Become global but think locally,” said Cassidy O’Sullivan, chief strategy officer at Mann Mortgage’s branch office in Chandler, Arizona. This simple yet powerful operating principle has guided the working philosophy of Mann Mortgage’s many branch offices. The mantra also helped to propel the network of brokerages into a winning spot on this year’s Top Mortgage Employers 2021.
O’Sullivan comes from a recruitment background and has always kept the needs of employees central in his working approach. Reflecting on the survey results, he knows how important employee incentive programs are. He is also keenly aware of the work-life balance that employees need to deliver their best performance on the job.
If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic during the last 18 months has amplified O’Sullivan’s recognition of rewarding employees and compensating them for their hard work.
Justin Flake, chief operations officer at Mann Mortgage’s Kalispell, Montana head office, feels the same. “We have been very generous and realized that what our employees needed most was more time off – they were worn out,” he says. “So we paid for a dinner to go out with family and to take a day off approved by their direct managers.”
The sheer competitive nature of the mortgage sector routinely forces many brokerages to think outside the box. Mann Mortgage believes that this applies to both the work that goes into attracting a large client base as well as the tireless efforts to ensure that its many clients remain well taken care of and loyal.
O’Sullivan says that the same truth can be applied to the continuous efforts to keep Mann Mortgage’s loan officers happy while encouraging their talented staff and sales team to stay committed to the firm.
“It all comes down to the work culture,” he says. “Instead of a top-down approach of talking down to employees, we foster an open dialogue.” This open conversation with loan officers allows upper management to benefit from the loan officers’ unique advantages. They all have “a pulse on what is going on in their local markets and what is going on at the street level,” he adds.
A collaborative spirit and a work-together approach among the different departments at Mann Mortgage, as well as between the other branch offices, stems directly from the pioneering cooperative spirit on which the founding principles of the firm rest.
From the grassroots of the initial Montana brokerage to the many offices spread over the Pacific Northwest and as far away as Hawaii, Mann Mortgage has always motivated its employees with a cooperative, local and hands-on approach to dealing with client files.
“The end result is to get these folks into their homes and hand over their keys,” O’Sullivan states. However, to put the client first, the many departments working on each mortgage file must also feel a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
When asked what the three keys to success may be for Mann Mortgage, both O’Sullivan and Flake did not take long to reply. “Folks have to be local, which circles back to our guiding philosophy. Leaders need to be transparent. Retention of employees is key too,” O’Sullivan says.
Flake echoes his colleague’s views. “Open dialogue, an entrepreneurial spirit and an emphasis on face-to-face dealings with the client,” were traits Flake felt best described Mann Mortgage’s winning approach.
Head Office Address:
1230 Whitefish Stage, Kalispell, MT 59901