In his post-earnings interview with MPA, Ishbia described how UWM has helped brokers at their jobs with an eye toward expanding the broader channel. “We focused on helping brokers grow and win. Every other wholesale lender in the history was all about ‘here’s my rate sheet, this is what we’ll pay you. We’ll buy your loan and the customer from you, and thank you for your business.’ We said no, no – let’s do this differently. We’re going to help you build your business, Mr. and Mrs. broker. We’re going to help you grow. We’ll buy the loan for you, but you keep the customer. Let me show you how to manage your relationships; let me show you how to market yourself; let me show you how to train Los; let me show you how to recruit. Let’s partner! You help us, we help you.”

He likened the same style of teamwork he experienced as a standout player on the 2000 championship basketball team at Michigan State University to that at UWM as it relates to helping brokers. “My old background – that team mentality, that family mentality – is what has catapulted UWM,” he said. “That, along with our technology and focus on helping brokers and making the process faster, easier and cheaper. And here we stand, the No. 1 overall lender in the country.”

Still, being No. 1 is not the ultimate goal, Ishbia suggested: “My goal is brokers,” he said. “I don’t care about being No. 1, although we’re proud of it. I care about the broker channel growing and winning and that’s what’s going on. And that’s why more and more loan officers every day are leaving retail and joining the broker channel.”

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Ishbia wasn’t shy in critiquing his biggest rival, Rocket, when asked what he didn’t like about their business model: “Rocket Mortgage charges inordinate fees to consumers, and doesn’t do right by the consumer,” he said. “Second, they don’t treat their team members right. And third, all they do is refinance – 90% of their business was refinance last year this time, and I always said it’s a bit of a house of cards and you’re going to see what happens when rates go up. And now you see what happens – they’re down 75% to 80% since last year.