He credited industry veterans Evan Wade and Anthony Casa with helping him make the plunge, each showing him exactly what needed to be done. “It was alarming the difference between retail and wholesale,” he recalled. “The difference in rates, costs, flexibility, things that could be done and things I could not, etc. My transition was probably easier in the fact I had those resources to rely on.”
He credited Wade and Casa with giving him a primer on compliance and state regulations, along with introductions to key people as a send-off of sorts into the world of wholesale.
Today, his 12-person Mortgage Nerds LLC firm is thriving, with expansion into five more states – Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Texas and Iowa – expected to be completed this week. Wisconsin proved a solid hub from which to launch, ironically given the state requirement of a $100,000 minimum net worth to become a broker – a far cry from the $10,000-$15,000 required in other states. With the high requirement long met, he won’t need to meet additional financial thresholds in the five other states, he noted.
The state also proved a stable training ground, with house appreciation at around 6% to 8% annually – not at the higher-end states reaching double-digit value increases that threaten to erode affordability for first-time homebuyers. Cox said he likes the idea of bringing people into the expanded firm as brokers without having to worry about additional financial requirements.
To alert consumers, Mortgage Nerds has a robust marketing department that also contains a library of unique gifs. “We’re well known for marketing,” Cox said. “I tell people we’re a marketing company that happens to do mortgages. We stand out by having our own unique gifs and shooting thousands of videos a year. Our goal is to make sure that, in our communities, they know that we’re the local experts. When they think of mortgages, we want them to think of us.”