Movement Mortgage was founded in 2008 with a mission to create a “movement of change” in the mortgage industry after one of the hardest financial episodes in American history. This mindset is still present today, as they continue to move forward to tackle some of the biggest problems in the industry today. Montell Watson, director of diversity lending at Movement Mortgage, sat down with HousingWire to talk about one of their newest programs, Grab the Key, explaining the history and goals of the program.
HousingWire: Can you share the history behind Grab the Key and how it got started?
Montell Watson: Grab the Key started as an educational and awareness video for the industry to share at large. Movement Mortgage wanted to bring awareness to the history of racial inequities within our industry while highlighting the many people who risked their life for equality in housing to ensure all people have the chance of grabbing the keys of homeownership. Grab the Key is now a program at Movement designed to make homeownership a reality for more Black Americans.
HW: What are some of the specific goals within Movement Mortgage to help close that gap in homeownership and how does this relate to Grab the Key?
MW: Movement Mortgage wants to make homeownership attainable for everyone. We have a goal of increasing our market share within diverse communities along with bringing more diverse loan officers into the industry.
HW: What moment stood out to you about the Grab the Key event?
MW: One thing that stood out was how the community rallied around the event. It showed there is a need to get into the actual communities at large to breakdown the misconceptions and build trust.
HW: What do you hope future Grab the Key events accomplish?
MW: We hope Grab the Key helps thousands of people to take their next step towards homeownership. This may look different for each person, but we want everyone to know that no matter the pathway, Movement will be walking beside them to shepherd the way.
HW: If you were sitting in a room full of LOs and agents, what is one thing you would want them to understand when it comes to minority homeownership?
MW: Treat each person that you encounter on their homeownership journey as if they are your mother, father, or close family member. Approaching with a loving mentality first can change the life of one person who we might overlook in a normal scenario. Giving them some extra guidance on what to do to prepare can be a game changer.
HW: Is there anything else you would like to add?
MW: In the next few decades, minorities within our country will be the majority. As lenders we need to start now in meeting diverse markets where they are and ensuring we are doing everything possible to make homeownership available for all people. Homeownership changes lives.
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