“Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMS) aren’t for everybody, but there are sweet spots in ARM pricing right now, where you can advertise initial rates ranging from 6.125% to 6.375%. We also rolled out a temporary interest rate buydown program with multiple options, including a 3-2-1 buydown.

“Temporary buydowns can even be combined with certain ARM structures. As an originator, you need to bring specific strategies that position you as a mortgage expert. With solid technical solutions, a good LO has the ability to bring buyers back into the market which offers real value to your referral partners,” Nichols added.

The market slowdown offers opportunities. “It appears originators and brokers are using this time to build their toolbox and gain new technical knowledge,” she said. “They’re taking time to reevaluate their lender partners, establish new relationships and align processes.” Other brokers are getting their VA certification and taking another look at FHA – for which Pennymac is a top lender.

Pennymac itself recently has pierced through the doldrums, creating quite the industry buzz with its high-tech POWER+ broker platform unveiled at the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) conference in Las Vegas from Oct. 7-10 where MPA caught up with Nichols.

Nichols gave MPA a sneak peek into POWER+ in January before the product’s official launch. True to form, the lender built the platform only after securing input from that all-important segment: Customers. “We developed POWER+ by truly listening to the voice of our customers – our brokers,” Nichols told MPA at the time.