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Revolution Mortgage snags top loanDepot loan officers

Revolution’s expansion strategy includes adding top LOs and picking up high-producing branches from struggling lenders

Direct retail lender Revolution Mortgage has scooped up two of loanDepot‘s top LOs, accelerating its plans to expand market share despite a tough origination environment.   

Jorden Brok and Brett Lotsoff are producing area managers and SVPs of mortgage lending at Revolution Mortgage and are tasked with expanding the company’s footprint in the greater Chicago area. Lotsoff and Brok spent nearly 10 years at loanDepot and the branch they managed originated $1 billion in volume in 2020 and 2021, Lotsoff and Brok said. 

“We liked that we’d have the opportunity to be more entrepreneurial and have more freedom. We just see a lot of growth opportunities here in terms of building our branch and building our team,” Lotsoff said in an interview with HousingWire

As with the rest of the country, the Chicago-area market is dealing with issues stemming from a lack of inventory, and until rates decline, it’s the first-time buyers that Lotsoff and Brok are primarily targeting for volume.

“We should see more purchase activity from existing homeowners once rates and/or home prices come down a bit. Until then the factors we see that will drive existing homeowners to purchase are life events and household formation changes,” Brok noted.

For first-time homeowners, having the capital for a down payment is the biggest barrier, Brok said. Providing presentations on whether to opt for a conventional loan, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan, Fannie Mae’s HomeReady or Freddie Mac’s HomePossible loans while winning over contracts in a multiple bid environment are key to creating client stickiness, Lotsoff added.

“The first transaction is the most important, but we want to make sure we have a relationship with you afterward. We’ve been able to create a lot of stickiness over the years,” Lotsoff said.

Rapidly expanding Revolution

In a rising rate environment, many lenders have downsized or have gone out of business. Revolution, on the other hand, has been expanding its footprint by scooping up top loan officers in local markets. 

By the end of June, the Ohio-based lender will have added 30 new branch locations nationwide since January, bringing the total to 120. 

Last year, Revolution began bringing top LOs in the industry to the company, including Larry Steinway, former senior vice president of lending and branch manager at Guaranteed Rate, and Stacy Chevalier, loanDepot’s former area manager.

“When we grab what we call top LOs and top originators, they’re leaving that world in most cases, and they’re going into the world of owning their own shop,” Tim Johnson, president and COO at Revolution, said in an interview.

At Revolution, loan originators select their own staff members to support their branches from processors, assistants and other originators. The executive also sees opportunities to pick up high-producing branches across the country from lenders that are struggling.

Johnson estimates origination volume will be between $2 billion and $2.5 billion in 2023 and expects a target production of $4 billion in 2024. 

“They’re coming over here because they want to go build something for themselves (…). People just want to have their own deal and you have to be willing to set up a model that promotes that. That’s what we are about – entrepreneurship,” Johnson said.

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