When Paul Anastos joined Mortgage Master in 2003, it didn’t take long for him to see the possibilities of scaling up the mortgage lender’s business.
The goal was to grow while still maintaining the guiding principles of responsible lending set in place by Mortgage Master’s founder Leif Thomsen, who launched the Walpole, Massachusetts, company in 1988.
Under Anastos’ leadership, Mortgage Master has grown from two locations and 150 employees to 40 branch locations and over 750 employees, and is one of the largest purchase volume lenders in the country. It’s now the second largest non-bank consumer retail mortgage lender in the nation.
Much of that growth occurred before nonbank consumer lender loanDepot LLC acquired the company in late 2014, but Anastos said becoming part of a larger company ensures greater access to products, state-of-the-art marketing and technology solutions, the ability to lend throughout the country and superior fulfillment in all areas.
“This year, since January, we’ve had the best growth year in terms of new loan officers since 2009, and we’ve had the best year, if not the top two, in terms of originations,” he said.
“These are good trends all around. It’s been a combination of a refocus of our recruiting team, refocusing our goals and the merger itself.”
Since its inception, the company has funded over $60 billion in total loan volume, assisting over 115,000 customers. Anastos said a significant chunk – $40 billion – of that volume has occurred since 2009.
“We’re supporting a lot more customers than we ever have in our history,” he said.
Mortgage Master has more than 750 employees, with over 300 licensed loan officers providing loans and services in 26 states and the District of Columbia. Anastos’ goal is to gain market share in all markets, expand the number of loan officers and continue to add at least a branch a month. His strategy is to follow a process by being focused and delivered in how it grows.
“We could have grown faster, but we’re focusing on finding people who fit our culture,” he said. “Culture is critical. This is a deadline-sensitive business. If you have people who can get along and enjoy collaborating and working together you can solve occasional issues that come up.”
Anastos says he believes in a collaborative work environment and surrounding himself with talented people.
“The management team in place has had a lot of fun growing the company together,” he said.
“At Mortgage Master, and now as part of loanDepot, it’s all of our people, many with more knowledge and experience than I have, who together make us successful. With most questions about leadership, you can answer any of them by saying ‘the people around you.’
“People are the secret, they make the crucial difference and you cannot achieve success without all of their efforts. I’m very fortunate for the people I work with. Being confident is important, but staying humble and remembering you can’t do it without a lot of help from a lot or people is critical.”
Mortgage Master offers a suite of lending products and industry-leading interest rates. Central to Mortgage Master’s success is its relationship-driven, referral-based lending platform and commitment to delivering competitively priced loan solutions. Customers and industry partners work directly with their Mortgage Master loan originators to identify the products and services best suited to meet their financial needs.
As part of Mortgage Master’s responsible lending commitment, clients work directly with their designated experienced representatives, who are familiar with a borrower’s situation. They make sure borrowers understand all of their available options and feel comfortable before making any decisions.