|Trump Mortgage Adding Employees
E.J. Ridings discusses business plan
March 14, 2006
By PATRICK CROWLEY
|Mortgage loan originators working at Donald Trump’s new mortgage business won’t necessarily be subject to the proverbial “You’re fired,” the man running the company told MortgageDaily.com.But while Trump Mortgage LLC won’t play on The Apprentice gimmick, the CEO of the recently created company will have no qualms about using the Donald’s famous name to establish a beachhead in residential and commercial lending.
“We truly believe we can create an iconic brand here,” E.J. Ridings, president and CEO of Trump Mortgage, told MortgageDaily.com in an interview. “Donald Trump is an icon already. We believe … in the next five to 10 years, when we get to the point where we’ve created such a strong presence, when people tell you they are buying a house you’re next question will be, have you gotten to Trump yet?”
Ridings believes there a strong opportunity to build a brand not only because Trump is already well-known because of this TV show, business deals, books and flamboyant lifestyle, but also because there is no clear leader in the mortgage industry.
“You ask 10 people at a (ball game) or 20 people on Wall Street who leads the mortgage industry, and you’re fortunate to find one out of 10 that knows that Countrywide is the largest in the nation,” Ridings said. “We see that as a huge opportunity.”
Trump Mortgage, which is based in New York, has about 50 employees now but that is likely to grow to more than 200 by the end of the year.
“That might change drastically with a couple of potential acquisitions,” Ridding said, alluding to Trump’s love of making the big deal.
The company hopes to broker $3 billion in commercial and residential loans this year. About 70 to 80 percent of the loans and the employees will be on the residential side of the business, where Trump plans to make prime and subprime loans.
Given Trump’s background developing high-end properties, Ridings said the company will have a “natural” niche when it comes to brokering mortgage for luxury homes and condominiums.
“We have enormous cache with those properties,” he said. “But we also know there are a lot more $200,000 mortgages than $2 million mortgages.”
Trump Mortgage says it is already licensed in seven states — New York, Connecticut, Colorado, Alaska, New Hampshire, Florida and California. Eventually the company plans to be able to operate in all 50 states.
The company also hopes to have a strong online presence and wants to be able to broker loans from its Web site.
“If you do it right,” said Ridings, who has worked in the stock and mortgage brokerage industries, “you can create a better cost structure online. We plan to drive a lot business to the Web site … once we really get our marketing going.”
Patrick Crowley is a feature journalist and blogger for MortgageDaily.com. He is also a reporter, blogger and columnist for The Cincinnati Enquirer.
e-mail Patrick at: [email protected]