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Aside from sales staff, the company seeks to hire loan officer assistants, processors, and operations staffers, Eric added. He noted the dynamics of LendFriend enables the company to grow even as others are laying off staff.
“LendFriend has a lot of value props that typical mortgage companies don’t have, especially local lenders,” Eric said. “Local lenders are kind of notorious for just being run-of-the-mill retail outfits like ‘hey, I can help a realtor service their business and service their clients.’ LendFriend is a hybrid model so we do consumer-direct avenues of business where we generate a lot of online leads – our online presence is very strong – and so we bring in consumers and help them directly. We also have a retail division that’s very strong in its own right.”
He added: “We’re all about reciprocity with our referral partners. Because we’re very strong marketers and we’re able to generate leads, we bring leads to our realtors and to our builder partners and we’re able to offer a different level of value compared to typical local lenders in particular. Where most realtors will say they’ve never received a lead from a referral partner they’ve been feeding business for a year, or two years, or five years, or a decade. Mike and I can basically get to a point where, for a certain number of deals that a realtor may close with us – obviously we have to be careful there – we can give deals back to the community and back to the referral partners that feed us. It’s a unique value prop which allows us to continue to grow even when times get a little bit tough. We’re a purchase-based business, so our book of business is 90% helping folks find new homes, and the majority of that business is here in Austin, Texas.”
His brother echoed similar sentiments: “The interest rate market does have the ability to dictate the way a lot of mortgage lenders operate. We have built an environment that’s insulated to that. It allows us to not really allow the interest rate market to dictate whether or not we’re going to increase volume or have a down month.