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Navigating the Mortgage Industry: Why Independent Mortgage Brokers (IMB™) is a Game-Changer for Loan Officers

June 6, 2024

Ryan Davis, with over 22 years of experience in the mortgage industry, shares his journey through both mortgage banking and brokering. His experiences, from dealing with outdated technology to facing challenges in both captive mortgage banking and brokerage environments, led to the creation of IMB. Davis’s mission has always been to provide exceptional service, support, and competitive rates. IMB was founded to blend the best of both worlds, offering unmatched customer service, advanced technology, and a strong sense of community for loan officers. Discover how IMB is revolutionizing the mortgage industry for professionals like you.


Ryan Davis – Hello, my name is Ryan Davis with Independent Mortgage Brokers (IMB™). I wanted to talk to you today about my experience in mortgage banking and brokering over the last 22 years and why we created Independent Mortgage Brokers.

I owned a brokerage company back in 2007-2009. At that time, the technology wasn’t there. You couldn’t talk to underwriters directly, and a lot of the fundings weren’t smooth. I decided to go to the captive mortgage banking side, and I was there for 10 years. However, the problem I faced, and I’m not sure if you resonate with this or if this sounds like your story, but I would be sold on great rates, great customer service, and quick turn times. Then, about 6 to 12 months after I was at the company, the rates would start going up. I don’t know if it was the branch manager or the company, but it felt like they knew they had your database. You had already told all of your referral partners that you were there, and it was almost a business model. Each of the companies I worked for, after 6 months, the rates would go up and inevitably, they would also start cutting pay.

The straw that broke the camel’s back for me wasn’t the pay or the service. It was that I was losing too many deals to my competitors. Our rates were anywhere between a half-point to a full point out, and I was losing credibility with my referral partners, my realtors, and my clients. I felt like I needed to give the broker world another shot. When I went to work for another brokerage company, I faced a different set of problems than I did in 2007-2009. The customer service, support, speed, and technology had all been remedied. The problem was, I was on an island. There was no community, no training. It was, “Here are 50 lenders, here are your logins, go.”

When we started IMB™, we wanted to take the best from both worlds. Our vision is that customer service and support are number one. What good are great rates and pay if you can’t close on time and you don’t have that support? We’ve created a portal that has all 50 of our lenders. We rank them from best to worst and provide a link to their turn times, their overlays, and what you need to know about that lender to mitigate any downsides because no lender is perfect. It shows what they do best and what they don’t do best, helping our loan officers know where to send what.

We also have lender summaries that are very granular, detailing all the different policies and programs that a loan officer or a processor would need to know. Our portal has a search capability where you can search any lender in combination with a policy or program to see whether or not it will work for your scenario. The portal provides our loan officers a way to know where to send what. We also have program matrices and a Slack-like chat community where everyone is chatting and helping one another. This creates a sense of community where everyone supports each other by sharing best practices, marketing and sales information, program knowledge, and which lenders are their favorite and which ones might not be.

We have top-graded all the lenders out there. We rank them, and every month if turn times change or a lender is a little slower, we update our community to protect your reputation. We also offer training. We have a ton of videos in our portal library, covering everything you need to know about sales, realtors, programs in the broker world—all within the portal. We don’t have mandatory meetings like in the banking world. I had a coffee cup that said, “I survived another meeting that should have been an email.” If you can’t attend the meeting, no problem. We record all of them and post them in the portal.

We have two to three socials per year to maintain that face-to-face community as well. We’re licensed in about 12 to 15 states and working on three more right now. We have 50 different lenders, and on average, our rates are around half a point or more better, and we pay roughly 50% more. In Denver, Colorado, that’s about $3,000 more per deal.

What’s great about the broker world is that you are in charge of your commission. If you need to make less to win a deal, you can do that. That’s called borrower-paid commission. Instead of getting paid by the lender at 200 basis points, we charge a low flat fee to our loan officer. You can charge the client an origination fee to win the deal. So, there’s no more begging management and your lock desk for price exceptions. You are in charge of your book of business and how to price it. If you’re trying to win that new realtor or this is a really important client, you can make less on the deal by charging them an origination fee.

The way borrower-paid commission works is different from lender-paid commission. You’re charging the borrower an origination fee but typically getting a lender credit that helps offset that. Technically, the lender credit covers closing costs, third-party closing costs, and prepaids, but it makes the cash to close more palatable. Borrower-paid commission typically results in rates being about half a point to a full point lower than the average mortgage banking company.

At IMB™, our values are first and foremost service and support, then providing the best rate to our borrowers, and offering the best pay possible to our loan officers. This way, we can put more money into the borrower’s pocket and the loan officer’s pocket. Since we started IMB™, the customer support and service we’ve received from our lenders and account executives has been amazing. We can still close in two weeks, do TBD underwrites, and talk directly to underwriters at most of the banks we work with. We’ve negotiated that they allow us to balance a final CD with title prior to a clear to close, and we have no funding authorization.

Many loan officers fear they’ll be on an island with no training or support and won’t be able to close their loans on time, but nothing could be further from the truth. Right now, the market is relatively slow, but these account executives bend over backwards for you. At IMB™, we have many managers and levels of support, between the digital community with our portal and the other owners and managers. We understand you’re only as good as your last loan and that trust is the currency in which we trade every day. First and foremost, the support and service levels are what IMB™ values.

This video explains my history in the industry and our vision when we set out to create IMB™. Thank you.

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  • Chris Burgess ★★★★★ 2 weeks ago
    I will say joining Independent Mortgage Brokers has been one of the best choices I have made in my mortgage career. Coming from the the direct lender world to broker … read more was definitely a leap of faith, and IMB has not disappointed. The ease of working with Ryan and the team, the fantastic loan options, and the ability to choose what is best for clients has been nothing but mind blowing.
    Thanks for bringing me on and I am very happy to be hear.

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