2020 HW Vanguard: Joe Welu

Total Expert, CEO

Joe Welu, CEO, Total Expert

Joe Welu has dedicated nearly 20 years to improving customer engagement in the real estate and financial services industries, with an intense focus on attracting and delighting customers, using technology as a foundation for business growth. 

Welu founded Total Expert with the mission of helping top banks, lenders and financial services companies humanize customer engagement. Early on, he recognized a disturbing trend. When financial institutions leverage non-specific, non-targeted communications with their customers, they sacrifice the long-term relationship for short-term convenience. 

To restore the focus on customer experience, Welu turned his company toward bank, credit union and mortgage lending CMOs and loan officers—those who foster customer relationships that ultimately lead to a sale—to understand their needs and give them the necessary solutions to serve their customers, build better relationships, and ultimately grow their business. 

Under Welu’s lead, Total Expert has achieved numerous favorable outcomes within the last 12 months. 

The company experienced an increase of more than 24% in employee growth, surpassing 200 employees in 2019, with a current headcount of 241. It also more than tripled revenues with a total revenue growth of 3,206% over the last three years. 

Total Expert added a $52 million Series C round in October 2019, bringing the company to $86 million raised since its founding in 2012. 

The round, led by Georgian Partners with participation from Emergence and Rally Ventures, was one of the largest raises for a Minnesota company in 2019 and one of the largest in the state in recent history.

What one habit has made a crucial difference in your success?
I make customers the hero of the story. We must constantly articulate how we help customers survive and thrive, which is everyone’s goal. Telling people how you’ll help them survive and thrive forces you to clarify, empathize and humanize your message.

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