RCG Mortgage owner on selective hiring and ambitious expansion

Broker's strategic hiring paves the way for national growth and success

RCG Mortgage owner on selective hiring and ambitious expansion

Andrew Russell’s vision transcends mere business aspirations. As the founder of RCG Mortgage, he is on a mission to empower a new generation of mortgage professionals to become successful loan officers.

His selective hiring approach and unwavering focus on quality ensure that RCG Mortgage’s team remains cohesive and committed to the company’s values. Beyond mortgages, his dedication to making a positive impact through his collaboration with “You’ll Be OK Too” exemplifies his commitment to being a force for good in the world.

When Russell (pictured) started his own mortgage broker company in 2015, his decision was met with skepticism by many, but Russell stood firm in his belief.

“Everybody told me I was going to fail,” he said. “When people tell me that, as you’ve seen from starting the mortgage business at the crash, I’m like, ‘watch what I’m gonna do for the industry.’ So, I did that. We started with me and two people, and now we have grown into a company with over 40 employees.”

RCG Mortgage’s achievements speak for themselves. “Last year, we were ranked the number one mortgage broker originator on the east coast and #10 broker originator in the country. We’ve really done a lot of amazing things to get here, and I feel like we’re just starting. I feel like there’s so much opportunity for us and skies the limit.”

Realtor-centric approach

While others chased after refinance booms and internet leads, Russell focused on cultivating strong relationships with real estate agents. He recognized the value of realtor referrals in driving the purchase business forward, a strategy that has been instrumental in RCG’s success.

Russell emphasized the importance of having a solid business plan. “Number one is a business plan,” he said. “You can’t get to where you want to go until you plan it out. In our business, there’s no half-assing it. You have to be hyper-focused and strategic in your approach.

“I’ve always been very realtor-based. So when I built my company, that’s been my focus. Now, especially in a rising rate environment, when the refi stuff is kind of gone away, I think we’re like a century, not even a decade or century low for refi applications. We are still doing our thing with purchase business and are still very successful.”

Read more: Broker misses refi wave but has no regrets

Quality over quantity

Russell remains optimistic despite media-driven concerns about the industry’s performance. He outlined two main objectives for the future.

“Number one, I’m focusing on growing a new generation of loan officers,” Russell shared. “So I’m diving head first into hiring new loan officers, training them up, and growing someone new - from zero loans a month, to five loans a month.

“There’s been a very aggressive call to action in our space and real estate for a youth infusion. I’m hiring young, tech-savvy professionals and training them to become successful loan officers.”

Discover the basic trainings of a loan officer and how to get them.

RCG Mortgage’s approach to developing loan officers involves a proven program that leads to tangible results. Russell elaborated, “If you follow my lead for three months, we have a proven program. If you come into my company as a new loan officer and you follow, you will see significant growth.”

Addressing the challenge of attracting young talent, Russell acknowledged the industry’s struggle but remained selective in his hiring process. He prefers a quality-driven approach over mass hiring, seeking individuals who are good in technology and align with RCG Mortgage’s company culture.

“We’re a small, select group of ninjas, and I don’t need to hire 50 to 100 loan officers right now,” Russell said. “My focus is not necessarily the masses. I want to find people who align with our company culture and are coachable.”

Learn more about loan officer education, types of education, and know how to start here.

Additionally, RCG Mortgage aims to expand its presence beyond New York, Russell stated, “We’re hyper-focused on an out-of-state, national outreach. We want to establish a stronger presence in states like Texas, California, and Florida. Our goal is to achieve a balanced 50/50 split between in-state and out-of-state business.”

Making an impact beyond mortgages

One initiative close to Russell’s heart is his collaboration with Christina Mathieson, head of business development at RCG. Christina is a breast cancer survivor who started a non-profit organization called “You’ll Be OK Too,” dedicated to supporting those battling breast cancer.

“We’re really trying to heavily promote that and have that incorporated because we believe so much in the messaging plus, she’s one of our employees. It’s something we’re proud to be a part of,” Russell shared with genuine pride.

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