Larry Steinway, former senior vice president of lending and branch manager at Illinois-based Guaranteed Rate, has taken on a new challenge to expand the Ohio-based Revolution Mortgage footprint in the Chicagoland market.
Steinway, who claims to have closed more than $1 billion of loan volume in his 24-year career, joined Revolution at the end of January, he said in an interview with HousingWire on Wednesday.
“It’s a different approach to lending. You have a lot of flexibility in pricing, flexibility with other broker products, flexibility with marketing under an compliant umbrella,” Steinway said of Revolution Mortgage, which has a hybrid wholesale and retail lender model.
Steinway left Guaranteed Rate last month, eight years after he returned to the Illinois retail lender in January 2015. He was the fourth mortgage loan originator to join Guaranteed Rate in 2000. He then transitioned to PHH Home Loans in 2001 for an in-house lending stint, a role he stayed in for about nine years.
This time, the autonomy with the decision-making process and the flexibility to offer competitive rates to customers drew Steinway to take on a new task of running a new Revolution Mortgage branch in Rosemont, Illinois.
Steinway is the sole loan officer in his branch and is supported by the rest of his five team members, who primarily focus on marketing its realtor relationships. Closing just shy of $100 million of production in 2022, he’s aiming for a higher loan origination volume in 2023.
“People were inquiring about getting a loan with me on my very first day,” Steinway said. “Inquiries with past customers to work together began on day one when I started.”
Combined with declining rates and a lack of inventory in his market, Steinway said a seller’s market has returned.
“It’s not as prolific as we saw last spring because the rates were still so low in February [and] March. The momentum of the uptick in rates last February, March and April really made people run before the rates went up,” he said.
While a significant number of people have been getting pre-approvals for mortgages since the beginning of the year, according to Steinway, some are still struggling to find that special home.
“It’s really not so much interest rates that are keeping them away as it is the actual inventory,” he said.
T2 Revolution, doing business as Revolution Mortgage, has 409 loan officers and 81 branches across the country, according to mortgage tech platform Modex. The lender originated a volume of $2 billion in 2022, with 72% of its total production coming from purchase mortgages.
In addition to offering non-qualified mortgages (non-QMs) and jumbo loans, Revolution also offers broker-outlet products in which the funds come directly from the investor and are not underwritten or funded by the lender.
Boutique lender Revolution has recently been on a hiring spree to acquire top talent, including Brian Covey, former vice president of regional production at loanDepot.
Covey, who joined Revolution as executive vice president in December, was brought on to train and hire top talent who can penetrate local markets with their own databases and networks.
“It’s the local relationships. We hire locals so they can work with the local real estate agents, CPAs, financial planners and attorneys,” Covey said in December.
Revolution plans to grow the number of branches to 150 with no strict timeline. Custom and personalized signing bonuses will be offered to lure in top talent, according to Covey’s previous interview.
Steinway declined to comment on signing bonuses or his compensation structure at Revolution.
“I feel that if you had a successful career, and you had good experience of growing your brand, this type of opportunity allows you to be autonomous with the decision-making process and the way you want to grow your business,” Steinway said.