Magazine article Mortgage Banking

Going Long

Magazine article Mortgage Banking

Going Long

Article excerpt

Movement Mortgage has its roots in pro football. Its founds team has big goals ahead. One is to originate one out of every 10 home-purchase loans 10 years from now. Don't count this company out.

In 2013, when Mortgage Banking first caught up with former pro football player Casey Crawford, he was rushing for his first business touchdown. Charlotte, North Carolina-based Movement Mortgage LLC, the company he founded with Toby Harris, was one of the first independent residential mortgage companies to emerge in the post-recession years and was breaking away from the pack of bankers surrounding it. [paragraph] Actually, Movement Mortgage was created in the very heart of the recession. Founded in 2007, it was approved for operations in 2008 and, as could be expected, didn't really get rolling until the economic recovery. For the year 2012, the company boasted 745 employees, 10,286 loans and origination volume of $1.99 billion. Since then Movement Mortgage hasn't stopped moving. [paragraph] This year the company could top $8 billion in originations, Chief Executive Officer Crawford said in May. "We are doing about 3,500 loans a month right now. We closed $799 million in loan volume in June--a high for the year--and $726 million in September," he said. [paragraph] The company's workforce has more than doubled to more than 2,649 employees and it expects to reach 3,000 employees by the first quarter of 2016. Movement Mortgage now boasts three major fulfillment centers in Phoenix; Virginia Beach, Virginia; and Charlotte, along with about 427 branches across 43 states where the company is licensed.

Earlier this year, the company announced it would relocate its corporate headquarters down the interstate a few miles--from Charlotte to Lancaster County, South Carolina. It will invest $22 million to build a new headquarters to house 650 new jobs in the area.

Part of the reason for the move was a $53 million tax-incentive package from the South Carolina Coordinating Council for Economic Development. When the deal was inked and made public, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley proudly announced, "It's always a great day in South Carolina when a successful, nationally branded company like Movement Mortgage decides to establish its headquarters in our state. I look forward to supporting their continued growth and success."

And Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-South Carolina) chimed in: "The economic impact of this announcement will be huge for our citizens, county and state, and I wish the Movement Mortgage team all the success as their transition to South Carolina begins."

Management style

As a ballplayer, you need to tune out the noise and go about your job, which is to move the football forward. That's what Crawford and Movement Mortgage have been doing. The company's success comes from three factors: goal-focused management, a better game plan and changing field conditions.

Crawford and Executive Vice President Harris are very goal-oriented managers, which should come as no surprise since they were both athletes (Harris has competed in Ironman triathlons). As such, the real key to their success was making the mortgage process goal-oriented instead of deadline-oriented.

Generally the mortgage business is deadline-oriented, which means the flow works toward a deadline or closing date, mostly 30 days from the start, when the agent arrives with a contract. What that means, Crawford explained in his interview with Mortgage Banking two years ago, was, "The loan starts out at the bottom of a pile and it's not until 10 days before deadline that someone grabs it. We work toward goals, not deadlines, and it changes everything."

To reiterate, Movement Mortgage's goal is to clear all loans within seven days. Movement Mortgage's whole system is Web-based, cloud-stored and almost fully paperless. Every part of the process is timed, measured and graded, as is everyone partaking in the process. …

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