“People who help people”, not simply a slogan for the staff of Citywide Home Loans, but a mantra they live by daily, and apply to each customer who walks through their doors.
Founded by Steve Goorman, Citywide has made leaps and bounds since its humble 1998 beginnings in Goorman’s basement. Once a small broker shop with just four employees, Citywide Home Loans is now a $1.5 Billion, privately held correspondent lending firm with 480 employees. It is also now licensed in 17 states, and has a physical presence in seven.
This growth demonstrates a level of industry-knowledge, success and the ability to provide customers with big-company resources, but it has not taken away from the close-knit, family feel they often remark on, including personal, one-on-one service and fast results.
“Among the factors that set us apart from other lenders are our ability to close on a loan in as little as 14 days, as well as having a president who still originates loans,” Marketing Manager Quinn Richins said. “It’s unusual for a company of our size.”
Staff members also attribute the company’s success to Goorman’s ability to stay ahead of the curve.
“It’s like he is able to foresee where the market is going to be in four to five years, and he starts moving the company in that direction,” Richins said.
The targets set by goal-oriented, CEO Teresa Whitehead also charted the path that guaranteed Citywide’s growth.
Goorman, Whitehead and a dedicated team of experienced loans officers helped 7,409 families into new homes between 2012 and 2013, and they are focused on continued growth in 2014. Whitehead plans to up the number of loan originators from 250 to 275 by the end of the year and close over $2 Billion in home loans. There are also plans of taking the company national.
“Our goal is to be in all 50 states by the end of the year,” Whitehead said. “We have a strategy and a platform that we think is unique to us. And we feel there are a lot of mortgage professionals who will feel at home and like they want to be a part of what we are building,” she said.
At the center of these expansion plans however, is not just a desire to make the company bigger, but also a devotion to paying it forward. Giving back to the community is deeply woven into the fabric of the company and the team largely credits their clients with making this possible.
“If it wasn’t for our clients, we would not be able to give so generously because we donate a portion of each closed loan to charity,” Loan Originator Marylee Gilchrist said. “Our staff members often volunteer with such organizations as Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House and Christmas Box House, but it’s our clients who have enabled us to give $92,465 to charity to date, and build 13 schools in underprivileged cities in Mexico,” she said.
It’s why President Steve Goorman says he will move mountains to ensure each customer has a pleasurable experience.
“We’ll do everything we know how to help a customer,” Goorman said. “I want to fight to the death for them all the time, and I know that carries through the whole company,” he said. “They are never going to walk away with a bad experience, and that includes the employee, because at Citywide, everybody has to win.”
Dedication to service key to Citywide’s success