Hoover, Ala.-based Sun Capital Inc. opened its doors seven months ago — originating just $200,000 in its first month with only three employees on the roster, founder Jerry Scarborough told MortgageDaily.com in a phone interview. January’s loan production shot up to a reported $6.3 million, February’s was the same and projections for March exceed $7.5 million.
He said the company, now with 20 employees, has grown so quickly that they have run out of room at the 1,800 sq. ft. office they occupy and as soon as the lease is up, plan to move into a new 3500 sq. ft. space.
The company isn’t having a hard time finding experienced originators; they have been knocking on his door. “There are a lot of people who want to come work for me,” Scarborough said en route to a closing. “And they are bringing their customer bases with them.”
The influx might be due to the fact that Scarborough offers more financial incentive to brokers than other mortgage companies.
“I pay my loan originators a higher commission than the industry standard,” he said.
Or the intrinsic value of his management style and selling philosophy that he hopes to pass on to his employees.
“We don’t sell our rates; we want to build trust in our name and company,” Scarborough said. “When we get (rate) shoppers, I teach my guys to educate the borrower, commend them on doing the right thing and let them know we will put them in the best rate or program.”
They also reveal to the borrower how the company makes money on the loan, only charging one point to originate a conforming loan and two points for nonconforming.
“We are approved with 70 different investors and by HUD,” he said of his efforts to offer a full range of loan programs. “If we can’t get them (the borrower) a loan, no one can.”
Scarborough said he began his career in finance as a teller trainee at Barnett Bank of Florida while attending University of North Florida. After earning a degree in Management he was hired by TransAmerica Financial in 1989 as a customer service rep. and then promoted to district manager overseeing 11 branches. Three years later he was recruited by Ameriquest Mortgage (then called Long Beach), he said, and opened all the branches in Alabama and Louisiana, capturing 60 awards along the way.
He then held a 15 percent stake in SunCap Mortgage Inc. and helped run it for eight years until a difference in management styles pushed him, he said, to sell his share and open his own company. “It was a peaceful parting,” he said.
Scarborough admits that the mortgage industry can offer a person great financial rewards but also acknowledges that it is hard work — not a job for the lazy.
Scarborough said he has also moved away from traditional marketing methods that most of his competitors use. “Everyone advertises that they have the lowest rates,” he said. “A lot of what we do is from referrals, we are a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and I am a member of the Rotary Club.”
Scarborough said he tries to attend every closing he can, especially those he originates, even when it is an hour and half’s drive away. “You want to be there, after getting to know them (the borrowers),” he said. “This is how you get referrals, by showing you care.”