Speed to Respond is the primary reason that Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation has achieved so much success and growth. It starts at the top and flows through every facet and person at the company. As they say “speed kills” and it why Fairway is killing the competition.
Management is quick to respond to “The Street” or the branch/loan officer level. Management includes the following: operations, underwriting, legal, compliance, pricing, closing & funding. When they respond quickly to “The Street” they in turn can respond quickly to their clients and referral sources. These are the life-blood of any mortgage organization and deserve a fast response.
Everything at Fairway Independent Mortgage is set-up to the mantra of “Speed to Respond”. Above all else is that Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation does not believe in excessive layers of management. Those layers just slow the process down of getting an answer or result for a client or team-member quickly. Loan officers have a direct line to their branch manager. In turn the branch manager has direct access to whatever person, department, or executive they need to get a response and answer quickly.
Another unique quality about Fairway Independent Mortgage is that they hire the very best at each position and they only do that one position. This prevents a cross-up n lines of communication. Moreover, it empowers everyone in the company to know that they work with the best and their sole focus is to be the best at what they do. Additionally, it truly defines “positive synergy”.
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation is an an employ-owned private company or ESOP. This type of structure gives it even more advantages to act quickly. Because the company is employee owned Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation is not “beholden” to Wall Steer analysts. This independence allows Fairway as a company to make changes quicker than the competition in an ever-changing mortgage market. In addition, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation can make long-term decisions that perhaps would negatively effect “quarterly” earnings, while on the other hand the benefits will be ten-fold in the future.
The “Speed to Respond insures that Fairway Independent Mortgage is built to deliver mortgages to the marketplace fast!
Number One ranking for Fairway Independent Mortgage for the fourth year in a row! “Mortgage Executive Magazine” came out with their annual rankings this past week. Fairway Independent Mortgage was voted the “Best Mortgage Company” for where to work industry wide. That has to be a huge part of why Fairway Independent Mortgage has grown from 3000 to over 5800 employees in just the last year.
Our CEO Steve Jacobson stresses “consistent & persistent” – being number one the last four years codifies this philosophy. Creating an environment to be number one is a result of Fairway’s adherence to their “Core Values”. These include:
Humility First, Foster Growth & Knowledge, Have Fun, Create An Amazing Experience, Speed to Respond, Seek Wise Counsel, Respect/Listen/Stay Balanced, Committed to Serve, Consistent Honest Communication, & Family Focused.
Most companies have core values, the difference is that Fairway Independent Mortgage Company Lives them. That’s why we can consistently be number one. We maintain an “ethos” that we will treat every client – “Professionally, Respectfully, Honestly, & Fairly”.
The other reason is our philosophy that “mortgages are what we do, not who we are”. We believe in the “human-touch”. People seeking a mortgage are not a “transaction” to us, they are human relationship that we want to nourish and serve. When we do that with each and every client we create an experience that benefits both the client and the employees working on the mortgage loan.
On the other hand, another reason for the continued success is Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation’s commitment to give back to the community. We have our own foundation The American Warrior Initiative. This organization is self-funded by Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation and it’s employees. It helps veterans in need. American Warrior Initiative also trains realtors how best to work with members of the military and veterans.
Most of all we are humbled by being recognized as the best place to work in our industry and are here to serve you.
Core Value Number Four is “Creating An Amazing Experience For You!” Not only do we want to provide you with the best product and rate for your situation. We want to make your experience so wonderful that you will always refer those you care about to us.
One key way we do that is our “Speed to Respond”, and that starts with our communication with you. Whether it is a phone cal, text, or e-mail we will always respond almost immediately. We are here to serve you, and the best way to do that is to communicate quickly, efficiently, and thoroughly.
We also have systems in place to make sure that your loan is processed and underwritten quickly. We do that by hiring the best people at each position and let them concentrate on their job only. Our loan officers only originate loans, our processors only process loans, underwriters only underwrite loans, and closers sole job is to close the loan.
You get the picture, by letting our teammates do only what they do best we create efficiency throughout the entire mortgage process. This efficiency allows us to offer the quickest loan approvals and closings in the industry.
When it comes to communication our proprietary CRM system, “Motivator” not only keeps you up to date during the loan process, it keeps both realtors up to date as well. When milestones are reached an e-mail is sent to you to let you know where we are in the process and what action items if any you need to take.
We also have personal touch-points with you our client during the mortgage process. We send you thank you notes with scratch-off lotto tickets, Starbucks gift cards, cookies, and more. Once we close your loan we provide you with a closing gift as well to show our appreciation.
Post-Closing you are provided with your own ‘Servicing Concierge” for the life of your loan. We want to make sure you have a live-person to contact should you have any questions on things like first-payment date or escrow balances.
Again our goal is to create such an “Amazing Experience” that you and those you care about become a “Client For Life”!
Fun, most don’t have it anymore in the workplace. Moreover, people dread going to work because it is no longer that. That’s not the case at Fairway Independent Mortgage having fun is so important to our company’s culture that it is our third core value. Our CEO Steve Jacobson realizes if people aren’t having a good time they are less motivated. Furthermore, they are harder to retain.
So what’s the simple answer? Create and foster an environment where employees are encouraged to have fun! And it starts at the top. Our CEO, Steve Jacobson, sends out a “Friday Funny” created by Lindsey Hardman, our On-Boarding Coordinator. “Jake” as he’s known has the uncanny ability not only to know almost everyone’s name in the company, but has a nickname for them. And if you know the background of each person the nicknames are appropriately funny!
Furthermore, on our company calls there is always a great sense of humor from the executive team. They do a great job of filtering important information in humorous manner, which encourages you to be on the calls. I can guarantee you most companies have boring company-wide calls – not us!
Fairway is managed at the Branch Level, or what Jake calls “The Street”, because we know our local market better than anyone. And here at The Keslo Group of Fairway Independent Mortgage we take our Core Value # 3 to heart!
How’s that you say? Chris Kelso, our branch manager is the king of social media. His posts are always funny. He’s always making silly videos of the staff. Recording videos of our referral partners dancing between commercials on our radio show “The Real Estate Rat Pack”. Then he posts them on Facebook. In addition, how many mortgage companies have a wrapped “Monster Truck”? Chris came up with a contest. If you post a picture of him in the “Monster Truck” driving around town onto Facebook, we send you a Starbuck’s gift card.
The Kelso Group has a signature “environment” to foster having fun. We design our offices like a home, makes sense since we our in the home-mortgage business! When you walk-in it’s like walking into a “Great-Room”. There is no reception area. Attached to our “Great-Room” is a lounge/bar, and kitchen. We have lots of fun events here for our clients and referral partners – sushi-making parties, football/baseball/basketball watching parties, birthday parties, happy hours, and more!
No one loves what they do more than we do – let’s have some fun!
Today we visit Fairway Independent Mortgage’s Core Value number two – “Foster Knowledge & Growth”.
If you are not learning, you are not growing, and you are not helping you clients.
If there is ever an industry in a constant state of change, it would be ours – the mortgage industry. Guidelines seem to change hourly, regulations, compliance, loan programs. The list goes on & on.
You have to embrace this constant change to be the best in the business. And the best way to do that is by fostering knowledge and growth.
One of the things we do at Fairway to stay on top of change on a daily basis – is to send two different e-mails to inform everyone company-wide of changes.
The first is ” The Retail Daily Credit Policy Newsletter”. It addresses any regulatory changes from the likes of Fannie-Mae, Freddie-Mac, and FHA. In addition, it alerts us to upcoming guideline changes from these same agencies in addition, to our portfolio lender programs.
The second, is “The Product Post Of The Day”. It advises to new products available to our clients. In addition, it alerts us to any changes to existing products.
At Fairway we are also required to take annual training for compliance, and security for documents. Our client’s privacy and the security of their private information is paramount at Fairway.
Our CEO Steve Jacobson is a huge believe in coaching. Branch managers and their loan officers have access to the best coaching programs in the industry. Many of these are paid for in part or whole by the company – they are that important.
We have on-going training through on-line educational programs thru our Fairway Mortgage University. There are so many great classes available for every position in our company.
We also have weekly webinars for new products and programs so we can better serve our clients.
Finally, we have live classes and seminars on a variety of subjects that are available to the appropriate staff.
Education is power and thru fostering knowledge and growth we want to be the most powerful and educated mortgage company for our clients – they deserve nothing but the best!
Cary Michael Cox – Operations Manager The Kelso Group
RMLO # 336786 NMLS # 2289
Humility First is the number one “Core Value” at Fairway Independent Mortgage. We have ten of them and live by them.
The 1st Core Value is “Humility First”. Humility First is the essence of Fairway Independent Mortgage. It has to be part of your DNA to be “on the team”.
Here is an a real-life example of how not to show humility. This person did not demonstrate Humility First.
We had an small party at our house for the Super Bowl.
When they showed the Atlanta owner leave his box and go to the sideline already celebrating at the end of the 3rd quarter, I told everyone, “that’s it – the Patriots are going to win this game.”
Of course everyone asked why do you say that? To which I replied, “See the coach already on the sideline, he’s violated Core Value #1 he’s not showing humility.”
One of the mom’s said, “Do you really believe that?” My reply, “Yes mam, God expects us to be humble, especially in victory – anytime you lack humility and get out in front of yourself, God has a way of putting you “in check”. I don’t know if she understood my hockey reference, though she clearly understood what I meant.
There was absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Patriots were going to come back and win the instant I saw that.
Atlanta was put “in check”, I wonder if the owner even realizes what happened.
Showing “Humility First” is important in both victory and defeat. It also keeps you from getting out ahead of yourself, keeps you grounded, and makes you a better person.
We are taught at Fairway to have Humility First in everything we do. It is our most important core value. Humility First is the fabric of who we are in business.
Humility First is all about being humble, hungry, and smart.
Cary Michael Cox