LendSmart Mortgage has opened two new lending centers in Missouri and South Carolina. These new lending centers are a part of LendSmart’s growth strategy for 2014 and are the first of a number of new regional lending centers planned during the upcoming year.
“We have a clear understanding of how mortgage lenders can focus on serving consumers in local markets while remaining competitive and compliant,” said Scott Flaherty, CEO and founder of LendSmart. “This is an exciting time because we can put that structure in place for loan officers allowing them to be very successful at any level in this business. Our corporate expansion strategy is focused on trust partnerships with mortgage professionals who understand specific markets very, very well.”
It was LendSmart’s approach to managing relationships and its innovative customer service approach that attracted Dave Budzinski, a 17-year mortgage industry professional and branch manager of LendSmart’s new lending center in a suburb of St. Louis, Shrewbury, Mo.
“LendSmart’s approach to success has made it a solid company that has been able to sustain its core business during one of the most challenging eras our industry has seen,” Budzinski said. “This is one of the reasons we decided LendSmart is the right fit for us in what we want to accomplish.”
Budzinski’s team includes top performing loan officers who commonly produce $1 to $2 million per month in loan volume. The goal is to grow this center to exceed $100 million in loan volume in 2014. According to Budzinski, “to accomplish this, we are focusing on attracting the best loan officers with the right service-driven relationships to serve consumers better than any other mortgage lender in the St. Louis metropolitan area.”
Brian Prahl, a new branch manager for LendSmart’s lending center in South Carolina, said LendSmart was one of the 20 companies he considered joining.
“LendSmart has a model that is not bloated with overhead, conservative in decision making regarding business strategies yet offers a wide range of mortgage products to serve our customers,” said Prahl, who has been in the mortgage business since 2003. “And the company works closely with me and my team to allocate whatever corporate resources necessary to attract new loan officers and support a wider network of realtors to serve our customers looking to purchase a new home.
“Trust and integrity are important qualities, and these were the main reasons why my team chose LendSmart,” Prahl continued. “Most mortgage lenders are undercapitalized and they do not have the ethical culture we expect; I expect my employees to treat consumers with the highest standards of service, there is no reason why we should not expect the same from our parent company. We found that with LendSmart.” Prahl and his team expect to close and fund approximately $40 million in loan volume this year.
By offering a full spectrum of loan products, including conventional, FHA, VA, jumbo as well as 203k, LendSmart gives its lending centers operational and marketing tools to be successful.
“In this environment, it is crucial for lenders to show consumers they have the products they need and are willing to work with them through what will be for some the largest financial transaction of their lives,” said Rick Roque, principal of Menlo Company a mortgage industry consulting firm. “Lenders like LendSmart understand how to provide a ‘private’ banking experience to consumers in their local markets that establishes trust and loyalty, which later translates into a more sustainable and longer term relationship with clients.”