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What is a net branch

Learn what a net branch is and how net branches work

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If you're new to the mortgage branch affiliate venue, you're probably asking yourself "What is a net branch and how can it help me"? The answer to that question is as complicated as it is simple. A net branch is like the extended arm of a mortgage company. The mortgage market has grown exponentially in the past and the big fishes have been trying to carve their niche in the national market. The increase in competition has opened the doors for net branch companies.

A mortgage net branch is not a company in the way one would traditionally consider; it is an arrangement through which an established mortgage company offers a franchise (affiliate) to a smaller mortgage company or potential new mortgage office so that the latter can carry out business activities in a particular area. Let's look at an example to clarify this: Assume there is an established mortgage company named ACME Mortgage Company and it is based in Houston Texas with two offices. Now, it is looking to expand its operations so it can originate loans in California and Florida. In order to accomplish this in a financially affordable manner, the TX mortgage company would search for potential partners. These partners will provide a "franchise" to the ACME mortgage company and the existing TX mortgage company will in turn use the partners name and the partner will license the operations. Using this technique, you've now created a net branch relationship in Texas, Florida and California. The established mortgage company is known as the parent, while the franchise company (formerly ACME Mortgage Company) is called the mortgage net branch or Affiliate. These net branches play an important role by letting small mortgage shops expand their market reach and maximize their potential revenue and profits. A mortgage net branch can be a complete company with a team consisting of branch managers, underwriters, and loan officers, or it can be just one single individual or mortgage broker running the business out of a small office.

These working models define the operation of a mortgage net branch and help level the playing field for a small brokerage firm. A net branch can be compared to a turnkey solution. The branch manager is like an entrepreneur who can use their skills and experience in concert with the backing of a major mortgage company or bank to really build a solid business foundation. As a part of the deal, most affiliate branching companies provide all necessary assistance in the form of licenses, training, accounting, etc.

One of the important factors that govern the net branch operations is licensing over multiple states. The parent company will almost always have nationwide licensing that helps their branch operations do business in many states they might not have access to. This helps in streamlining the entire operations of a net branch. The requirements of a license are quite expensive in some states and stringent in others. Hence, most small mortgage firms can't afford it. Becoming a franchise means the net branch has financial backing to expand branch licenses and that helps them to operate in multiple markets with relative ease. For example, a mortgage bank with a HUD Title II license can provide opportunities for Branch Partners in multiple states.

Many net branch/affiliate mortgage programs also include extensive training. Trainings imparts important information regarding processes, legal requirements and other valuable information on originating mortgages, the various types of loans available, the different types of clients, current market conditions, marketing, and so on. Training strengthens the team and equips each branch operation with the ability to handle almost any situation. Training may also include information on FHA/VA governmental loan products, use of technology, and marketing strategy seminars.

Understanding what a net branch is helps prospective mortgage branch managers prepare for the next step in mortgage origination. Hopefully, this overview has provided you with the information you need to make an informed decision about opening a net branch operation.



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