He broke into the business thanks to a (very) close contact at UWM
Clint Bryant (pictured) found himself burned out after 17 years in the restaurant industry. But after getting out, he was unsure what he wanted to do next.
“I had owned two pizza franchises,” the Detroit-based mortgage loan originator told Mortgage Professional America during a telephone interview. “I opened up my own business when I was 19 right out of high school, so I already had the entrepreneurial spirt.”
Yet envisioning a new career for himself proved as big a mystery as many view pineapple chunks atop a pizza pie (with apologies to all who enjoy the incongruous food mix). He went back to school for an associate’s degree as he contemplated his next move.
Mulling his options
A background in sports prompted him to explore a possible career in physical therapy but he was unable to reconcile the high costs of schooling for the discipline with the potential income offered in the field. “Once I realized how much the college education was going to cost – wow,” he said.
Still, he spent a little over a year as a rehabilitation technician at a physical therapy clinic as he mulled his options. It was then he had an epiphany close to home. “Fortunately, I have the most wonderful wife in the world,” he said of his spouse who works at United Wholesale Mortgage as the director of risk. “She’s one of the big shots over there,” he said with palpable pride.
A natural salesman, Bryant was urged to apply for an account executive job at the company. Ever the numbers cruncher, he calculated the cost advantage of pursuing the work and found the prospect of immediate income further appealing.
“And then I had the potential to learn the industry with one of the best lenders in the entire country,” he said. “So, I decided to take a shot. I thought of opening my own brokerage shop as a long-term goal but didn’t know how to sell mortgages at the time. I would go out with my wife to [mortgage industry] events on occasion, so I knew the lingo a little bit but not the nuances.”
Concurrently, he had interviewed with another big lender as well. Both offered him work, but he opted to go with United Wholesale Mortgage for various reasons. “After some consideration, studying the backgrounds of both companies I felt it would be a better fit for me to work with United Wholesale Mortgage only because of the training they had that was available and the effort and commitment they put into their team members.”
He quickly rose through the ranks from his entry-level role as account executive, promoted to sales team leader within three years. He worked closely with mortgage brokers during his five-year stint with the company that ended in 2020, learning the trade as he went along.
Making the leap into mortgages
“After working with some of the brokers, I was able to get my confidence up enough and learned enough about the industry that I felt I could do it on my own,” Bryant said of becoming a mortgage broker. “So then I took the state licensing test and was able to pass it on my first try. I ended up with a local brokerage company as an originator where I’ve been ever since, which has been fantastic.”
You might even say it’s been marvelous for him. Since July 2020, Bryant has been working at MarveLoans LLC as a loan originator and vice president of the firm. The founder of the company, Bryant noted, is a friend and former UWM colleague with whom he had stayed in touch. The company is licensed in 10 states and Washington, DC, with plans to expand into Texas by year’s end, Bryant said.
To be sure, it’s a far cry from the pizza business – and exponentially more complex. Even though his mortgage career began in a time of market volatility, he said he enjoys the challenge. “What I like about this industry is that it’s very challenging,” he said. “It’s something new every day and you have to have a certain level of experience and knowledge in this business in order to be successful. There are a lot of people who come and go, but the test of time for longevity is being able to withstand the ups and downs. You have to be willing to learn something new. It’s constantly moving and changing, which I like because I need to be challenged.”
One such challenge arose in one of his earliest deals, when a client was having issues with a break in the title that prompted that resulted in his getting denied by other lenders. In partnership with UWM, Bryant was able to resolve the issue and do a refinance, enabling the older military veteran client to secure enough money for home repairs and even a little extra for his retirement.
“He was just overwhelmed with how grateful he was,” Bryant said. “He’s got his house, the funds he needed to fix his home and is able to ride into the sunset now.”
Such are the rewards of his work, he noted, despite the challenge. “You can look at numbers, you can look at guidelines, but at the end of the day – at the heart of the matter – you’re dealing with a person, with their family, with a situation they may need help with.”
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