🔥 Blockbuster Video Sleepover! - The Letter X

Aug 22, 2020 2:06 pm




Presented by: EPM

Step back into the past, pop some corn, and grab your favorite VHS with no late fees!


There is a 100% chance that I would stay at this Blockbuster. Growing up going to the neighborhood video store was one of my favorite things to do!

Speaking of cool places to stay or in this case live, how about an old 1875 Sheriff's house with functional jail?


Speaking of the opposite of cool, let’s talk about Inman putting this same viral story that EVERYONE covered for FREE, behind their paywall. LAME with a capital L. But that is what we have come to expect from the media these days and you will never have to worry about that here. TLX is about giving you all the goods!

This weekend we have a TON of great contributions from the TLX community so without further ado let’s get on with this week’s issue of TLX!

Say Yes Every Day 

This week say YES to letting go.  Sometimes it’s difficult to let people and situations go from our lives because we feel comfortable.  But, if we release the parts of our lives that are no longer lighting us up I promise you that your next chapter will far surpass your last.  - Laura Brandao

Sharing is Caring! Remember to share your personal referral link (bottom of email) for a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card! 


Presented By: MBS Highway

New Tax on Refinances from the FHFA

The FHFA announced a 0.5% tax on all refinance transactions.  It can be challenging to explain to your clients the recent changes and how it will affect their monthly mortgage payment. 

That’s why we released a new Social Studio video script to help get the word out.  Social Studio will turn your computer screen into a teleprompter, making you a pro in creating 60 second videos for social media.  If you can read, you can create compelling, educational videos for your followers


Even though they’ll incur a 50 basis point tax, it can still be a good idea to refinance.  For example, utilize Debt Consolidation to help pay off debt and reduce your client’s overall monthly payment and loan term.  Here's an example. Click on the debts towards the bottom to pay them off and see the monthly savings increase!


Facebook Live with Barry Habib and Dale Vermillion

On Tuesday, August 25th at 1 PM ET, we’re bringing Dale Vermillion back for a second time to discuss how to optimize business in today’s market.

The News X Recap!

Mark Calabria is no stranger to the ire of the mortgage community in 2020, but someone put in the extra effort this time by editing his Wikipedia page. Since the page has been restored to its original state you can check out the image below to see epic trollness. 


Have you ever made a $900 million dollar mistake? Well Citigroup did by repaying a nearly $900 million loan made to Revlon, a day after lenders sued the cosmetic company over its restructuring tactics, according to reports, but the repayment was made in error.

Everyone is looking at the strength of the housing market, but the headlines don’t tell the whole story

What about mortgage apps? According to the latest MBA Weekly Survey we saw a 3.3% decrease from the week before

Let’s take a quick look at the trend of remote work and how it is affecting city living. We have all heard the stories about people leaving cities like San Francisco to more affordable areas and now we have some data to back it up

Speaking of remote work, this is how major companies are responding to employee needs in a remote work world that has no end in sight.

Speaking of no end in sight, we have more nonsense from Diana Olick with her latest article that we are all apparently racist with little to no facts to back up her claim. My takeaway is that this is why consumers should go to the local experts and not the headset jockeys of online lenders. 

While the media likes to paint our industry with a crap colored brush, our industry still does an amazing job putting families into homes and helping consumers create generational wealth. We can expect to be extra busy this fall doing just that due to a combination of factors

There is a lot of negative but also a lot of positive. I was excited to see EPM launch their “Choose Kindness” campaign. The EPM Choose Kindness Campaign was designed to assist Opens Doors Foundation, #StevenStrong Campaign, and Leashes of Valor in their ongoing efforts to uphold their mission of assisting those in critical need. As part of the campaign, EPM will begin by donating a minimum of $10,000 a month (based on the number of loans closed) for the next 12 months to the MBA Opens Doors Foundation.

The Opens Doors' Home Grant Program provides mortgage and rental payment grants to vulnerable families with critically ill or injured children, making it possible for parents and guardians to be by a sick child's side without potentially losing their home.”

Good things come to those who Mastermind! Have you joined the Mortgage X Mastermind yet? I would like to invite you to join our community that is 100% focused on helping MODERN industry professionals crush it. 

The Vieaux

I am back from my siesta. Thank you, Jason, for covering for me. I had planned to start to write about how we can better serve first time home buyers but was inspired to cover a different topic this week.  I just received the most recent issue of HousingWire, featuring Women of Influence.   Talk about a “who’s who” list!  

What struck me about the incredible women highlighted is that these are not just Women of Influence but rather this is a compilation of some the most influential people in our industry. It was so cool to learn more about a lot of people I have known as customers, colleagues, competitors and even bosses. It was equally awesome to learn about some of the best and brightest of the next generation of our leaders.  I am thankful for the strong women leading us into the future. Congratulations to all who were recognized! - Brian Vieaux

Introducing The Edumarketer

Let Your Light Shine

I haven’t been to Sunday School for a while, but I do remember the song, “This Little Light of Mine, I’m Going to Let It Shine”, and as I thought about what to write for this first article for the Letter X, I thought of the importance of letting your light shine, which led me to the importance of just lighting in general, which of course led me to thinking of that song.  Nothing to reference about the song, just thought maybe you’d like to hum it while you’re reading this newsletter.  Anyway, this article is about lighting and in it I’m going to share with you what I am using right now on my desk to light up my videos.  At the end of the article, I have a list to the links, so you can go and buy it if you need it.  Are you still humming????

As we are all so keenly aware, COVID has brought a halt to any live workshops you may have done in the past, but it certainly has not put a halt on business and many of you have taken to doing “virtual” meetings with your borrowers.  Virtual meetings are a great way to stay connected and still develop that “face-to-face” relationship.  Whether you are using Skype, Zoom, Ring Central or Gotomeeting, your equipment is important. 

I cannot tell you how many video calls I’ve been on where the person is in the dark or shadowed by too much back lighting and while this may not seem like a big deal to some people, how you look does create a first impression, so having the right light can help to give you the right professional impression. 

For years I have used the Emart LED Portable Camera to light up my videos and video conference calls that I do at my desk.  It gives a nice soft glow and can be easily moved around depending on the natural light that comes in from my office window.  Priced at under $20 it comes with a set of two and is a great addition for a back light to your video conference calls.  I place it next to my computer, just below my Logitech HD Camera


Recently, I tested out the Lumecube Broadcasting Light, because I am a geek and like to try out different equipment to share with my clients.  What can I say?  I love it!  Yes, the price is a little steep at about $135 for the set, but the warm glow it provides is worth it.   It comes with a computer back mount so you can sticky it to your computer next to your webcam.  It charges with a USB cable that seems to last for a pretty long period of time.

One of the biggest hurdles people face in doing videos is how they look and having the right lighting can give you a softened glow that will literally, shed a light on you.

Finding webcam’s these days can be a challenge, but if you are searching for a good one, the Razer Kiyo Streaming Webcam includes a ring light.  I use this one when I travel so I don’t have to carry around all my home office studio lights.  You’ll have to check on a few sites like Amazon and BestBuy to find it as it has been sold out off and on for awhile now, but it is a great little webcam.

Whatever equipment you are using make sure that you are including lighting.  Always test your equipment before you begin and find the right angles and position for you.  Trust me, it will make you feel a lot more confident and give you that polished professional appearance you would have if you were meeting someone face to face!  Links are included below.  (No guarantees on prices or availability)

Always pass on what you have learned! -Ginger Bell

Equipment Links

Emart Photography LED Continuous Portable Camera Photo Lighting

Price: $17.99

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2nXbav8


Lume Light Broadcast Lighting Kit

Price: $135ish

Lumecube: https://ginger.wiki/3fE1vi1


Logitech C920S HD Pro Webcam

Price: $69.99

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2nchq1W


Razer Kiyo Streaming Webcam

Price: $79.99

Amazon:  https://amzn.to/2oIwPHL

Podcasts of the Week!

John Clidy: Never Let Fear Stop You


The Confident Closer-Why Personal Branding Matters


Podcasts of the REAL Disrupt Network

Introducing Mortgage Interrupt!


Check the members of the REAL Disrupt Family

Positively Charged

Confident Closers

Blondes Have More Funds

Next Level Loan Officers

Laugh Lend and Eat

Treasure Coast Podcast

Charlotte Real Estate Buzz

Culture Matters Podcast

Virtual Coffee with Estie Briggs

Mortgage X Podcast

Mortgage Interrupt

Mortgage Industry Professional of the Week

Michael Wojcik-Holmes - Head of Broker Relations at Class Valuation


Introducing ESPORTS X

I mentioned last week that some ESPORTS data and how it relates to the mortgage industry would be coming your way, and so here we go Player One!

Esports and the Mortgage Industry

My name is Blaine Bell and I am an owner of professional esports brand, Sanguine Esports. I am also working on my MBA at Tiffin University and I am here on a graduate assistant position helping to manage and recruit for their collegiate esports team. That is me on the right!


So, what does esports have to do with the mortgage industry and why am I am included in this newsletter. Well, honestly, the two industries do not have a lot in common, except for the fact that the demographic of these two audiences are parallel. Let’s take a look:


Home Buyer Market:

65%   Age 21 to 39 (Millennials)

24%   Age 40 to 54 (Gen X)

Esports Fan Market:

61%   Age 21 to 39 (Millennials)

22%   Age 40 to 54 (Gen X)

At first, I thought my mom, Ginger Bell was crazy when she recommended that I approach sponsors in the mortgage industry for my esports team. Ok, so, it is a similar demographic. Why should anyone in the mortgage company care? Because, this audience is a captive audience who are loyal to the brands that support them. She understood that and a couple of other leaders in the mortgage industry did too. 

Let’s take for Dan Gilbert for example, you know the Rocket Mortgage guy. He invested millions into an esports team that today is one of the most respected brands in the esports industry. Eddy Perez, President of EPM jumped at the chance to get involved in esports as the housing sponsor of a professional esports team living and competing in Atlanta, GA. He recognized the opportunity of this untapped market. Jason Frazier, the founder and distributor of The Letter X, also sees the huge opportunity of the esports market, not just at a national level, but at the local level as well. That’s why he is giving me this forum to help to raise awareness in the mortgage industry of the possibilities of marketing and sponsoring with esports teams.

So, every week, I’m going to give you a glimpse into the world of esports. I am going to talk about what it is, what to pay attention to and how you can get involved. 

I will leave you with this esports insight.

The esports audience is not a bunch of teenagers living their parents’ basements.  Here is whose watching esports. According to ESPN, the demographic of esports fans boasts:

1. Over 50% employed full time

2. 56% are ages 21-35

3. 44% are parents

4. 38% are women

You can follow our professional teams at the following links. We compete every week. If you’d to set up a call with me to discuss esports in more detail, you can reach me at blaine@sanguineesports.com 





Leading Ladies of Mortgage

Mortgage X sponsor and co-host this awesome virtual mastermind with some of the best mortgage professionals in the industry. This event is 100% FREE and you will not want to miss hearing these mortgage experts share their wisdom. 


Join us and learn from these Leading Ladies of Mortgage at this FREE event on September 9th 9am - 3pm Central. Register Today!

Meme of the Week

This is courtesy of Fobby Naghmi.


If you have a meme you would like featured send it to frazier@mortgagexpodcast.com

Remember to share your personal referral link below for a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!  I hope you enjoyed TLX #18! Have a great weekend.