MPA: Tell us a little about GSF.
Chad Jampedro: GSF is a primarily retail-focused company. We’ve got 54 locations across the country, with about 125 originators and growing. We are Fannie-approved and Ginnie-approved, and we just received our Freddie Mac approval. Right now we’re focused on retaining servicing – we’re retaining about 70% of our total production – and really slow, smart growth.
MPA: So what is smart growth? How do you differentiate it from, say, reckless growth?
CJ: We’re not really looking to dominate any one particular market. We’re really focused on the operations that we’re bringing on in those markets, along with a real hyper-focus on the branch managers and their business plans. That’s really been our plan over the last two years. And we are growing; folks are choosing us, which is great. I’m certainly proud of that. We’ve also had quite a focus on technology integration over the last year. We’ve integrated our CRM to be a company CRM, not just a sales CRM. It’s become our CRM not just for sales, but for compliance, and it integrates our business partners. We’re really excited about that technology leaping forward. And because of the fact that we’re leading in that area, we’re attracting younger originators – and originators who are looking for that final spot, that place they can say is home for good. That’s exciting to me and to GSF.
MPA: Obviously, GSF is doing well in the market. How about others? Do you think it’s a good time to be in the mortgage industry?
CJ: I think it’s a great time. This is the best industry, I believe, in the world. We have an industry where you can be exposed to so many aspects of business, not just sales in particular. If you’re a salesperson, you’re focused on sales, marketing, accounting, compliance – it’s an industry where it’s never the same thing every single day. I’d say where we are as an industry is cautious optimism. We’re optimistic about the future of the housing market.
On the horizon, we have an election coming up, and maybe some choppy waters in the marketplace – and who knows what that will bring about? And we have higher regulation in our industry than we’ve ever seen. … So it’s a cautious optimism. Everybody talks about how they’re building their business – but not just for the sake of volume. It’s all about building their business for the safety and soundness of their originators and employees. That’s a very different approach then it’s been in the past. It’s good to see that. It feels very good in the industry right now.