At the height of the mortgage refinancing boom, Bryan Hendershot decided that trend could not sustain itself and took his year-old Tulsa mortgage brokerage into a new direction. Four years later, the little known reverse mortgage lender is seeing 401% growth in loan volume and expects to reach $400 million this year. He projects Urban Financial and its wholesale division Reverse It will surpass the $1 billion plateau in 2009.
Urban Financial has both a retail and an up and coming wholesale division named Reverse It, which represents 95 percent of its business. If you haven’t heard of Reverse It there’s a reason, "We’re actually trying to push our growth down because we can’t keep up with it," he said. "Our main thing is controlled growth. We’re not going to get too big too fast."
The company plants to add one retail office each month to its existing 21 office network that currently reaches 18 states. Hendershot expects that expansion to carry him into Florida and other Southeastern states.
Even with things going well at the company, Hendershot still sees the lingering effects of the credit crunch as being the primary obstacle to the company’s continued growth. Earlier this year in October, the turmoil in the markets led InSouth Bank to drop Reverse It’s $10 million warehouse credit line and Hendershot was scrambling to replace it.
Luckily, he was able to secure a new line from First National Bank of Muskogee which along with the company’s own resources is able to maintain its growing operations with some brakes applied when necessary.
“I owe those guys the world,” he said of FNB. With the bank’s help, Hendershot continues to seek another $5 million in credit to bolster his operations. “Outside of that, everything’s positive,” he said of continued growth. “We feel it’s going to be good.”