The opening of this year’s MBA Annual Convention & Expo saw MBA Chair Kristy Fercho pass the baton, both literally and figuratively, to her successor, Matthew G. Rocco, Sr. Attendees were reminded of the impact on the mortgage industry Fercho leaves behind as a legacy of her leadership, especially the Home for All Pledge which she intentionally built to outlast her tenure. Fercho detailed her travels across the country, giving her the opportunity to meet with MBA members excited to further her mission started by the pledge in building up minority homeownership and introducing more diverse talent into the MBA workforce.
2023 MBA Chairman, Matthew G. Rocco, Sr., introduced himself through his intention to approach his new role as a servant leader. He stressed how important it is to him to learn from the members directly how best to help them as their new Chairman. Rocco plans to strengthen the reputation of the MBA by lifting up the members and delivering on the most important priorities.
Although his mortgage experience is mostly in the multifamily and commercial segments of the industry, affordable housing is a cornerstone of his focus as part of his special passion for those who are overlooked and underserved. His new Affordable Rent Strategy aims to help create a stronger link between mortgage banking and renters. The strategy will expand existing efforts to offer more affordable rental rates, increase financial education, and help renters develop their savings so they can one day become homeowners. Rocco expects this strategy to grow the ranks of the minority workforce in the industry as well as better define and standardize definitions related to affordable housing.
President and CEO of the MBA, Bob Broeksmit, provided an overview of industry developments over the past year and forecasted projections for the near future. He shared that 2022 saw the lowest volume of new loan applications in 22 years, and despite the expectation of even more rate hikes in 2023, he believes the mortgage industry is resilient and can survive the effects of inflation. There are many resources available to bolster bottom lines, such as MISMO breaking down data barriers and minimizing friction in the lending process and new smart documents that create trusted packages of data and documents. New standards for efficiency are emerging that service providers can take advantage of to help reduce costs and improve the timelines of processes. Expanding research and access to educational opportunities will help loan officers better serve and inform their borrowers.
In general, this MBA Annual started out with a realistic outlook on the challenges facing the mortgage industry already and yet to come, yet leaders were optimistic that the lenders and other stakeholders have the tools, data, and capabilities to work together to keep borrowers in their homes and put new homeowners in affordable homes despite the uncertainties of the market.