Hot Seat: Garrett Clayton of AmCap Mortgage

Keeping the right balance between technology and personnel


There's a lot of buzz in our industry around using technology to create efficiencies. But attracting and keeping the right people is just as critical for success. HousingWire sat down with Garrett Clayton, president and CEO at AmCap Mortgage, to find out how he balances both for his company's good.

HousingWire: Technology plays such a huge part in any mortgage process now. How is AmCap using technology to ensure a streamlined process?

ClaytonGarrett Clayton: In our industry we are bombarded with so many companies pushing tools and technology platforms professed to be the so-called “fixes” that you must quickly identify what is going to work for your company because there is no one-size-fits-all.  Our software integration has been the result of countless IT hours over the past couple of years.  By spending the time to truly morph our technology into our loan manufacturing DNA, we are able to generate very detailed and digestible statistics.

Without these analytics and/or metrics our senior management team would often disagree where our inefficiencies were coming from — which department, which person, etc. AmCap’s utilization of these analytics has allowed us to objectively seek out solutions before there is ever a problem. This focus as a whole helps our customer feel more in control during the home loan process.

HW: How is AmCap adapting to borrowers’ desire for an easier mortgage application experience?

GC: Today’s typical mortgage applicant is as busy as the rest of us so we’re continually looking for ways to streamline the experience. The utilization of eDisclousures and eSignatures have been a big hit with our borrowers.

Also, with more and more borrowers wanting to use smartphones and/or tablets to complete their loan applications we’ve developed a software that enables an easy and safe way for our borrowers to submit their application while on the go. Although leveraging technology as a whole plays a large part in satisfying borrowers’ needs, there is no replacement for quality loan originators effectively communicating with AmCap’s borrowers.

HW: AmCap has seen impressive growth over the last three years. What do you attribute that growth to?

GC: We say it all the time that “we are not looking for production, but we are looking for people.” I think a lot of companies make the mistake of bringing on production for production sake, but at the end of the day it is the people that help create the foundation for a company to grow in a long-term, strategic manner. We have a few rules which work well for us, and the top two are: Would we want to have a beer with the person even if they didn’t work for AmCap? And, would we feel comfortable with them handing out an AmCap business card at a TMBA or MBA event? If the answer is yes to both of these, 99% of the time the person is a good fit for AmCap.

HW: You have made several lists for top places to work. What do you emphasize in your company culture? 

GC: I think the number one thing is that AmCap’s culture, as a whole, fosters transparency, trust and a sense of being part of something bigger than yourself. We are proud to have been ranked one of the top small businesses to work for four consecutive years and going.  

When we talk about customer service, we look at it from multiple perspectives. Obviously, the end consumer is our client and we expect all of our staff (including operations and production) to treat that consumer with the utmost respect, but we also talk about treating each other like customers. Production respects and understands our operation teams and vice versa. I think this ideology is somewhat unique in the mortgage industry, but I feel it makes AmCap a place where all talent is appreciated.

HW: What’s next for AmCap Mortgage?

GC: People always ask this question and I am quick to say there is no specific size or shape or feel I have envisioned for AmCap. The important things for me are that we continue to evolve as a well-respected lender, remain accountable to our consumers and counterparties, and have fun doing it. I feel we are well positioned to continue to grow our footprint over the upcoming years and that is exciting, but at the end of the day our industry is ever-changing so we try not to get too far ahead of ourselves.

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