This week’s HW+ member spotlight features Nicollette Chapman, who serves as vice president of the mortgage division at Zonda. With more than 20 years of industry experience, Chapman has also held leadership roles at AmeriFirst Financial, Clear Title Agency of Arizona, and First American Financial Corporation.
Below, Chapman answers questions about the housing industry:
HousingWire: What were some of your biggest takeaways from last year’s HW Annual event? Why do you think people should attend HW Annual this year?
Nicollette Chapman: Last year’s HousingWire event provided an outstanding opportunity to network and learn from some of the industry’s best leaders. I appreciate HousingWire’s diversity in approaching all sides of real estate, from technology to economics. There is always an opportunity to learn and grow.
HousingWire: What is your current favorite HW+ article and why?
Nicollette Chapman: “Some lenders won’t survive the purchase mortgage market of 2022” by Flavia Furlan Nunez.
HousingWire: What has been one of the biggest learning opportunities in your career?
Nicollette Chapman: One of my first jobs in the real estate industry was working as a business development representative for a title company. It was 2000, and the real estate market was fairly uneventful – rates were around 8% and house prices were affordably flat. And then, in the blink of an eye, 9/11 happened. Rates dropped to historic lows, and suddenly every title company in town was overwhelmed with both refinance and purchase business.
I was called into my boss’ office, where he said to me, “Nicollette, we don’t need sales people anymore. We have more business than we can handle. We need escrow officers.” My response to him was, “Okay, then teach me how to be an escrow officer.”
Having learned the importance of being able to quickly pivot in order to meet the needs of the market so early in my career was an incredible opportunity.
HousingWire: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Nicollette Chapman: Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. This rings true in all aspects of life – planning allows you to make room for the most important parts of your day (and life!) to occur.
HousingWire: What do you think will be the big themes for the housing market in 2022?
Nicollette Chapman: Affordability and rising interest rates. Rates have risen more than 2 full percentage points, yet housing prices continue to rise. As I have discussions with builders, lenders, and real estate agents, there is universal concern as to how much more the market can bear before prices begin to decline.
HousingWire: What’s one thing that people aren’t paying attention to that you think they should be paying attention to?
Nicollette Chapman: I speak with lenders all the time on how critical it is for mortgage companies to work with builders. Why? With resale inventory shockingly low, 1 out of 3 single family homes for sale is new construction. Essentially, if lenders aren’t working with builders, they are actively turning away 33% of purchase deals. Lenders need to pivot and re-invest the fruits of 2021 into a sustainable source of referral business, and builders offer that opportunity.
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