For New American Funding, 2017 was a banner year. In a time when some lenders saw contraction, New American Funding opened 31 branches and hired more than 1,000 new employees, including 330 outside loan officers. In addition, the company funded approximately $900 million in home loans and grew its servicing portfolio to $22 billion.
The company credits its success to its continuous investment in technology and marketing that keeps it at the forefront of innovation. As just one example, New American Funding recognizes the power of mobile in the borrower experience, so it developed not only mobile apps but mobile-responsive web pages that make it easier for borrowers to engage throughout the mortgage process.
“Focusing on technology and innovating tools for our loan officers and real estate partners to serve Millennials is a result of long-term planning,” said Rick Arvielo, CEO of New American Funding. “Creating a business model that promotes loan officers and their personal brand, rather than corporate, is the approach we believe is best for serving consumers and for our loan officers/partners.”
This business model prompted New American Funding to include co-branded marketing for its partners, and creates branding and marketing support for individual loan officers through its NAF for You Campaign. The company also uses a Social Media Advanced Remarketing Tool (SMART) to present informative content for real estate agents and loan officers to borrowers who enter through the company’s mobile apps.
Going even further to champion its partners, New American Funding proactively sends surveys to borrowers to generate reviews for those agents. Since the program began in January 2017, more than 23,000 reviews have been written — all 4 or 5 stars.
“All of these things are ways to promote our agents, who are our brand online. It’s a different way of doing business. It’s not all about New American Funding — it’s about the agents who work at New American Funding. The fact that we do so much with co-branding serves our real estate partners as well,” Arvielo said.
In addition to tech innovation, the company’s focus on underserved populations is another critical part of its success — and mission.
Patty Arvielo, New American Funding’s president, spearheads the company’s efforts to expand homeownership among Hispanic and African-American borrowers through unique loan products and programs. One example is the New American Dream initiative, aimed at reaching African-American borrowers, which has seen loan production to that segment nearly double since the program launched in March.
For New American Funding employees, Patty created the program “If You Want to Grow We Want to Know” to help employees grow professionally. Her commitment to helping women employees in particular has fueled New American Funding’s success. As a result, the company workforce is comprised of 58% women, with many holding C-suite positions. She also hosts quarterly mentoring sessions for women employees.
In addition to their duties at New American Funding, both Rick and Patty serve the larger industry.
Patty serves as a member of the Corporate Board of Governors for the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Providers and serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the Consumer Affairs Advisory Council for the Mortgage Bankers Association. In 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appointed Patty to serve on its Consumer Advisory Board to provide the agency with expertise on a broad range of consumer financial matters and emerging market trends.
Rick sits on the Board of Directors of the MBA, as well as its Residential Board of Governors. He also serves as the 2017-2018 Chairman of MORPAC, the MBA’s Political Action Committee.
The Arvielos’ commitment to supporting homeownership at all levels — from the local community level to the halls of power in Washington, D.C. — impacts their employees as well.
“Our employees feel proud that they are a part of something bigger,” Patty Arvielo said. “They are lending their voice, and in some cases their dollars, to changing the narrative of mortgage lending in Washington, D.C. and having an impact on all of the legislation that is coming down the pipeline that will affect their industry, their livelihoods and the borrowers that they serve.”
The milestones New American Funding reached in 2017 have only fueled the Arvielos’ desire to do more in 2018.
“From an innovation standpoint, we have more that we’re leading into in 2018 than we have accomplished in 2017; we’re picking up momentum,” Rick Arvielo said.