Over the past several years, Sean Cahan has built Cornerstone First Mortgage from a single local bank into one of the fast-growing, full-service mortgage lenders in the country. With 22 branches and licensed to do business in 42 states, Cornerstone surpassed $1 billion in annual production last year. Meanwhile, Cahan, who in addition to managing Cornerstone’s operations also has his own portfolio of clients, has been the company’s top producer for six years running. Last year alone, Cahan originated more than $245 million in loans — nearly one quarter of his company’s total production. In fact, Cahan has been among the top 100 loan originators in the U.S. in loan volume for the past four years.
Under Cahan’s leadership, Cornerstone is poised to grow even larger. In May of this year, the company acquired San Diego-based lender West Coast Funding, operating as WCF Twenty Four Seven. Understanding that culture can be the defining factor between whether acquisitions are successful or not, Cahan made sure WCF shared Cornerstone’s core mission of putting borrowers first and gaining their loyalty for life by providing an unbeatable consumer experience. With the acquisition, Cahan’s company is expected to double its annual loan production to $2 billion a year. Cahan is a self-declared “Mortgage Geek,” creating some of the most engaging YouTube videos in the mortgage industry, all while teaching consumers about the mortgage process and helping other loan officers kick their sales into high gear. Despite some zaniness behind the Mortgage Geek videos, Cahan’s no-nonsense advice informs others seeking a career in the mortgage industry and loan officers who want to increase sales.
What has been your secret to success?
“I’ve always done my homework and learned the ins and outs of the mortgage process as well as all the different products and guidelines, especially the most difficult ones. By learning the different products and getting away from just selling a rate, a successful loan originator is able to sell knowledge.”
Cornerstone First Mortgage