After that idled year, he launched Grow Mortgage. He remembers the date of the launch, as it was all 2s – Feb. 2, 2022. That year, he posted volume of around $60 million. His title of senior mortgage planner/owner belies his day-to-day work, he suggested. “I consider myself an originator,” he explained. “I don’t consider myself one of these guys that won’t originate anymore now that I own my own company. I consider myself an originator first and foremost.”

What makes him tick?

Now 27 years old, he explained his drive: “I just don’t like working for people,” he said succinctly. “I’ve always been driven to the point where I’ve wanted success but I’ve always wanted it to be something I’ve built and something that I, not necessarily control, but enjoy. I enjoy looking down the road and building that pipeline. I enjoy running my own company.”

For all his success, Petty suggested he’s not driven by profit motive: “I opened the company not to make a bunch of money off the originators who work for me. I did it because I saw a mortgage process – or envisioned a mortgage process – and couldn’t find anywhere that did that process the way I wanted it done. I thought ‘there’s a better way to do this, and I think I know what it is’. There have been bumps along the way but I think we got it pretty dialed in. Our average clear to close time from start to finish is just under 10 days on a loan. It’s very, very quick, very efficient. We’ve never had anything but a five-star review. I couldn’t get that process anywhere else because I didn’t have control.”

The period of unprecedented refi activity of the recent past wasn’t a major focus either, he explained. Even as other brokers gorged on the low-hanging fruit of refinancing, he focused on the purchase market as a better long-term strategy. Given the abrupt end to the refi boom, that approach would end up being prescient.

“You have to focus on purchases,” he said. “A lot of people lost sight especially in the last few years when rates were in the 2s and they started focusing on refinancing. Refinancing is a wave of business and then nothing – feast or famine. People always need a place to live. So while it might be a down year, it’s not nearly as down for refinance loan officers. I didn’t pivot in the least. While they were out focusing on refi, I was stealing all their real estate agents. While they were neglecting these agents and not calling them back, I was building up my pipeline for right now. Instead of focusing on the quick money of the refis, we focused on getting those real estate agents and it definitely paid off.”