Mason McDuffie reimagines the mortgage workplace
Making loan officers successful is the goal
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage Corp. isn’t your typical mortgage lender.
The firm, headquartered in San Francisco, operates under the Kaizen philosophy of continual improvement, which means everyone in the company takes responsibility for making things better. Employees, who are also owners, are encouraged to be disruptors and they fuel the commitment and innovation that really set Mason-McDuffie apart.
“Everyone has a voice,” said Jason Frazier, chief information officer. “When our employees see a problem and have a solution that could make it better, if it’s reasonable and on point, we’ll do it.”
Mason-McDuffie is seeing impressive growth, and the employees originating loans take center stage. The company provides outstanding support for its loan officers, offering practical tools that go far beyond a traditional lender. For example, after hearing from a branch manager that loan officers were burdened by marketing tasks, employees began brainstorming.
The result? The company hired three employees dedicated to marketing and implemented a marketing concierge service for loan officers that lets them choose the level of help they want, including a full-service option. This system is not just a CRM program, but a complete marketing package that generates and manages the design, content and delivery of all email marketing, print pieces and social media sites for loan officers. All a loan officer has to contribute to the process is a contact database and Mason-McDuffie’s staff does the rest.
“Everything we do is in conjunction with our loan officers,” Frazier said “If I can take them from doing one loan a month to doing four loans a month, that’s better for everyone. We want to make everyone successful.”
The company’s growth means it needs more loan officers in different geographic areas, so Mason-McDuffie put its money where its mouth is and recently challenged potential employees to call up current loan officers and ask them about working for the company.
“Every loan officer recruiter says they will do all these things for you, but we provided phone numbers and said call them yourselves. It’s not just lip service to us,” Frazier said.
Taking excellent care of its employees results in excellent service for Mason-McDuffie’s customers, who reap the benefits of more efficient processes and systems. These benefits are especially important to draw the next generation of homebuyers, who are looking for online engagement with financial institutions.
“Most mortgage companies are not built for the new consumer, either esthetically or philosophically,” Frazier said.
In contrast, Mason-McDuffie wants to deliver on the Millennial consumer’s desire for smart loan options from a company that does more than just make money.
“Every company that decides to keep doing things the way they’ve always done is doomed,” Frazier said. “We want our name to be proof that a company can successfully empower employees and be a good community citizen as well.”
To that end the company is developing new programs to benefit the communities they work in, including a program geared towards helping military veterans with obtaining a job in the mortgage industry, working with local charities, sponsoring bakes ales for Food Network’s NoKidHungry organization, and sponsoring various organizations who help kids receive gifts during the holidays.
And of course, focusing on their relentless pursuit of improvement.
“We’re never going to sit back and be happy with the way things are. We’re constantly talking to our employees and learning from each other. Their ideas are the genesis of something even better,” Frazier said.