“There will be no layoffs,” United Wholesale Mortgage CEO Mat Ishbia said on a call in early April with his team. “I will sleep on your couch before I lay anyone off. We’re going to do this together. If this month sucks, and next month sucks, I don’t care. No one is losing their job. No one on this call is losing their job.”
Ishbia spoke these words during the middle of some of the most volatile months that the housing industry has ever seen – months that threatened the jobs of more than 36 million Americans, and turned the lights out at some companies for good.
Layoffs became commonplace and furloughs were expected. But not at UWM. Ishbia promised the economic crisis would not touch the company and its employees, saying, “They’re part of my family. You can’t cut family.”
“Could we have saved money? Yes,” Ishbia said. “Could we have made more money? Yes. Could we have made different changes? Yes – we could have done a lot of things. But that’s not who we are.”
Ishbia explained that as a CEO and owner, he can take a cut to his income or even take no income at all with more ease than members of his team working at an hourly wage.
The UWM team, even through the crisis, remained focused on its mission. And its secret to success rang out from every team member as they emphasized the company’s focus on culture and people, technology and its partnership with brokers.