This week’s HW+ member spotlight features Shant Banosian, executive vice president of sales at Guaranteed Rate. Banosian broke a new record this year, topping his record-setting 2020 and funding a whopping $2 billion in total origination volume, which is believed to be a record for a retail loan originator.
According to HousingWire’s most recent coverage, Banosian, who has several dozen team members, has funded over $7 billion loans throughout his career, and has been with Guaranteed Rate for over 14 years.
Below, Banosian answers questions about the housing industry:
HousingWire: To start off, what is your current favorite HW+ article?
Shant Banosian: HW+ has been a huge asset to me over the past two years. When the pandemic first started, people were really looking for information on what was happening with housing. At that point, I started doing Facebook lives to update my network and connections on what I was seeing in the market.
We still do those updates today, about once per week, so having access to HW+ is so helpful. Specifically, I like to read the articles by Lead Analyst Logan Mohtashami. His articles always dive into all sorts of housing and mortgage data, which helps me keep a pulse on where the market is at and where it may be headed.
HousingWire: What has been the most useful tech tool for you?
Shant Banosian: There are a few tools my team and I use to make our days more efficient. We use the Teams app to stay in constant communication with each other. We use Shared Email Templates to quickly send formatted emails to clients and partners throughout the day. And finally, we use our digital mortgage app at Guaranteed Rate, which helps us stay on top of loans even when we are on the go.
HousingWire: What has been one of your biggest learning opportunities?
Shant Banosian: I think 2020 was a huge learning opportunity not just for myself and my team, but for the industry. The way we did things was forced to change, pretty much overnight. I think the industry did a great job of quickly pivoting to technology to be able to close loans when the world shut down. I think the quick adaptation of technology moved our industry forward years and has definitely had an impact on how I embrace new technology today.
HousingWire: When do you feel success in your job?
Shant Banosian: I’m working on the business, not just in the business. While so much of our time as loan originators is spent talking to clients, working on deals, etc., my favorite part of what I do is working with a CEO mindset. Taking clarity breaks, thinking about the future of the business, coming up with ways to stay ahead of the competition, and figuring out ways to be more efficient and more innovative.
HousingWire: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Shant Banosian: My dad taught me there’s always something you can be doing and no second should be wasted. I’ve taken this advice with me all the way through my career. Everyday I’m up at 4 AM and start the day by reading, meditating, and getting a workout in. This routine sets me up for success each day before heading to the office, where my day is scheduled down to the minute.
HousingWire: What are 2-3 trends that you’re closely following?
- Second home markets. They have been on the rise since the start of the pandemic and are up about 20% in the last year.
- Exurbs (areas a little further out than the suburbs): We started seeing a rise in home prices here as buyers got priced out of the suburbs. I think with the new variants and companies extending work from home, people are still migrating further out from the cities to find a home that meets their needs.
- The utilization of artificial intelligence within the mortgage industry to make client experience better and close loans faster.
HousingWire: What keeps you up at night and why?
Shant Banosian: Nothing keeps me up at night. This business is ever evolving and we certainly face new challenges every day. However, we love those challenges — it keeps the business fun and ever evolving.
HousingWire: What do you think will be the big themes for the housing market in 2022?
Shant Banosian: I think we will have another intense spring market filled with bidding wars and lots of competition. Inventory is low and demand is high. Additionally, rents are on the rise. Another big theme I think we will see in 2022 is cash-out refinances leading the way from a refinance standpoint. People have a lot of equity in their homes and borrowing costs are cheap. With rising inflation, I think we will see people take advantage of the cash they have in their home equity.
Finally, this will be the first year without government stimulus impacting the financial markets, so we will be watching this closely and will see how the economy reacts.
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