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Branch Operation Doubling

Branch Operation DoublingVIP Mortgage adding 100 employees

January 8, 2007

By JERRY DeMUTH

Aggressive growth plans have one New England mortgage company doubling its production, offices and employees this year.

The firm, Danvers, Mass.-based VIP Mortgage Corp., is “hoping to get between $600 million and $700 million” in new originations during 2007, almost doubling last year’s production of $350 million, said President and CEO Greg Deschenes.

VIP, which operates online at www.VIPMortgage.net. currently has six offices in Massachusetts, four offices in New Hampshire and one office in Florida.

“Right now we’re licensed in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine and Florida and we’re looking to expand into Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and a little more in Florida as well,” explained Deschenes, who co-founded the company with Pat Slattery in 1999.

License applications are pending in those selected new states, and in other states, most of them east of the Mississippi, he said. With the additions, VIP hopes to grow from 11 offices to 22 and increase the employee count from 100 to 200 by the beginning of the second quarter.

“Growth on a regional level is what we’re looking at in 2007,” he explained.

In a video aimed at attracting new employees who would open new branch offices, Deschenes states that VIP Mortgage is “looking to expand throughout the United States.”

The company is not looking to establish large branch offices with 30 to 50 employees, he told MortgageDaily.com. “Our ideal branches are maybe two to 10 people all of whom have experience in the mortgage business and have experience doing mortgage loans,” he said. “We are receiving a couple branch applications a week.”

He is looking for people who may only want to maintain a “one-man shop,” as well as people who want to grow their offices or managers who want to bring an existing small office with them, including loan officers and loan processors, he said. Thus the ideal candidates include not only experienced loan officers but also small branches of other mortgage companies and even small mortgage companies.

“Those are options we offer,” he commented.

“Everybody would be a W-2 employee of VIP Mortgage,” he said. And they would receive all the benefits of VIP Mortgage employees, including medical, life and disability insurance, Deschenes pointed out. And while branches operate independently, branches receive from VIP Mortgage accounting, marketing, human resources and “everything else that’s associated with a mortgage company. We have a whole corporate structure in place.”

Further, offices will have access to VIP Mortgage’s warehouse lines from such wholesale lenders as Bank of America, Chase Manhattan and Wells Fargo, he noted. And the company also can provide table funding.

“The ability to do loans over the Internet is another advantage,” he added.

All these personal and business-related benefits may attract people currently associated with small mortgage companies that can’t afford to provide them, he added.

Thus the new offices would be “really a turnkey operation,” Deschenes explained.

All new offices will be retail operations only, he said.

“We’re not expanding on a wholesale level,” he pointed out. “So we’re just opening new branches on a retail level.”

VIP Mortgage will not be introducing any new products as it expands, according to Deschenes, who explained, “We’re sticking with the main product line that we’ve always had.”

Those include FHA, VA, Alt-A and subprime mortgages, most of them now 30-year fixed-rate.

“The difference between a fixed and an adjustable isn’t that much any more so borrowers are sticking with 30-year fixed rate loans,” he said.

 

Jerry DeMuth is an award winning journalist who has been reporting for four decades.

e-mail Jerry at demuth933@earthlink.net


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