Many mortgage companies bill their workplaces as “being like family,” but for Matt Oliver and Lund Team Mortgage Inc., this turn of phrase rings a little truer than most. The firm (as its name suggests) is a small, family-owned shop, once owned by his wife’s father, Stan Lund. Oliver joined the company 14 years ago by special request.
“It was back when I was working at Chase doing home equity lines of credit,” he reminisced. “And that’s when I met my wife, Lisa Lund. I met her in 2005, and then she asked me to come over and join their team. I started in October of ’07 and Lisa took over [as president] in August of ’09. They were kind of revamping their company, changing it over to be a direct-to-consumer type thing. When I started, it was still Lisa’s dad and her and me, and we’ve just kind of picked up more family members as time has progressed.”
That’s not hyperbole. Lisa Lund’s stepmother works at the company, as do her sister and son. Two of Oliver’s best friends and a close acquaintance also have been hired by the company. It’s a tightly knit operation both professionally and personally, and this familiarity has resulted in a well-oiled mortgage machine.
“It’s kind of like a football team,” Oliver said. “When you have a wide receiver and a quarterback that have been together for a while, they know what routes they’re going to run or how each other is going to improvise. They know what someone’s going to do before they do it. That’s how we are, and I think that’s been a real key to it.”
For his part, Oliver said that he enjoys being one of the Lund team’s “numbers guys.” He often lends his analytical mindset to help borrowers do the backstage arithmetic and fund their homeownership dreams. “You know, I actually started school doing criminal justice stuff,” Oliver said with a laugh, “but I loved these economics classes that I did at a community college. I actually took them multiple times just in case I missed anything.
“My dad was always real knowledgeable with numbers, so he kind of drilled that into my head and I guess I got it from him. I enjoy helping somebody understand their financial position. I try to educate the consumers and that part of it is exciting to me. If I can get someone to listen and help them truly see what the best thing is to do with their money, I get a lot of joy out of that.”
My dad was always real knowledgeable with numbers, so he kind of drilled that into my head.
Oliver said that he’s always upfront with numbers even if the math doesn’t work out in the company’s favor. This helps to build a bond with a prospect, who might turn into a client down the line. For example, he might receive a call from someone trying to do a rate-and-term refinance. He’ll do the math and sometimes arrives at the conclusion that a loan doesn’t pencil out. The caller might be offended by being told that he can’t be helped.
“But then I explain why, like, ‘Maybe it’d save you $50 a month but it’s going to take too long to recoup your costs,’” Oliver said. “I explain to them, ‘Look, I get paid there. We get paid to do refis. But I’m telling you not to do it, that I don’t want to take your money because that’s great for us, but it doesn’t help you.’ And they’ll come back the other way and say, ‘This makes sense. Thanks for being honest with me.’”
These kinds of things go a long way, Oliver notes. The odds are good that these people will start telling others about their mortgage company’s trustworthiness. “That’s the kind of business that we want to run,” he said. ●