The HousingWire Awards Spotlight Series highlights individuals and organizations recognized through the Editors' Choice Awards. HousingWire's His 2024 Nominations Women of Influence Award Currently open until May 31, 2024. click here to nominate someone.

HousingWire's Women of Influence Awards have become one of the housing industry's most prestigious honors, honoring women leaders in the housing industry from a wide range of backgrounds. With each recipient bringing their own experiences, skills and perspectives, this award reflects the richness of talent that women leaders have contributed to the housing sector.

Women like Agnes Standowicz United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM). Ms. Standowicz was named to the 2023 Impact Award for her leadership and commitment to ensuring that UWM's loans are processed accurately, quickly and consistently, as well as her ability to increase UWM's internal and external operational efficiencies. Chosen by a woman. When Standowicz joined her UWM in 2013, she was on the insurance company's team of about 100 people. Today, UWM is the nation's No. 1 lender, and she has nearly 2,000 team members in underwriting and aggregation operations.

HousingWire reached out to Standowicz to learn more about his path to his current role at UWM and the strategies and tools he uses to keep his team running smoothly.


HousingWire: Can you tell us your story and how you got into the world of loan processing and underwriting?

Agnes Standwitz: I started the mortgage process during my last year of college when I was hired to answer the phones at a small brokerage firm. I stayed after graduation and started learning more about the loan process and eventually became a loan processor. From there, I wanted to learn everything I could about the mortgage process. It didn't take long for me to join a mortgage company and become an underwriter. Back in 2013, I joined UWM as his FHA senior underwriting writer and quickly rose through the ranks to become an underwriting leader, leading the underwriting group to ensure loans were processed accurately, quickly, and consistently. I taught. I absolutely love underwriting and am so proud to have contributed to UWM's impressive growth. When I first started, we were a small lender with about 100 underwriters. Today, we are the nation's number one lender, and as we continue to grow, our underwriting team members are rapidly approaching 2,000.

HousingWire: Can you share some insight into your leadership approach and how it has impacted UWM's operational efficiency?

Agnes Standwitz: One of the most important tactics I use when leading a team is maintaining a continuous improvement mindset. At UWM, we strongly believe in finding ways to improve every day and always strive to be the best version of ourselves. I empower my team to constantly collaborate, try new things, and discover out-of-the-box solutions that create better processes. We use all the feedback we receive to ensure we capture every opportunity, big or small. This has allowed us to fine-tune our underwriting process, contributing to our industry-leading turn times and high Net Promoter Score (+87.7 year-to-date).

HousingWire: What role do you think technology will play in the future of underwriting and customer service in the mortgage industry?

Agnes Standwitz: Technology already plays a huge role in who we are at UWM and what we can accomplish, and we can only see this trend continuing. Every lender in the country operates under the same set of guidelines, so it's important to find a different way to stay in the minds of customers and borrowers. This is where technology comes into play. Technology is key to creating an optimized underwriting process, resulting in an overall faster, easier, and cheaper loan experience. Additionally, advances in technology have led to the development of more effective techniques to provide first-class customer service, increasing borrower satisfaction. UWM recognizes the vital role of technology in our industry. That's why our in-house IT team meticulously builds and implements customized tools to precisely meet our clients' needs and our own business goals.

For example, BOLT is a self-service mortgage underwriting platform that gives UWM partners the ability to get first-time approvals for qualified borrowers in as little as 15 minutes, giving them greater speed, certainty, and control. In terms of client experience, UWM Memory Maker is a unique tool that gives our broker partners the option to send personalized thank-you gifts to their borrowers and real estate partners in just a few clicks directly from the loan closing screen.

HousingWire: How do you stay current on industry trends and regulations to ensure compliance and adaptability in your underwriting practices?

Agnes Standwitz: A large part of how my team and I stay on top of the latest changes in the industry comes from our Credit Policy team. They provide a foundation of knowledge that allows us to continually monitor industry trends and stay at the forefront of industry news, ensuring our practices are always informed, relevant and compliant. You're doing a great job of making sure that you're doing that. Another major contributor is the underwriting training team. Our entire underwriting team is trained daily on the latest information, changes and regulatory changes occurring in the industry. UWM has an award-winning training team that does an excellent job of effectively communicating complex concepts, ensuring we have the expertise to meet the needs of an ever-changing mortgage environment.

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