU Housing Roundtable, who presented the beginnings of a credit union-controlled secondary mortgage market Oct. 16. Attendees lavished attention and a host of questions on those involved with the event, including Prime Alliance's Dan Green and Bill Walker of CMG Mortgage Insurance Co.
Speakers veered off subject too, commenting on the tremendous opportunities credit unions have to gain mortgage market share. Boeing Employees Credit Union's Joe Brancucci, executive vice president and chief lending officer, said he doesn't think bankers are brainstorming ways to increase market share at their conferences this year.
"We can think about the future, and we are positioned to grow," Brancucci said. "We have an opportunity to differentiate ourselves from the rest of the market. But, we have to strike now. People are preoccupied now, but people are also smart, and our competitors will once again figure out how to improve their processes and differentiate themselves from the market."
Brian Shepherd, senior vice president and general manager of CMG, also mentioned the secondary market while introducing economist Jeff Thredgold.
"We produce the best mortgage loans in the industry," Shepherd said. "How can we get Freddie and Fannie to offer us better deals? Our own secondary market is worth looking into."