CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage Mortgage Rates

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Mat Ishbia, CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage, joined Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the state of real estate and his mortgage rate outlook.

Video transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

SHAWNA SMITH: United Wholesale Mortgage is ringing at the last hour of the day on the New York Stock Exchange today. And if you didn’t know, today is the National Mortgage Broker. We want to go down to Brian Sozzi on the stock exchange floor with the CEO. Brian.

BRIAN SOZZY: Hi. Thanks a lot, Shauna. Mat, it’s nice to see you in person for a change.

MAT ISHBIA: Yeah. So glad to be here and to see you in person. We did a lot of zooms. So almost everything is normal.

BRIAN SOZZY: Yes, sure. So, in front of the New York Stock Exchange, there is a sign that says findabroker.com. Can you find brokers in this environment?

MAT ISHBIA: Yeah. Findamortgagebroker.com. And there are 1-800-BROKERS. [? There’s ?] places to find. The key point is that mortgage brokers are the best place to get a mortgage. And so we try to publicize it, bring it to consumers, educate consumers. This is one of the great benefits of going public – trying to educate consumers on how to find a mortgage broker.

BRIAN SOZZY: There are few workers. How do you find them?

MAT ISHBIA: Well, mortgage brokers exist in the community. So, you know, we can find a lot of people. And they’ve been doing it for years. This is not like their first year, first month. These mortgage brokers are looking for the best deals for consumers buying a home or refinancing. That’s where you go – findamortgagebroker.com – to find them.

BRIAN SOZZY: We talked a lot about housing at the Yahoo Finance office. It’s not that affordable. It was a hell of a year and a half, two years with house prices. How has this affected your business?

MAT ISHBIA: You know, it was great. You know, business benefits UWM. We are delighted to continue to grow and develop business with our mortgage brokers. But you know that now very low rates and, obviously, housing, there is a small shortage of inventory. But people use it. And so we are delighted with it. It was a great first half of the year. Excited. Even the best other half.

BRIAN SOZZY: We’re done with bank income. But within that bank income, there is a lot to focus on. NIM is weak. How do you make money? Are you making good money with low rates?

MAT ISHBIA: Yes, sure. So you know you have a low-rated environment. But do you know what? The main thing, in addition to making money, is to take care of consumers, take care of [? kind ?] experience, and then money. So, we are focused on victory and success. And the money follows. We have really good margins. We have a good profit. We are delighted with the first half. And as I said, the second half will be even better.

BRIAN SOZZY: What worries you in the second half?

MAT ISHBIA: Just buy. You know, buy a business. The rates increased slightly. Thus, many mortgage companies live only on [? refi. ?] This is not UWM. If you want to live in [? refi, ?] You know, we’ll do good, but strength is really a purchase. And you will see it in the second, third and subsequent quarters. And we are happy about that with our mortgage brokers.

BRIAN SOZZY: How does the downsizing of the Federal Reserve System affect your business?

MAT ISHBIA: You know, it just affects the rates. So, as rates go up, I will tell you that there is one mortgage company that you really want to partner with if rates go up. This is UWM because we do a lot when we buy. The rates are going down, now the rates are low. 30 years fixed in pairs. You know, there are a lot of great mortgages coming out. People can do business. Thus, our business is focused on the long term, not just the short term with low rates. So the Fed rate cut will not affect us. In fact, I think it will help us become competitive, help us become the number one mortgage company in general.

BRIAN SOZZY: From where you are, how are you feeling – what – how is the US economy growing? How do you feel?

MAT ISHBIA: I like it. I think, you know, it’s obvious that COVID was a weird time for everyone, you know? And so we are watching this develop right now, and we are seeing people in the world returning to normal life. I think the economy is doing well. And I think that this year and in 2022 everything will be fine.

BRIAN SOZZY: The last time we spoke, you seemed to have 9,000 employees. How many do you have now? Have you hacked the 10K mark?

MAT ISHBIA: Yeah. We are just below. We have about 9,300 people. We’ve all returned to office work, working hard to help mortgage brokers grow, helping our consumers. It’s very funny. It’s fun. Energy is contagious. And I’m just glad everyone is back.

BRIAN SOZZY: Do you want people to come back to the office?

MAT ISHBIA: Absolutely. We want to get people back. We are better together. This is what I say to our team. We are better together. We serve customers better. We work better together. We are cooperating. We have energy. We have a great campus. We have basketball courts, dry cleaning and arcade machines. And it’s a lot of fun when everyone is back. And so we are excited.

BRIAN SOZZY: You know, we talked several times throughout the entire pandemic. This is the first time I am meeting you in person. You have as much power here as you have on the other side of the Zoom camera. Why are you so passionate about this business?

MAT ISHBIA: Well, I just love it. I love what I do. I love our clients, our mortgage brokers. I believe this is the best way for consumers to get a loan. So I’m very passionate about consumer education. And I love my 9000+ people. We built this together. We are Family. And we will continue to build it. We’re just getting started.

BRIAN SOZZY: Well, it’s nice to finally see you. UWM CEO Mat Ishbia, nice to see you.

MAT ISHBIA: Thanks for inviting me.

BRIAN SOZZY: Shauna, back to you.

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