Lenders One is all set to hold this year’s L1 Summit, which will be held in Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas, Nevada. The summit is designed to be a networking event for players of all sizes in the industry who want to pick each other’s brains and see how they can help each other navigate the challenges of the times. Joining us in the podcast today is Tricia Migliazzo, SVP of Origination Sales at Lenders One, tells us what we can expect from this well-attended annual summit. She also tells us how Lenders One helps its members navigate the current state of the market, reduce costs, and operate more competitively.
Watch the episode here
Lenders One And The Upcoming L1 Summit 2023 With Tricia Migliazzo
I’m excited to have a very dear friend joining me, Tricia Migliazzo. She’s the Senior Vice President, Origination and Sales at Lenders One Mortgage Cooperative. Tricia has over two decades of mortgage banking experience. She leads the company’s Membership Sales and Marketing for Lenders One and its Origination Solutions. Tricia, there is so much we could talk about you. You were at the MBA. You’ve been with Lenders One before. You’ve played many leadership roles in the industry. Welcome to the show.
Thank you, David. You’re so kind as always. It’s so good to talk with you, my friend. I appreciate it.
Joining as our co-host is Marc Helm. Marc, thanks for joining in on the interview.
I’m glad to be here, David. Thank you.
Tricia, you got some big news going on. Let’s start by talking about Lenders One as an organization. We talk about Lenders One on this show, but for those that might not know about Lenders One, tell us a little bit about what Lenders One is and about.
First off, thank you for having me. It’s been a while and I’m thankful to stop and be able to have this dialogue with you and share our story with your audience. I appreciate it. Lenders One has been around for twenty-plus years. I started off with the Stern brothers. I think many remember Scott Stern, Tim Stern, and their friend Barry Sandweiss. They had this vision to bring a cooperative approach to the mortgage industry, and they did a wonderful job.
We had a great family of folks there that grew membership. They helped our members with our core mission which still stands now of helping our members overall to increase their profitability by providing great resources, products, services, and technology. We help our members have a higher gain in sales and overall help their business. We’re thrilled to have this great value proposition. It’s definitely expansive. It has grown, especially in this current market environment where they need to cut costs.
I remember when the Stern brothers started this. When it started out, there was a general cost savings realization that’s still there, but it has grown to be much more. One of the things that are most significant is the peer conversations, talking to lenders of like size with like challenges. Talk a little bit about that and then I’m going to toss it over to Marc.
That’s a big part of what we do. We have networking groups. We’re all meeting in person at our conference, which is upcoming. I can talk a little bit more about that. That’s coming up in March. We’re all going to meet in person and what the members like to do. They’ve always done it this way for twenty-plus years.
We would put them in similar-size groups based on origination volume or their profiles, whether they’re community banks or credit unions. We have members that moderate those sessions. They walk in with all the talking points that they want to focus on. We’ll be there knocking on the door going, “Guys, it’s time.” They’re like, “No, we want to keep talking. There’s so much to talk about.”
That’s tough, especially in a year like this. We’ve just come out of the year previous. We’re already in the first quarter. I can only imagine there are going to be so many of us coming together. That’s good.
It’s constant and it goes on throughout the year. We’ll have members reach out to us on all different topics, whether it’s repurchase or whatever that topic is. You’ll have someone from California who’s running ops or who’s their general counsel or who’s their CFO. We connect our members together. That’s the beauty and the power of the partnership in action. Networking is second to none.
I’m a big believer in communication is everything in life and you have a wonderful organization. I hear nothing but good things out of it. I want to talk to you a little bit about the members a little bit more. How do you make sure you’re meeting the needs of a lender and talking about the right things at the conference? That’s important to people who attend to know how you gather data and intelligence gathering.
What are you hearing from members? I know all the members nowadays are probably talking about the market being down. It’s tough to make money. They’re losing money and all that. You have to be the one that analyzes all that to make sure you are delivering what the members need. What’s your philosophy internally in doing that?
We have an advisory council made up of sixteen members that are leaders. We have a lot of ongoing dialogue with them. We have a great sales team and we’re always in communication with them on what the hot topics are and what’s important to them, which helps shape and build it. We have a strong and very good agenda in terms of content based on what the members want us to talk about, whether it’s servicing-related.
We have Seth Sprague who is going to be speaking to the membership on servicing issues. We have a PhD economist talking about the market outlook. We have benchmarking data that Marina Walsh with the MBA will be sharing. That’s important. The MBA is doing a great job in compiling and sharing and presenting that data. That’s what the members want to see, hear, and talk about.
We have an M&A panel. Everyone knows our friends Garth Graham and Brett from Sterling. We have a buyer and seller from our membership that will be represented on that panel. There’s going to be lots of discussion around M&A. We have a GSE panel with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. DC Update, Brian Montgomery and Scott Olson of CHLA, and Justin Wiseman with MBA are talking about what’s going on in the policy realm. That’s very important as well.
Technology ROI. Are they spending too much or not enough? What does that look like especially when they’re looking at their balance sheets so closely? We have Kristin Messerli and Katherine Campbell from Assurance, the Chief Digital Officer. They’re going to be presenting, and then members are looking at different strategies and getting into diverse markets.
We have Tony Thompson from NAMMBA. He’ll be presenting with Keith Canter with First Community Mortgage and Kiran Shah with First Option. They’re going to share their strategies and how they’ve been successful in that area. Another topic that was interesting and different that we haven’t done before is credit verification strategies to save money. We have some members that are owners and leaders that are going to be talking as well around that.
I think I covered most of it, but a big one was pulling in our friends, Michael McAuley and Joe Garrett. They’re going to have a keynote spot on the ten things that you must do. They’ve done some things for us like the Seven Things You Must Not Do. He’ll probably lead in a lot of that. I talked with Mike and we have Rob Chrisman there. We have Mitchel Kider and Ari Karen, and a lot of legal compliance and fair lending discussion. This was all tailored around what the members asked us to put together in terms of an agenda. It’s all member feedback, which is built around what their needs are.
One of the things you’re talking about is the rising costs. Something that is hitting everyone right in the face right now is the credit report costs. They have risen significantly in 2023. How are you helping your members with cost savings, especially when it comes to this topic?
The good news is we launched our own credit agency L1 Credit. The timing was perfect, but we only serve our members in the cooperative. We don’t have thousands of clients. It’s very focused on membership solely. Our members are leveraging their membership and maximizing their membership to help them cut costs. Primarily right now in this area, they’re sending us all their January invoices with the new FICO charges that effective on January 1 have caused tremendous increases in their billing. They are now receiving their January bills.
We have a team of great folks that do the critical thorough analysis of those complex credit reports. We have a pipeline right now of over 100 members that are sharing with us some information. We’re doing a deep dive into all their expenses and then we are coming back with a cost-savings proposal for them. That has been a key focus because the members need those savings. It has been gratifying to share with them, “We’ll be able to save you this amount and we’ll annualize it.” It’s big dollars in terms of savings. That’s how we’re doing our part in helping serve the industry to make as big a financial impact on their bottom line as we can.
You’re doing the free cost-saving analysis. Is it just only in the area of credit reports or is it across the board or virtually all their costs?
We’re looking at credit reports, verification products, and fraud products. Those are the primary ones that we’re looking at. Fraud products are important. We had a member who said, “I have 300 LOs.” We pay out of pocket for pre-communication. That’s part of a benefit of Lenders One. You get pre-communication for all your LOs. We took that ginormous bill and submitted it for 2023 for them.
Anywhere we can, our team goes in and we spend a lot of time in their offices to meet with their key personnel and walk through the benefits. We socialize what we have in terms of the overall value proposition and they tell us, “This is where we need some help. This is where we can cut costs for you.” We have that dialogue and they set the sequence for us in terms of where they want to start utilizing the membership, and we go from there.
I got a follow-up question about that. When you’re talking to lenders about credit, fraud, flood, verifications, etc., are you able to bring pricing to the table where the smaller members benefit from the pricing that bigger members get? How does that work exactly?
As I said, we have a very diverse group of members, $100 million to almost $100 billion in annual volume. Community banks, credit unions, and independent mortgage banks in all shapes and sizes with different channels and delivery types. We are extremely competitive. Whether you’re big, small, or in between, we own our credit agencies so we’re able to help them cut costs. It’s significant no matter what size you are.Whether you're big, small, or in between, Lenders One will help you cut costs significantly. Click To Tweet
Anyone that’s out there that would like to test this theory or talk with any of our members, we have a lot of great testimonials from our members with customer service and savings opportunities. It is a great benefit. We don’t discriminate based on size at all. We’re seeing some significant savings across the board.
I salute you on the way you’re doing that because the failure of a lot of organizations, particularly trade organizations, is not focusing on the members and delivering benefits to the members. It seems like you guys have a very good handle on that and look out for the best interest of the members and offer them new and creative things to do to reduce costs and do a better job in the marketplace now. I salute you for that.
I appreciate that. I do want to mention that we have 90-plus partners as well. We announced matchbox with Frank Fiore. We have 90-plus partners that we negotiated on our memberships’ behalf to recognize our members for additional discounts and price points on all the products and services that they provide. David is a partner of ours. We have dismal partners. Not only are we providing solutions through our technology, our credit agency, and our business, but we have a very large community of partners that are part of the Lenders One family that also recognize our members for those discounts that they need.
I’m excited about matchbox joining the family of providers because Frank Fiore has been such a dear friend for many years. I have so much respect for what he and his team does. You have selected the best of class and the best of the breed. That brings us to the question, how do you select the various members, whether it be the lender’s side or the other side? Give us some insight into what goes into that. It is a bit of an exclusive club. There is a lot of inclusion, but what are your criteria?
A lot of times our members will say, “We are working with this particular company. They’re fantastic.” For example, Frank has helped us with a ton of encompass customization and we get the proof of concept validated from our members. We have an extensive selection process. We don’t just bring anyone into the cooperative without full vetting and having a lot of dialogue with our membership. It’s important to us and to our members. It’s a lot of dialogue and vetting. It’s a lot of conversations. We have a good strong overall coverage that touches on all disciplines of mortgage banking when you look at our partnerships and all the areas of mortgage banking that they cover.
It’s time for the L1 Summit 2023. We’re all going to be able to get together. It’s the biggest event of the year. I’m excited about what you have in store for us. You’ve already touched on some of the speakers and some of the events. Let’s get a little bit more into that. Our good buddy, Rob, is going to be speaking there and participating in it. Joe and Mike do a great job always. It’ll be fun to listen to them.
There are lots of great industry leaders that are speaking, and all the relevant timely topics. I don’t think I mentioned James Brody. He’s awesome. Repurchase is a big hot topic. He did a webinar for us and we had record attendance. He’ll be speaking along with Sue Melnick. We like bringing in our members to speak on those panels too. She’s with Bay Equity. She’s their General Counsel and COO or Chief Compliance Officer.
It’s going to be great and we have great attendance. We launched this early on so we had a lot of our members sign up early and it’s a great value. Everything is included in the cost of membership. All your drinks, meals, transportation, and everything are included. The value is important now when people are deciding on where their travel and lodging dollars are going as they’re looking at 2023 events.
That is exciting. We have Molly Bloom from Molly’s Game. The real Molly. She is going to be speaking. If anyone hasn’t seen the movie, it’s a great movie. It’s a true story based on her crazy story. She’ll be speaking. We’re doing cars and karaoke at the Shelby Museum. We’re bowling and skating together. What I love about our summit is it’s a family and no one veers off. There aren’t any splinter groups.
There aren’t any people that come that aren’t registered that try and hang out in the lobby. It’s nothing like that. Everyone sticks together. It’s a family and it’s going to be great. It’s March 5th through 8th in Vegas at Red Rock Resort, which is about 15 minutes outside the strip. We would love to have you come. Anyone that’s interested, just reach out. We would love to talk through that with you.
I will be there. I am looking forward to it a lot. Marc has been there with me in the past. For the vendors that are there, even for the lender members, on Monday afternoons, you have the ability to interact with those partners. I love this program. Talk a little bit about how you can meet each one of them in the marketplace.
It’s our L1 connection hall. We have had this since the inception of Lenders One and it’s an attraction to our conference. Not only are the networking group sessions great, but it’s the Connection Hall as well. When the members register, they have a dropdown of all the partners that we have that are part of our community and they select who they would like to meet with. Especially our new partners, they all want to meet and have some dialogue and interface with them.
Prior to the event, we have this technology and we do all the matching. We send our partners a list of who they’ll meet with like this speed dating atmosphere. We provide all of the booths and the signage. You just come and bring yourself and your knowledge. You sit down and you got your agenda, your calendar, and also your scheduled meetings. It’s fun. We have Rob Chrisman. He emcees the whole Connection Hall for us.
We got a videographer. He’s doing interviews. You’re doing interviews. We have bars and drinks. It’s a good time when everyone is meeting and everyone is in there. There’s so much conversation. It’s so funny because everyone knows each other there for the most part. It’s like friends coming together and having great discussions. It’s Monday afternoon and good business gets done as well.
It becomes a family.
The format is excellent. The last time I attended, it was very informative because we had an opportunity to hear what the people there we were meeting with cared about and what they wanted to know about. You could tell a lot of them were searching for solutions, and that’s what it’s all about.
I can’t wait to see you there, Tricia, and see all the Lenders One family. Thank you so much for taking a few minutes of sharing that with us. There are still reservations available. This is a well-attended event.
Yes. I’m so glad. Our lender-to-vendor ratio is awesome. It’s about 50-50, and what we always aspire to be at. We look at the reports every day and we keep adding more and more as we’re getting closer to our room clock expiring. We’re thrilled with the attendance and it’s an exciting event that everyone can’t wait to get together and be with each other. There’s a lot to talk about and what’s going on. People want to be together and share challenges and solutions, and come together and see what they could do to help each other and support each other truly.People want to be together and share challenges, share solutions, and see what they can do to help and support each other. Click To Tweet
That’s what this is all about. It is truly great coming together and working with each other. A truly collaborative effort. It’s a wonderful job. I’m looking forward to seeing you there. I am looking forward to seeing all the family. Thanks, again, for taking the time to come on the show. Marc, thanks for being here. I appreciate it as well.
Thank you both. I appreciate it. I’ll see you soon, my friend.
I am looking forward to it very much. Thank you.
- Lenders One Mortgage Cooperative
- First Community Mortgage
- First Option
- Bay Equity
About Tricia Migliazzo
Tricia Migliazzo is Senior Vice President, Origination Sales at Lenders One® Mortgage Cooperative. Tricia has over two decades of mortgage banking experience, she leads the company’s membership sales and marketing for Lenders One and its origination solutions. Prior to joining Lenders One in 2021, Tricia served as Vice President of Membership at the Mortgage Bankers Association for 8 years. She developed a member engagement strategy and formed and lead a Strategic Member Relations team that developed, strengthened, and managed relationships with senior executives at the Association’s member companies to maximize the value of their MBA membership. She grew the association with an impressive addition of nearly 750 member companies in her tenure.
Prior to joining MBA, Tricia served for seven years as Director of Business Development for Lenders One/Altisource Portfolio Solutions. During her leadership, she grew the cooperative by recruiting 50% of its total membership and adding investor partners while influencing program and product utilization for increased revenue growth. Prior to joining Lenders One in 2006, Tricia was Director of Operations/Business Development at a mid-size national retail independent mortgage bank, and she also held positions in finance and administration in the health care industry. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree with a focus in Management from the University of Missouri.