Jodi Hall is the President of Nationwide Mortgage Bankers, Inc. (NMB). She utilizes 20+ years of leadership experience to establish short and long-term goals, oversee strategic planning, assure operational efficiency, and champion organization-wide projects. Jodi is responsible for the overall success of NMB. She embodies NMB’s core values and has led the company to be awarded in the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America for over three consecutive years, gained a spot in Crain’s New York Business, Crain’s Fast 50!, attained Great Place to Work® Certification in 2020, 2021, 2022, and has claimed several spots in Fortune’s lists of Best Workplaces including Fortune Best Workplaces for Millennials™ 2022 and Fortune Best Workplaces in New York™ 2022.
She is a thought leader in not only mortgages, but in mortgage technology — being named an Elite Woman by Mortgage Professional America. She services on the Chase Client Advisory Board and The Mortgage Collaborative’s University Advisory Board.
Her vision is to build a different type of mortgage company rooted in culture and powered by technology. She believes the journey starts and ends with great people who share a passion for helping the communities they serve. Jodi is motivated by her desire to mentor the next generation of mortgage professionals who will lead the industry into the future.
In this episode Craig and Jodi Hall discuss:
- Learning from failure and listening to feedback
- Taking care of yourself in order to be more effective
- Letting go of control and delegating tasks
- The lesson we should take into 2023
- Some of the most important lessons we’ll learn in life, we’ll learn from failure. We need to be open to listening to others and encouraging them to provide feedback so that we have all the resources we need in order to make the best decision we can.
- If you want to be more effective, you’ve got to take care of yourself. Execute common sense practices consistently and you’ll be better prepared to face the day.
- Build a team and delegate your tasks. Have at least one other person who could do the tasks that take your time and attention from more important things.
- Learn to lead with humility and empathy, be there with your team, and strive to understand and consider their needs while also doing your best to serve your clients and give value.
“The 2022 learning lesson has been how to be truly empathetic, and try to help individuals navigate regardless of where they are. Empathy is something that we need to carry away - as we push into 2023.” - Jodi Hall
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Jodi Hall - Finding Ways to Overcome Barriers
In this episode, I am joined by Jodi Hall. Jodi, how are you doing?
I'm doing great. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
I'm excited to have this opportunity. Before I get started with the questions, I do want to introduce you to our audience. Jodi is the President of Nationwide Mortgage Bankers. Under Jodi's leadership, Nationwide is named the Fastest Growing Mortgage Company according to Inc. 5000 and also noted as Best Workplace in Financial Services by a magazine called Fortune. Prior to that, she served as the COO at CrossCountry Mortgage. Jodi is from the Cleveland area, a big sports fan and has many other talents, which I hope to dig into. Speaking of sports fans, there's a big game coming up here, IO.
Some of my staff tease me because I always have these sports analogies so I'm going to start with the sports analogy. I feel like it's a quote I have to at least get out. If mortgages were like sports, I would buy your jersey and wear your jersey. That's how much of a fan I am of you. After this episode, I'm sure you're going to have a lot more fans. Your jersey sales will be increasing for sure.
I appreciate that but I have to tell you, I don't want to be like Ohio Sports when it comes to mortgages because we don't have the best track record. I will still be as passionate as a sports fan as I am a fan of the mortgage industry but I don't want the record of our Ohio teams.
That is fair. As a Philadelphia fan, I feel like I can relate to that sentiment for sure. That's funny. Jodi, your resume is amazing. I touched on a couple of things here in the introduction because I don't want to do the talking. I want you to do the talking. Let's start with what you are most proud of.
I'm most proud of whom I've become in the mortgage industry from a career perspective and the leadership with my team. I'm extremely passionate about the industry and I've had to exhibit a lot of perseverance. I want to be able to give back to the mortgage industry as a whole by being a thought leader. I want my employees to be able to grow their leadership abilities and their career and carry that same passion throughout the industry. Throughout my career, I was building my resume but I never identified with what I wanted ultimately as I've gotten a little older. When I took the position with NMB, I was reflecting on my previous career and was like, "What do I really want?"
No one's going to remember how many loans you've closed or that you were the fastest-growing mortgage company three years in a row. What people are going to remember is the legacy that you leave and your leadership for the entire industry. I believe that I'm starting to achieve that with the relationships that I have had over the years and the individuals I have had the opportunity to mentor and the colleagues I have had exposure to and have been able to grow with. I believe that I'm starting to create that legacy for the industry. Not only just being a thought leader but being a true leader and helping develop the careers of many who will be those leaders in decades to come when hopefully I'm retired to our horse farm.
No one's going to remember how many loans you've closed or that you were the fastest growing mortgage company. What people are going to remember is the legacy you leave and leadership for the entire industry.
We're going to get in that horse farm here a little bit. That's a great answer. You've touched on a bunch of things in that answer I want to dive into. One is your long career and I want to hear your story. You were saying, "I never went through my job thinking about what I wanted my job to be." You just did, if that's what I was hearing correctly. It's interesting, I've been in the industry for a couple of years and I still think to myself, "What am I going to be when I grow up?" I'm grown up. I'm sure you feel the same way, you mentioned your long career. Let's talk about your story a little bit. Tell me about where you started, the roles you had and some of those pivotal points that propelled your career and what those moments were like.
I have a degree in psychology. My first job out of college, even my internship was I worked at a psych unit in the evenings to fulfill my internship requirements. In my first job out of college, I was a drug and alcohol counselor at a county facility. My first annual compensation was $19,000, maybe it was $18,500. I had to have a second job to subsidize my work. I worked at an inpatient drug and alcohol facility. My job was to drive the patients to Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. I was a babysitter. I quickly realized that this was not the career path that I wanted to be on. I chose my degree based on the number of credits that I had when they told me I had to determine a major.
My father was building a restaurant. He owned a general store when I was growing up. It was a local gas station at a four-way stop and had a counter there for people to order food. His passion was he wanted to build a restaurant. He was building a restaurant and asked me to come to help him. I was in the family restaurant business for five years and I thought I needed to get out of where I was. It was a very small community and I needed to see what was out there. I went to graduate school at John Carroll University. I was a graduate assistant. I made $400 a month and it helped pay for school. I went to a job fair because I need to make money. Lo and behold, Ameriquest Mortgage hired me to be an Account Executive.
On the first day of work, they threw a 6-inch binder on my desk and a phone book and said, "In the morning, you read your training manual. In the afternoon, you start calling through the phone book and get clients." That's how I started in the industry. I spent seven years with a subprime lender in the early 2000s, NovaStar Mortgage. When the subprime market crashed, I was with Chase Bank for a long time. I ran an operations site in Denver, Colorado because there was no work in the Cleveland market in mortgages. One of the hardest jobs I've ever done was we did a pilot for Chase and did purchase only. It was at the time when everything was an REO. I got a lot of experience there.
Chase had opened an operations center back in Cleveland. I was flying back and forth as a subject matter expert to help get that up and running. I ultimately made the decision to come back home to Ohio and still work for Chase. I went to CrossCountry Mortgage as an Operations Manager. I worked my way up to COO there. I consulted for a while. I started at Nationwide Mortgage Bankers in 2019 as the President of the company. It has been a great learning experience. Over my career, probably the biggest lessons I have learned have come from failure. Being very young and not having a lot of management or leadership experience when I was managing a group of employees at NovaStar Mortgage, I didn't realize the importance of getting the feedback of those around me.
That feedback has to come from your employees and managers. I would get feedback from my managers but I didn't have the leadership ability or the self-awareness to realize that my decision wasn't the best always. It landed me in a position when the subprime market started to collapse, where they eliminated my regional position and I had to interview for a supervisor position. I didn't take it well. I was a young kid. I thought I knew everything. I had been extremely successful very quickly and realized that that wasn't the best thing and ended up not getting the position. That has made me over my career numerous times, look back about what could have I have done differently and how can I grow from this so it just isn't a pure failure.
I've known you for a while but I didn't know your full story so that was wonderful to hear. I have some similarities in my stories as well. When you talk about the feedback, I remember my first 360 review. For those that aren't familiar with what a 360 review is, you don't just get feedback from your superiors or peers but you also get them from your subordinates as well. I got that readout. I'll never forget where I was. I was in Newport Beach in a management training class.
In preparation for this, they had gone through and done a full audit of everybody that I worked with. I was young and had success. I'll never forget, leading with humility was the thing that I struggled with. Young and not being able to handle that, you're trying to figure out who said what and what that was. You realize that if you are going to succeed, that feedback is very vital. At the end of the day, as a leader, you're going to serve the people that you work with. There's a lot of that that came out in your story there. That was wonderful. That resonated with me.
I called it falling down the ladder and hitting your chin on every rung. That's the greatest learning lesson in my career.
The psychology major was a bit of a surprise but I didn't see that coming. As you were talking and knowing you, one of the things I've always found about the mortgage industry is people don't go to college to get into our industry. It's a shame. It's got to change because we have an aging labor force and we got to find that next wave of talent. I always thought business schools and universities should have mortgage curriculums and we could recruit from them. In this business, the psychology path might be the right path. The mortgage technical skill isn't too difficult to learn. It doesn't matter what role you're in. I feel like psychology would be a very important baseline of training to be successful in this business. It certainly has shown for you.
My parents probably didn't like it at the time when they were paying for me to go to college and me not know what my major was going to be. When they asked me what it was, I asked what segments I have the most classes in. They said psychology. That's how I decided what I was going to study. I'm sure my parents weren't happy about it. There have been many times over my career that I have thought that that wasn't such a dumb idea. It ended up well for me. In 2022, I have used a lot more of my training from my psychology courses than I have in my experience in mortgages.
Our CEO is also a psychology major. He is one of the most stoic leaders I've ever been around. I do believe that that's serving him very well.
We look at things as catastrophic in the mortgage industry. When you have seen some of the things that I have seen, it's not that bad.
We look at things as catastrophic in the mortgage industry.
In 2022, we developed the saying, “There's someone somewhere praying for our problems.” I feel like that answer talks to that expression. Our CEO started coining that. 2022 has had its problems in the mortgage industry, I feel. It doesn't matter whom I talk to. I could be getting my haircut or be at a family's house and everybody knows about interest rates. Everybody can connect the dots and say, "Craig, interest rates must be hurting you."
There's a lot of clickbait out there speaking to that and that's certainly having an impact on buyer hesitation. It's having an impact on refinances for sure. Some other things are going on in the industry and I don't know the right time to bring those up in my life but liquidity in the MBS market is what I would say is problem number one. What about you? What are the things that maybe aren't getting the headlines that you think are problematic or need attention going into 2023?
One of the biggest things is FHFA wants to create homeownership for everyone and create a level playing field for first-time home buyers to be able to get into the market in underserved communities. The biggest challenge we're going to face in 2023 is the cost of loans that are created pushing those first-time home buyers that are underserved that may have lower income than some of the buyers that we face and the cost of doing mortgages, pushing them out of the market further. We saw that with the announcement of the increase in credit reporting fees. Some lenders will see a 10% increase. Some will see a 100% increase. Some will see a 400% increase.
We've been impacted by about 104% with one of our credit providers and a 112% increase in credit costs with the other credit provider. The other area where we see a huge increase that is affecting the buyer is in the verification piece. Verification of employment is the largest that we know of. We have to use verification of employment because employers will not use other services. It's costing on plus side of $50 per verification. What that means for those who are reading that aren't into the mortgage process, we have to do initial verification of employment that for us will cost around $54 to $60 for the initial verification of employment to get the loan into underwriting. We then have to re-verify employment prior to closing costing another $50 plus.
If we time everything right and the borrower only has 1 job in 2 years, we're talking $110 plus to verify employment for that one job. If we are in a situation where the borrower is like, “We don't time it right. We need to do an additional re-verification. That's an additional $50 plus,” we're looking at verifications of employment potentially being $300 plus for a loan when you have 2 borrowers. It's astronomical. There is no way around it. Many people say, "Why don't you call the employer?" They will not verify if they use that service. We are looking for alternative ways for verification of employment to try to drive down that cost to the consumer because it does get passed on to the consumer.
Mortgage Industry Barriers: We are looking for alternative ways for verification of employment to try to drive down that cost to the consumer because it does get passed on to the consumer.
It’s the same way with credit reporting services. We all know we need a credit report to be able to qualify the borrower but the cost has become a touchpoint because every dollar adds up. That's two examples of adding additional costs to the borrower being able to do business and there are many others. We're going to be pounding on vendors. It takes a lot of time and effort to vet potential vendors because you have to make sure that you're meeting your requirements. You have to ensure that even if you are driving down costs, what you're adopting is acceptable to the agencies and investors.
It's a lot of work but it is our duty as providing mortgages to go through that process, vet the vendors, drive down cost and have a conversation with all of our existing vendors to try to drive down the cost of originating a loan because that's being passed on the consumer. We saw an all-time high in the 3rd quarter of 2022 of nearly $11,000 cost to originate a loan. It is going to price a lot of consumers out of the market.
If this were 2006 or 2007, we wouldn't verify any of this information. We state the income and the assets and move on. That's not the path forward. We're talking about responsible lending practices. There are a couple of providers that have pretty much a stranglehold on the services. A lot of the vendors that you're referring to are resellers. Those folks are pointing to another person saying, "It's not us, it's them. We have to pass it on to you." We're saying, "They're passing it on to us and we're passing them on to the consumer."
At the end of the day when we're trying to move inventory and try to get more homeowners into homes, this is another one of those barriers going forward. Generally, the marketplace will drive behavior, meaning that we have alternatives that will then reduce the pressure of price. There's some legislative work here too or some regulatory bodies that can be involved. If you're an industry participant, what could you do to help with this problem? Are there paths? Are there trade associations involved? What path forward do we have other than venting about it to one another?
I asked this question at the Chase Housing Summit to Sandra Thompson, the Director of FHFA. She encouraged all mortgage lenders to pick up the pen and start writing. She believes that the path forward to gain effect is going to be through the FTC and being able to create that picture of how the consumer is being impacted and how some of these providers do have a stranglehold on the market. That's what we can do.
What I'm encouraging everyone to do is to continue to bubble up to CFPD, FHFA and FTC. Try to make our voices heard. It isn't news that the IMBs are providing homeownership to the underserved communities that FHFA is passionate about serving. We have to be willing to speak up and make our voices heard so that we can bring two legislators to what is truly going on and boots on the ground in the mortgage industry.
Continue to bubble up to CFPD, FHFA, FTC, and try to make our voices heard.
We have the IMB. This is the livelihood. They're not going to go in and out of markets like maybe some other private equity banks or depositories are going to be doing in and out of the lending space. This is the space that IMBs are always going to be in. As s a result, they are the majority of home ownership providers, especially to the underserved community. A couple of different trade associations we can get involved in like MBA or Mortgage Bankers Association. Also the CHLA, Community Home Loan Association is very active. If you are not involved in either of those, I would recommend at least looking into them and picking up the pen.
There are some streamlined ways to speak to legislators and people that can make a difference so align yourself. If you're thinking, "I'm not going to write a letter to somebody. I don't know what that means. I don't even know where to begin," that's where you begin. You begin with either one of those associations. Jodi, I appreciate you diving deep there because it's very informative. A lot of our audience for this show is in our industry so it's going to be very relevant for them to be involved. Anything else on the credit piece as far as alternative solutions? We're getting involved with soft pulls as a way to maybe reduce the cost on somebody who's not qualified and does not have that big tri-merge cost. Anything else that you have that you want to share with our audience?
The soft pulls are huge. We call it pre-qual credit. Freddie has allowed the AUS to run on the soft pull credit. It was a pilot. We got approved to do that. Being able to have AUS findings off of soft pull credit is going to be huge in reducing costs. We also are pushing on Fannie to open up the same availability to be able to run DU.
The other thing is it was announced that FHFA was going to accept a two-bureau credit pull as opposed to a tri-merge credit report as acceptable to the agencies. The timing of that is not clear. I reach out weekly. I hope that if I am squeaky enough, they'll put some oil on the wheel. I reach out weekly to Fannie and Freddie to try to get the timeline for when we'll be able to submit a two-bureau to be able to sell that loan to the agency. That's another area that will help reduce that cost when you're looking at a joint pull. A single bureau could be $5 to $20.
Do you say you reach out weekly?
It's a repeat email. Let's go.
For those that don't know you well, I'm always impressed by not just your range but your depth of knowledge within all the areas that you get involved in and your activity level, whether it's in the business or out of the business. I don't know if you sleep. If you do, it's not a lot. Take me through an average day for you. Give me a random Wednesday. What time do you get up? How do you approach your day? What you get done in 24 hours, our readers need to know because you are a very effective individual.
Some days I feel more effective than others. It depends on the given Wednesday. I do sleep. I sleep quite well. That helps me be effective. Everything that I do has to be efficient. My brain works very compartmentalized so I feel like I have the ability to shut off what's going on around me when I'm working on a specific thing. I do a handwritten to-do list and I print. I have been like a crazy printer. You have even seen unremarkable where I take notes. I print out my to-do list both professionally and what I have to do personally, which seems like a lot.
When I feel like I'm not getting enough done or not checking enough things off of my to-do list on a given day, I will write in cursive. If it triggers something creative in my brain, it creates more focus and then that helps me get more done. I usually get up around 5:30 or 6:00. I always make my coffee the night before. The key to being extremely effective is being over-caffeinated the majority of the day. I hit the brew on the coffee pot that I made the night before, let my dog out and start on emails. I try to go to bed with clean emails late, at least having reviewed everything, added to my to-do list and categorized my emails.
I work out. I'm not a crazy workout person. I do it because I feel like I need to. I have a decent amount of stress in my life so I need to keep the ticker going well. I sometimes will listen to an audiobook, although I'm a book person. I pick up a physical book and underline that book. I sometimes will listen to an audiobook. Sometimes, I'll listen to the news. Once I am showered and sat down, it's about getting things done. On a lot of days, especially when problems arise in 2022, a lot of my workday wasn't task-oriented and checking things off of the to-do list. I found that I had to get a lot of my to-do list done prior to 9:00 or after 6:00 PM because I needed to be there to help our employees and even clients and referral partners through the process.
My to-do list has changed. I have a lot more to-do’s of calling this person, seeing how this person is doing and following up with this person than it is things that I typically would do from a loan-level perspective in the past. The other thing that has made me more effective and this may be hard for you to believe is I've only had an assistant for a couple of months because I couldn't give up control.
I have an extremely effective assistant and it has taken me the better part of the year to learn the things that she could do that would put time back into my day. Sometimes I'll start doing something and I'm like, "Why am I doing this?" Hannah's more than capable and willing and has been a tremendous asset to help me get more done, where she can look at my to-do list and even pick things off and say, "I can do this."
I'm trying to teach myself to do an electronic to-do list through OneNote so that I can share those with her and she can pick some of that stuff off that is very task oriented where I can focus my attention to more of the feel, knowledge, consulting and mentoring aspects that others can't do. I have to be careful because it's much easier to do the to-do list that is a task of things, clearing a Mavent or diving into a loan to see if we can cure a post-closed defect. Those are easy and fun. In my brain, they are. The rest of the stuff is much harder. I have to recognize the hard things that I need to work on daily and let everybody else do the task-based items.
I go to bed at about 10:00 with my email hopefully. I don't like to have any unread emails in my email when I go to bed. I'm a crazy person but being effective in that compartmentalized. I even micromanaged my niece in making Christmas cookies to make sure that she is most effective in the use of the dough and that there aren’t a lot of leftovers that we have to roll out 3 or 4 times.
There was a lot there. I'm taking notes on my reMarkable. We'll do a little reMarkable plug. Maybe one day, they'll be a sponsor of the show. Handwritten, I love that. I do some consulting for some entrepreneurs outside of the industry and these younger guys are very focused on the platform that they use. I tell them all the time, “It doesn't matter if you use Microsoft Project or monday.com. Just get it down on paper.” There is something to be said for writing it down. I love hearing that. Although, I like hearing that Hannah is leading you a little bit on how to delegate, put it on a transparent platform like OneNote, which is highly effective and allow her to take sofreeme of those things away from you.
The sleep piece of it is refreshing to hear because you mentioned your ticker for exercise. The fad is to wake up at 4:30 or only get 3 hours of sleep. Maybe that works for some people but if you give me 3, 4 or 5 hours of sleep for consecutive days, I'm a monster. We have to be mentally sharp to support all the people that you described in a day. I don't know how you do it without sleep. I love hearing that you are doing what works for you. The Rock wakes up at 4:30 in the morning and lifts. We have different worlds. With all due respect, Dwayne Johnson is a very successful guy but that's not me. You have to recognize yourself and be the best version of yourself. That's a lot of what I heard in that answer.
The clean emails thing and those tasks, you were touching on it. You said, "It makes me feel satisfied or fulfilled." That is a trap too where it's like, "I know that I did something today because I helped somebody clear a Mavent or I don't have any emails." You got to work on that balance between, "Am I working in my business or am I working all my business?" We all fall into that trap a little bit. I love hearing that. If you ever read this show, Jason and Steve focus a lot on the leadership aspect of it, the delegation and empowerment of others. A lot in that answer from you is enlightening stuff to hear. Thank you for sharing.
2022 is tough here. We talked a little bit about some technical changes that are happening with cost and going up but what about you? I'll ask you for a second to get a little vulnerable and I'll answer this question myself, although I'm prepared. If you go into 2023, what is it that you want to work on? What is it that Jodi needs to be better at? You may have answered it a little bit in that last question but what is the one thing that you have to do?
I'll give you a second to think about it because I'll give you mine when this should not be a surprise to you. The thing I want to get better at as we go into 2023 is not being the first opinion in the room. I'm excited and have high energy. There are a lot of positives that come with that but I failed to realize at times that there are people that report to me in the room. As much as we talk about a flat structure, when I am the first person to speak, I may be silencing those that technically report to me.
Even though it's a flat structure and everybody can say anything and anybody can challenge anybody, I need to be better at letting other people speak first because I don't want to influence their answers or make them feel as though, maybe even have that same answer and now if they say it, it sounds like they're piggyback on something else I said. Where if they said it first, it could have been their idea and we could be following their lead versus my lead. That's the one thing I'm going to be mindful of in 2023. How about you?
I too can learn from that and do the same because, by position, we have a tremendous amount of influence. I feel sometimes we are in meetings that people are sitting there like, "What does Jodi think about this? What does Craig think about this?" That even happens with our peers. It is the amount of influence based on the people that are in the room. The thing that I need to focus on most in 2023 is delegation. I have done so much and have been forced to do so much myself because of the size of the organization.
The organization is getting larger and we have brought in a tremendous amount of leadership. Even the leadership that was there before, I need to give them the room to do their job. I say some departments are at an unfair disadvantage because I know how to do their job. When you know how to do the job of those, you have expectations that are greater because you want it to go as well as you could do it or better. I feel like not just delegating but giving people space to be able to make decisions.
Mortgage Industry Barriers: When you know how to do the job, you have greater expectations because you want it to go as well as you could do it or better.
Giving them more time to get to the solution is important because, like you, I am very passionate and driven. I want to get from A to Z in the fastest amount of time possible. I need to check myself and allow our leadership at the organization to be able to get there in their time. It may even be better. It may take a little bit longer but the results may be better if I give people the time to do that without saying, "When is this going to be done," and maybe not have such hard driving timeframes in mind in 2023.
Thank you for answering that question. For those reading, there was no prep work here. Jodi did not know that question was coming. It was a very honest answer. That answer resonates with a lot of people in your position and my position in this industry. It's going to have a big impact. Thank you for that. One more question and then we'll do something fun and we'll wrap up here. In every difficult environment, there are long-lasting positives that come out of it. We could talk a little about the COVID environment. I don't know if every company was prepared to work virtually or conduct eClosings but in a matter of 60 days, everybody adjusted and figured out a way.
If you're anything like our organization, you are probably decentralized more than you ever were and operate as effectively as you ever were because the environment around you required you to operate differently. I wouldn't put 2022 into that category but it's a challenging year for a lot of different reasons. There are probably will be some long-lasting positives that come out of it. Do you have any top of mind that you can think of that in 2024 and 2025, you're going to go back and say that was a result of 2022?
It is looking differently at things and cleaning our lens. In 2022, the navigation that we had to do was problem-solving around the market. Our problem-solving in 2021 was how we get this many loans done. It has been an emotional rollercoaster. Everyone hinges on the emotion of what POW is going to say and how POW is going to say it, then the entire market reacts according to that. The same is happening with the emotional reaction, not just of consumers but also of our employees. In 2022, the lasting effect is how to be a more empathetic leader because you have had to try to put yourself in the shoes and experience the emotions of the consumer, the sales team and the employees who are sitting there watching business go down who are constantly focused on the what if.
They see organizations and mortgage companies that are closing and massive layoffs going on. The 2022 learning lesson has been how to be truly empathetic and try to help individuals navigate regardless of where they are on the spectrum. You have to help everyone that you come in contact with and be empathetic to where they are. That was largely created by the emotions of 2022 and coming off the extreme highs of 2020 and 2021 to what people feel are extreme lows of 2022. Empathy is something that we need to carry away.
Mortgage Industry Barriers: The 2022 learning lesson has been how to be truly empathetic and try to help individuals navigate regardless of where they are on the spectrum.
As we push into 2023, regardless of what our initiatives are, ours is largely focused on technology to drive down the cost of origination for the consumer but how do you do that and be empathetic to your employees and engage them in the process so that they don't feel like that technology is pushing them out? I hope that that is a lesson learned that we can carry into 2023 and even years beyond.
I'm hoping that the technology piece that you mentioned there at the end is a lasting effect. I feel like in the 2020 and 2021 bubbles, we didn't have time for technology adoption. There were some early adopters. Yes, technology's been around for a while but our industry has struggled to incorporate it. We have technology but it has not been a focal point or a core service to the loan manufacturing process. That's my opinion as a whole.
2021 and 2022 was a time in which we were throwing bodies at problems and it almost made the technology adoption take a backseat. 2022, in my opinion, has been one of those situations where labor cannot just be human capital and the substitute may be technology. At least we found that people are much more open or becoming reliant on some of the newer technologies. For us, point-of-sale technology and CRM technology had been more received with eyes wide open. That's what I'm hoping lasts a little bit longer.
In our company, at least at AnnieMac, forecasting was done at an all-time sophistication level. I don't think we've ever forecasted as well as we do where we're using third-party forecasting, measuring to that and doing actuals. That level of sophistication has increased for us as well. Those are the two things that I, at least, hope for going into 2023.
When times are tough, that's when people are willing to adapt and change. The mortgage industry is tough. We have a great opportunity to the adoption of technology that we haven't seen in the past.
When times are tough, that's when people are willing to adopt and change.
We'll end on this note. You're a sports fan. I know you didn't want to talk too much about Ohio Sports but Ohio State has a good football program. This will drop after they have played the game but they're playing Georgia on New Year's Eve. They're playing in Atlanta if I'm not mistaken. I want to talk a little bit about your charity. Before I do, I'm going to plug my own. Our company charity is Freedom Service Dogs of America. It is a charity in which the foundation will train dogs to become service dogs and at least our dogs have been paired with veterans who suffer from PTSD.
The stories are amazing. It's great. We do an annual dog funding. We sometimes sponsor up to 2 or 3 dogs a year. The stories are amazing. I'm going to go with Georgia here because our foundation is service dogs. You're an Ohio girl so I'm going to let you take Ohio State. Talk about your charity a little bit and then we're going to have a little wager. If Georgia wins, you're going to make a contribution to my charity, Freedom Service Dogs of America. If Ohio State has the upset here, I'm going to contribute to your charity. I want you to tell us a little bit about that charity.
I'm going to focus on where my passion is and that's the community where I grew up. I feel like that community molded and shaped me. I do this anonymously and I doubt that anyone will read this is impacted but I have an informal called Shoes and Clothes for Shenandoah. Shenandoah is the name of the grade school and high school that I went to. I have been fortunate to be able to give back to that community through the school. My aunt is a retired school teacher. She still goes in, substitutes, teaches and is actively involved.
She seeks out children who are in need in that school system so that we are able to help them, whether it's with clothing, food and glasses but that's where my passion is. I'm giving back to that community and helping children see that they have the ability to grow and they don't have to feel trapped in a lot of sad situations that we confront with that. I will be happy to take your money as a contribution to those children. I have a little bit of confidence that Ohio State's going to pull it off.
I'm pulling for Ohio State after that. What was the name of the district again?
Noble Local School District. It's the grade school and the high school. We informally call it Shoes and Clothes for Shenandoah.
I am going to be cheering for Ohio State and making the contribution. Thank you so much, Jodi. I appreciate that. That's a wonderful charity. I appreciate your time. It's always insightful. I promise you we're going to keep it under an hour. I could have talked to you for multiple hours. I appreciate your time, friendship and partnership. You've been so additive to me, some of my staff members and our organization over the years. I wish you nothing but the best. Thank you so much for your time. We will talk soon.
Thank you so much, Craig. I enjoyed it. Anytime, I'm always happy to talk Ohio State football and the mortgage industry and hopefully, make a lasting impact in the industry that you and I are passionate about working in.
Thank you so much.
- Nationwide Mortgage Bankers
- Freedom Service Dogs of America
- Noble Local School District
About Jodi Hall
Jodi Hall is the President of Nationwide Mortgage Bankers (NMB). She utilizes 20+ years of leadership experience to establish short and long-term goals, oversees strategic planning, assures operational efficiency, and champions organization-wide projects for the Fastest Growing Mortgage Company in America, per Inc 5000.
Jodi is responsible for the overall success of NMB. She is a thought leader in not only mortgages, but in mortgage technology—being named an Elite Woman by Mortgage Professional America “MPA” in 2021. Recently she was appointed to the Seton Hall University Customer Experience Advisory Board and is an active member and contributor of The Mortgage Collaborative. Her vision is to build a different type of mortgage company rooted in culture and powered by technology. She believes the journey starts and ends with great people who share a passion for helping the communities they serve.
She embodies NMB’s core values and has led the company to be awarded in the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America for three consecutive years, gained a spot in Crain’s New York Business, Crain’s Fast 50!, attained Great Place to Work® Certification in 2020 + 2021, and has claimed several spots in Fortune Magazine’s lists of Best Workplaces.
Jodi is motivated by her desire to mentor the next generation of mortgage professionals who will lead the industry into the future.