Largest North Texas Residential Mortgage Lenders
Dallas Business Journal, November 23-29, 2012
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Top 100 Places to Work 2011 dallasnews.com, Cheryl Hall
Rough economic sledding didn't stop the companies in our Top 100 Places to Work 2011 from keeping the good times rolling.
Rather than coast on complacency, they implemented ideas - often little ones that didn't cost a lot - to create dynamic communication, foster a sense of family, give employees... more
MT recognizes the best tech users in the business
September 2011 edition of MT Mag
MT recognizes the best tech users in the business.
Mortgage Technology's annual list of Top Tech-Savvy Lenders commends lenders that use technology to improve their processes, provide exceptional customer service and increase mortgage business.
But this year's list is different than the Tech-Savvy Lenders of years' past. For the first time, Mortgage Technology accepted nominations for the award.
Many lenders nominated themselves, eager to show off their tech know-how and prowess. In addition, a number of vendors took the opportunity to nominate their lender clients for recognition.
The award recognizes lenders that have a commitment to using sound technology and regularly implementing new innovations to produce marked business improvements.
Another new feature of this year's list is the 2011 Top Tech-Savvy Lenders will be specially invited to attend the Mortgage Technology Awards Ceremony on Oct. 9 in Chicago, where they will be recognized for their recent accomplishments.
The list was announced in the September Issue of Mortgage Technology Magazine.
The Green Lender Award commends the use of technology to promote sustainable and environmentally conscious business practices in the mortgage industry.
This year's winner is Plano, Texas-based Starkey Mortgage.
Since its inception in 2000, Starkey boasts "a history of thinking green." Starkey exemplifies the processes and strategies mortgage lenders can attain to achieve greater efficiencies and cost savings by developing and implementing more environmentally sound and sustainable business practices. At the center of Starkey's green policies are data centralization and application virtualization via its Citrix servers.
No data are ever stored at the Starkey branches, so power is never needed for branch storage devices beyond routing and switching and thin-client computers.
In 2003, Starkey charted a course toward paperless lending by using document imaging and deploying an online loan application that's integrated into its point-of-sale system. Since 2005, Starkey loan officers have used thin-client PCs that draw little CPU power or energy. By 2006, the company committed to underwriting imaged files exclusively, only allowing access to copiers and scanners on a permission basis requiring use of a four-digit PIN code.
By replacing traditional standalone copiers, fax machines, printers and scanners with multifunction printers and enforcing user access code, Starkey eliminated the possibility of the MFP being used by nonemployees, kept non-work-related usage to a minimum and weaned underwriters and processors away from paper.
The MFPs have been tightly integrated with Starkey's imaging system, allowing documents to be indexed at the MFP and scanned directly into the imaging system, greatly reducing the amount of time required by the employee to complete their imaging tasks, "and further reducing the time and system resources necessary to move a loan file through the process," with a 46% reduction in power consumption over the traditional standalone copier, fax machine, printer and scanner setup. Today, Starkey sends its investors imaged files for closed loans 85% of the time.
By the summer of 2007, all of the Citrix servers had been virtualized, and the number of physical servers in use by the Citrix farm from 23 to two. As a result, Starkey claims a reduction in power consumption upward of 66%, also great reducing the amount of cooling needed. As the company continues to expand in 2011, it expects to eliminate over 20 additional physical servers via virtualization, which it credits with giving it access to a wide range of other smart devices.
"Starkey Mortgage has always been committed to keeping up with the latest trends in technology," the company said in its award nomination, "and our commitment to Citrix application virtualization allows us to take full advantage of the plethora of smart device options in the marketplace to further mobilize our workforce, while reducing the power consumption necessary to access and utilize our full suite of corporate applications and resources, securely, from increasingly smaller and more powerful devices. Starkey Mortgage's commitment to promoting efficiency is at the forefront of its technology initiatives.
David Lowrimore Promoted to Branch Sales Manager of its Kennesaw Office
Atlanta, GA, February 16, 2011
WR Starkey Mortgage has named mortgage banking veteran David Lowrimore as the new sales manager of its Kennesaw office.
"David has been a standout performer for WR Starkey Mortgage in the Atlanta market and he's beamed this leadership opportunity," said Andy Looker, SVP and Southeast Regional Manager for WR Starkey Mortgage.
Lowrimore brings almost twenty years of mortgage lending experience to his new position having previously held leadership positions at Opteum Mortgage, Amtrust Mortgage and First Horizon Home Loans.
We are focused on building relationships, originating quality mortgage loans and growing our business in the Atlanta area," said David Williams, EVP of National Production for WR Starkey Mortgage. "I'm excited for the bright future of our Kennesaw office under David's leadership as he maintains that focus."
Finance Agency's List of Top Ten Producers
Charlotte, NC, February 9, 2011
WR Starkey Mortgage has beamed recognition by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency as one of the Top Ten Producers of FirstHome Mortgage Loans for calendar year 2010.
This is the second consecutive year that WR Starkey Mortgage has been among the top ten producers of FirstHome Mortgage Loans in North Carolina.
Creating affordable housing opportunities for North Carolinians whose needs are not met by the market, the FirstHome Mortgage Loan is a 3O-year, fixed-rate mortgage at below market interest rates.
"WR Starkey Mortgage is committed to producing quality mortgage loans in the North Carolina market," said Andy Looker, SVP and 5.E. Regional Manager for the company. "We are proud to playa leadership role in helping North Carolinians achieve the dream of home ownership and value the opportunity to work with with the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency to help make that happen."
"We have fourteen licensed locations throughout North Carolina and our mortgage professionals focus on building solid relationships in the communities we serve, " Looker continued. "The FirstHome Mortgage Loan is an important part of the wide range of mortgage finance solutions we have available to meet the needs of our customers."
Monday, January 24, 2011
Congratulations WR Starkey Mortgage LLP, The Small Business Commerce Association (SBCA) is pleased to announce that WR Starkey Mortgage, LLP has been selected for the 2010 Best of
Business Award in the Mortgage brokers arranging for loans, using money of others category.
The SBCA Best of Business Award Program recognizes the best of small businesses throughout the country. Using consumer feedback and other research, the SBCA identifies companies that we believe have demonstrated what makes small businesses a vital part of the American economy.
The selection committee chooses the award winners from nominees based off information taken from monthly surveys administered by the SBCA, a review of consumer rankings, and other consumer reports. Award winners are a valuable asset to their community and exemplify what makes small businesses great.
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Thursday, November 18, 2010
As a little fish in the big pond of mortgage lenders, John Aspinwall is keenly aware of the shrinking number of competitors in his industry.
Many who were around in early 2006, like Countrywide and Washington Mutual, are no longer in business.
Aspinwall doesn't plan to be like them. WR Starkey Mortgage focuses solely on originating, securitizing and selling residential loans. His Plano-based company lends in 10 states, has about 40 branches in nine states, including seven in Dallas-Fort Worth, and originated an unprecedented $3 billion in loans last year.
The CEO likes to use a baseball analogy to explain his strategy.
"We hit a lot of singles, and we don't try to knock it out of the park every day," Aspinwall said of his 10-year-old company. "Every day we just try to be steady and provide a good value to consumers."
Every mortgage lender is expected to follow industry regulations, but some choose to add internal overlays or credit policies on top of those guidelines.
"We've certainly done that," he said. "There were certain practices that we felt were too risky and we steered away from those to protect ourselves. It has helped us survive and grow, because there's less pie out there and fewer people buying the pie."
Solid relationships and a good reputation with Realtors, builders and title companies who provide referrals also contribute to WR Starkey's success. The mortgage lender is known for its attention to detail and turning around loan packages ahead of schedule.
"I’ve been working with WR Starkey for almost 10 years," said Sheri Groom, senior vice president at Republic Title's Frisco office. "They’ re a very seamless company and very responsive. It makes them stand out."
One of the biggest challenges for Aspinwall is managing compliance costs, which he said have "gone up exponentially" in recent years.
He also improved health care coverage for his 500 employees before any mandates required it, but is concerned the government may penalize him for it later.
"I'm trying to do the right thing for my employees … but (the government) is trying to nudge us (with health care reform), and it’s not in our best interest or our employees' best interest," he said.
And predicting what the Obama administration will do next makes for difficult planning, Aspinwall said. The financial bailout of big banks has made it more difficult for independents like him, who ran their businesses more prudently, to compete.
"These are unprecedented times,” he said. "I've been in this business 20-plus years and in the financial services industry for 27, and this is sobering what’s going on. We don't know which way the wind is blowing politically, and there’s a high degree of uncertainty."
One-third of WR Starkey's $3 billion in loan originations last year came from its D-FW branches, the largest of which are in Plano and Tarrant County.
Aspinwall said last year's numbers were at an all-time high because of low interest rates, which continue to hover this year, and the first-time homebuyer tax credit, which expired this summer.
This year he expects to end the year producing $2.5 million in loans companywide. He plans to grow operations in existing markets, but won't add branches in other states until the political climate settles down.
At the end of the day, Aspinwall says the mortgage business is more than just interest rates.
"A certain amount of the business is the commodity, but service and professionalism matter," he said. "We take pride in taking care of our customers."
NIELSEN is a freelance writer in Plano.
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