Rocket Mortgage’s Move: Hiring Local Loan Officers Signals Strategic Shift

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Rocket Mortgage’s Move: Hiring Local Loan Officers Signals Strategic Shift

Jun 15, 2023 | News | 0 comments

Rocket Mortgage is seeking to hire local loan officers amidst high mortgage rates and a strong reliance on the purchase market within the industry.

Despite their success in the call center model during the pandemic, which saw significant profits from refinancing, the Michigan-based lender views this move as an alignment with other lenders’ focus on the purchase market rather than a change in their business model.

The job post specifies that the position is remote and necessitates a minimum of three years of mortgage loan origination experience, with an emphasis on generating organic referrals that lead to successful closings. United Wholesale Mortgage’s CEO, Mat Ishbia, criticized Rocket Mortgage on LinkedIn, accusing them of deliberately undermining the broker channel and negatively impacting consumers.

Rocket Mortgage’s decision to hire local loan officers is not surprising given the dominance of purchase mortgages and the decline in refinances. While Rocket did not disclose the exact number of loan officers to be hired, the company currently has 8,400 sponsored MLOs.

Contrary to claims made by Mat Ishbia, CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage, Fawaz, a representative from Rocket, emphasized their continued support for the broker community. When a client has engaged with Rocket’s retail arm, Rocket retail steps back and allows the broker partner to handle the transaction, showcasing their commitment to brokers. In response to industry changes, Rocket Pro TPO has also increased its efforts to attract brokers, competing directly with UWM.

In February, Rocket Pro TPO made an important declaration by pledging to cover legal expenses, including penalties and court costs, for brokers who opt to work with Rocket or Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. This announcement followed a previous ultimatum by UWM, where brokers had to decide between the Michigan lender, Rocket Pro TPO, or Fairway.

Since the announcement, Rocket Pro TPO has received numerous inquiries from brokers and is actively engaging in discussions about facilitating business with brokers’ preferred choices. Rocket experienced an adjusted net income loss of $111 million in Q1 2022, with origination volume totaling $17 billion, a 10.5% decrease compared to the previous quarter.