Top Originator: Ryan Purpero flipped his business and closed $98 million

by Kimberly Greene11 Mar 2019

Success is great, but it’s not everything.

It might be a funny thing for a top producer to say, but Ryan Purpero, a mortgage loan originator at U.S. Bank in Newport Beach, California, walks the walk.

Purpero grew his brand and business for nearly a decade at Bank of America. He felt that his success had run its course there and he was looking for a change of pace, but knew that he really liked operating within the systems and structures of a bank, complete with the products, services, and portfolio loans that it offered. He got the opportunity to move to U.S. Bank, a fun environment where his brothers were having a lot of success, and made the transition in early 2018.

“I made the move for really a lifestyle change; it’s .7 miles from my home, and I get to work with my best friends and brothers, so it was really about being happy.”

Even though he only started closing loans at the end of February because of the move, Purpero still closed $98 million in 2018, and broke his personal best for purchase business. In 2016, when he had done a personal best in terms of volume, he sensed it was the end of an era for refinances, and started working to flip his business; it went from 35% purchase and 65% refi in 2016 to 80% purchase and 20% refi in 2018.

Purpero is still working to grow purchase in 2019, but he’s circling back to take advantage of the refi opportunities that still exist within his database—which he’s going to have to do if he wants to meet his goal of closing $200 million in volume this year. A more than 100% increase in business sounds like a stretch, but he’s on pace to close $50 million at the end of the first quarter, which is a perfect start.

Everyone wants six-pack abs, Purpero said, but not everyone is willing to work out every day (and forego the beer) to get them. Origination is the same way; no one gets into the upper echelon of mortgage originators by accident. Of course, success is a personal measurement, and plenty of originators don’t want to push themselves past their current production levels for a number of reasons. For those who do desire the rank and compensation, however, and who are committed to working past their current boundaries in order to scale, there isn’t much standing in the way.

“The universe is abundant and it opens up to those who want things bad enough with the right intentions. I think you just have to be honest with yourself and say, do I really want this, and am I willing to do the things to get to that level, and then just go model it after someone that you see, that you admire and want to have a similar business structure,” Purpero said.

Purpero attributes some of his success to his background in a call center environment. He learned to be effective when selling on the phone, so whenever there’s a market event that presents opportunities, he’s able to jump on the phone quickly and take advantage. He’s also effective in person and enjoys networking opportunities, events, and being out in the field, which is where a lot of relationship-building comes into play. His skillsets provide a one-two punch when it comes to reaching clients and partners alike.

“That combination of the two is pretty powerful. I think people either focus on one of the other and not a really good balance of the two, it’s really hard to do both. Either you hate one and love the other, that’s usually how it goes, but I like both, I like mixing it up.”

In origination, Purpero found a place where he could stand out. Growing up with four brothers, he was always very competitive, and although he was involved and good at sports, he says, he wasn’t “amazing.” He got into the mortgage business through one of his brother’s high school best friend’s father, who owned a brokerage. Purpero was in college, waiting tables to make some money on the side, and he gave origination a try in the spring of 2003. The timing was “impeccable” and Purpero said that the historic low interest rates combined with the relaxed lending environment made it a great time to learn the ropes.

He found a way to be really good at something, and that motivation is still what keeps him going, 15 years later.

“I’m still trying to grow my business and refine it to reach higher levels of success in both volume and service, so I think it’s just an opportunity to truly excel and to stand out. This is it for me.”

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