Dave Whitlach and Steve Glover crossed paths a number of times in life but didn’t know it until they ended up working together.
Since 2015, the two Ahwatukee men are part of the Redstone Mortgage team in Chandler.
Though Glover is in charge – they are part of the Steve Glover team, which has been ranked among Redstone’s top 10 nationally for loan closings – both Arizona-licensed lenders meet and speak with clients, analyze their income, assets, credit, etc. and strategize how best to put a financing plan together.
“Often we collaborate to support one another,” Whitlock said. “Sometimes, four eyes are better than two when figuring out the best recommendations to make for a client. Our goal is always to provide the best information possible, as quickly as possible.”
It wasn’t until they started working together that they realized how parallel their paths had been.
Both were born in the South Bay area of Los Angeles; both found their way to ASU and the fraternity system; they’ve been in the mortgage industry for more than 20 years and have been married just as long; their kids are involved in sports and activities in the community; and both are long-time Ahwatukee residents. Indeed. They live on the same street, though in different neighborhoods.
Whitlach and wife Laura have two children: Natalie Whitlach, 15, a Desert Vista High School student and Alexander, 13, who attends Akimel a-Al Middle School. Glover and his wife Ann have three children, ASU graduate Lexi, 21; Kendall, who’s attending the University of Georgia on a volleyball scholarship; and Peyton, 14, a Desert Vista student.
Both Natalie and Peyton are sophomores at Desert Vista, where they are both on the volleyball team.
“A couple years ago they only played against one another in middle school,” Glover added. Now, they too are friends. Laura, Dave, Ann and I spend large amounts of time around the club volleyball scene.”
“I find it quite interesting that our lives had mirrored each other’s for more than 40 years, yet we only met a couple years ago,” he said. “It’s hard to believe we have called Ahwatukee home for 20 years and have been paralleling each other almost since we were born, have been in the lending industry, and never met before we did.”
Both men also are near-workaholics on their clients’ behalf.
“We spend 50+ hours per week together in the office, texting, talking or e-mailing each other,” said Whitlock.
“Steve has a larger focus on client relations and always maintaining a deep level of involvement with our clients – start to finish,” he continued. “Steve even sleeps with his phone within reach and will answer and return a call at 2:30 a.m. – seriously.
“We are very diligent about weekly loan status reports, phone calls, etc. with each client and business partner. In addition to that, my focus is to also managing those processes/systems that occur within our team/office. Our goal is to be efficient and transparent with our clients and referral partners in how we operate. We work together up front with everyone and maintain contact throughout to ensure a smooth process….Our mindset is that we are always involved.”
Glover said he and his three team members “have extended partners from California to Tennessee who manage processes such as underwriting, pricing/locks, documents, funding and closing for us. We have excellent resources from a corporate standpoint; but I believe our greatest strength is in our ability to adapt and maneuver around obstacles that would otherwise slow or derail other lenders.”
In their 20 years in the industry, much has changed, Whitlach said, explaining:
“The industry has become far more automated, with loan origination software) becoming more integrated with database management/CRM systems. We don’t kill as many trees these days, as we no longer have to make two-copy paper packages of every document along the way…When I started, I very often took applications by hand on the legal sized paper and then attached it to a file folder using a binder clip.”
They also have seen seismic shifts in the industry as it moved from traditional lending to an unregulated industry that allowed the subprime lending that created the crash of 2008 and then back to “a traditional, highly- regulated industry we initially broke into.”
Glover concurred, stating, “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Compliance and NMLS – These are all good things for consumers and our industry. Guys like us have 20 years’ experience and have made this a career as opposed to a job. We have a long-term approach and mindset to take the best care of every person we meet – hopefully keeping clients for life.”
He said in his time in the industry, he has seen it employ “a whole bunch of knuckleheads who called themselves mortgage advisers.”
“They had no long-term mindset at all – and frankly, many of them had no financial mindset either. They provided terrible information based on what would generate them the largest compensation and they did massive damage to the industry,” Glover said.
“Today,” he added. “the impact of regulation/licensing has pushed those folks out. The playing field has been leveled regarding products and compensation – we all earn the same. If you want to work in our industry, get a license, keep up your continuing education hours, follow the rules and provide the best advice to people. It’s been a great thing for everybody.”
But the industry also has become more competitive, according to Whitlach, who noted, “There are easily more than 450 independent mortgage companies in the Phoenix area today, and that doesn’t count all the banks, credit unions and other institutions that have lending divisions.”
These days, their biggest challenges “are a less expansive housing market, on-line mortgage companies and internet-based lending,” Glover said.
“It’s not just our industry. Very often we are competing, at least initially, with something that isn’t legitimate, or, bad information. People seek information online and they really focus on one thing – the rate. They receive provide incomplete information, obtain a quote then bring it to us to match. The problem is that they haven’t talked with anyone and there are more factors that need to be considered than just the rate. We usually discover that what they think is available really isn’t.”
In the aftermath of the 2008 crash, Glover added, “There is still quite a bit of skepticism and caution in the markets. We’ve been able to rebound because of the diligence, partnerships, and client base we established before the meltdown. Fortunately, the meltdown didn’t change people’s wants and needs. Food, shelter, clothing, family are still most people’s priorities.”
“We stay current and try and work ahead of the curve. And we don’t live in fear,” Glover said. “Experience has given us some perspective and wisdom that just allows us to be completely open and matter-of-fact with people.”
“Financing a home is just too big a financial decision to trust to a 1-800 call center. Getting a mortgage or buying a home is one of the top five stressors for people and it’s even worse when they can’t go meet with their adviser in person or get them on the phone. We are local, and we are a mortgage banker, meaning we have direct control over the whole process start to finish – that is important.”
As for people pondering a first-time home purchase, Whitlach gives this advice: “Start early – up to a year before you’re ready to start looking for a home. That is crucial. Know your credit scores and find out what needs to be addressed – don’t wait.”