He went from CRM platform user as a mortgage originator to its CEO
It’s not every day one hears of a customer liking a product so much that he first invests in the company and eventually become its CEO. Yet that’s the unlikely yet real-life story of Chad Jampedro (pictured), who went from home lending while running a mortgage banking firm to heading up the relationship management platform Bonzo.
In mid-2020, Jampedro was owner and president of GO Mortgage in Brookfield, Wis., overseeing about 215 employees – including 100 originators. “What we found was that the CRMs were very difficult to train on and deploy, and the adoption level was really low,” he recalled during an interview with Mortgage Professional America. “They had all the bells and whistles, and the marketing was amazing, but the efficacy was lacking. So, I started to look for something a little lighter, and found Bonzo.”
He asked for a demonstration and described the rest as “love at first sight” with no hint of irony or hyperbole. “I loved it – the simplicity and thoughtfulness of it and how it was designed by former originators. They built it based on what actually happens and now theoretically how it could happen,” he said. “There was a simplicity to it that helped us solve a number of problems, I thought to myself this is going to be simple enough – an omni-channel platform that was simple enough to deploy that we could do it in a few days, which puts some of the planning and campaigning in the hands of the originator, and it also solved a compliance scenario which was an issue for us.”
Bonzo helped bring various elements – cell phone, CRM, email, video, business line – on to a single platform, Jampedro explained. “Bonzo helped us to bring it all into one platform and from a management perspective get visibility,” he said. Unlike other industry CRM providers, Jampedro found the automated Bonzo platform was designed and priced to help salespeople attract and engage customers without all the traditional legwork, cost and time. He saw how that enables salespeople to spend less time and money chasing deals or implementing a new CRM, and more time building lasting client relationships.
He also quickly became a fan of the platform’s transparency that allowed for tracking engagement. “We could actually see these conversations happening,” Jampedro said. “One of the first campaigns we had was really powerful. We ran a campaign on leads that were about four months old – from different sources, and making sure they weren’t on no-call lists. We would watch these conversations through text and email, back and forth, almost with a rhythm. All of a sudden, we’d see these leads – that were essentially dead – now coming alive. Then it happened again and again and again. I said oh s**t – pardon my language – this is working. Then we did leads that were a year old and had the same results.”
Read more: Chad Jampedro, GO Mortgage
The more enamored he became of the product, the more he thought of becoming an investor – a prospect he actually asked about 20 days in: “We ended up adopting Bonzo, and then I asked jokingly: ‘Do you need an investor?’” The answer was ‘yes’, and Jampedro ended up in the role of angel investor for the product. “I didn’t see anything like it on the market,” he recalled. “Once I started to see the results, it wasn’t long to realize this is special and I wanted to be a part of it.”
Right off the bat, he saw how the platform aided him both personally and professionally, he said. “In the mortgage industry, when you’re in a leadership role, you have to be master of a number of different things – compliance, legal, all of those things, and not all of those things are sexy. So, when you turn those things off, your mind goes back to what you love about the business. For me, it was always around marketing and technology and just that whole relationship of making a connection and developing it.”
Initially, he planned on staying with GO Mortgage while investing in Bonzo. Ultimately, he let GO Mortgage go, with a sale finalized in late November 2021. “As the year took shape, and coming out of the last two years past COVID, I decided to depart from GO on good terms. They are in great hands with leadership.”
Read next: GO Mortgage names new business development execs
He also wisely had his wife fly to Bonzo headquarters in Boulder, Colo., for a look around – and to ensure her he was still in control of his faculties, he joked. Worried mostly about his blood pressure, she wanted to make sure he wasn’t taking on too big a task. She had championed a year-long break for him that ended up being just a month, he said. “The stars started to align, but I had to convince my wife, Kelly,” he said. “I flew her out to Boulder so she could see what I was seeing and be part of the process of understanding.”
Once there, she met Bonzo co-founders Miles Miller and Jason Perkins, who Jampedro has kept on as chief operating officer and president, respectively, since his ascension to CEO on May 01. “We’ve had a tremendous amount of growth in the last six months – almost whirlwind – and we’re managing through that together.”