This week’s HW+ member spotlight features Jeff Walker, CEO and co-founder at CredEvolv. Walker has more than three decades of experience in the housing space, and most recently, he launched CredEvolv, a startup that facilitates credit counseling in order to transform borrowers that were declined credit into mortgage-ready leads for lenders. He previously worked at Fannie Mae as senior vice president, chief strategy officer.
Below, Walker answers questions about the housing industry:
HousingWire: To start off, what is your current favorite HW+ article?
Jeff Walker: I love everything Georgia Kromrei is reporting upon in the regulatory and GSE (Fannie/Freddie) space. There is so much uncertainty with the changes at FHFA and within the White House administration and she really helps illuminate the potential risks and implications.
HousingWire: What is your most useful tech tool?
Jeff Walker: Loom Videos! In our work from home reality and everybody running from call to call, I often forgo trying to get everybody on a call at the same time. It just takes so long…so I often record a brief video (my screen and my Face Cam simultaneously) to share ideas and allow teammates and customers to view them on their own time. It’s a great ‘pattern interrupt’ that gets high marks for convenience and engagement.
HousingWire: What is the weirdest job you have ever had?
Jeff Walker: The weirdest job I ever had was consulting with a company that helped companies who were struggling to achieve profitability. One of my jobs was the midnight shift at the largest butchery in Washington D.C. I had to do efficiency studies of the butchers who were cutting up cows and lambs for distribution to local restaurants. I ended up covered in a lot of unsavory meat juice.
HousingWire: What was one of your biggest opportunities in the industry?
Jeff Walker: My biggest learning opportunity was being introduced to Lean Management (the Toyota manufacturing process) when I was leading a sales organization. The lessons I learned about humility, problem solving, scientific thinking and test and learn are with me every day in my role with a fintech startup.
HousingWire: If you were to pick a different career, what would it be?
Jeff Walker: I would be a sommelier. Well, actually I’d just be a wine drinker, but if I could convince people that it was actually a profession, I’d feel less guilty enjoying that second or third glass of red wine.
HousingWire: When do you feel successful in your job?
Jeff Walker: I felt like a success at my job when I coach my team. Reading “Multipliers – How The Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter” changed my life. Buy it, read it, execute it.
HousingWire: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Jeff Walker: The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is “the root of all conflict is unmet expectations.” It drives every aspect of my life and anybody who has spent time with me over the last 15 years would call it the ultimate Jeff-ism.
HousingWire: What keeps you up at night (think of a problem or issue in the housing space) and why?
Jeff Walker: The lack of access to credit for mortgage consumers. Not everybody should own a home, but every one of us deserves an opportunity to demonstrate that they are capable of managing their credit and their financial life so they can eventually own a home.
HousingWire: Lastly, what do you think will be the big themes for the housing market in 2022?
Jeff Walker: Supply chain challenges contributing to higher housing costs, rising interest rates as the Fed tapers MBS purchases, and contracting Gain on Sale margins. I think we are going to see a much tougher environment for lenders, and the ensuing consolidation and mergers.
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