Mortgage firm breaking into Richmond market

Peter Walencis

Peter Walencis

With a veteran local lender on board, a national mortgage company is making a push into Richmond.

Guaranteed Rate, a Chicago-based company with more than 170 offices around the country, is getting its Richmond office off the ground with Peter Walencis leading the way.

Walencis has been in the local mortgage scene since 1999 when he said he was recruited to help run First Market Mortgage, which was part of First Market Bank. He served as president of the mortgage business until its merger with Union Bankshares.

He’s now regional sales manager for Guaranteed Rate, which was founded in Chicago in 2000. He said growing the Guaranteed Rate brand in Richmond will be similar to his efforts in the early days of the First Market brand.

“I’m familiar with startups, although Guaranteed Rate is far from a startup,” he said.

Guaranteed Rate was founded in 2000 by Victor Ciardelli. Walencis said the company closed about $18 billion in loans in 2015.

Walencis is now on the hunt for loan officers and for office space in Richmond, with plans to open a Guaranteed Rate outpost on the north and south side of the river. He hopes to have eight to 10 loans officers in each of the two offices and is currently in talks for leasing space.

He said Guaranteed Rate will look to make a dent in an already crowded local mortgage market by recruiting connected, experienced loan officers and with its ability to offer so-called “laptop loan origination,” in which much of the initial loan process can be done online.

Guaranteed Rate is a nonbank lender, meaning it doesn’t have a bank formally tied to it, and it funds its own loans. It is also a correspondent lender, which originates and funds mortgages, then sells them off into the secondary investment market.

Walencis said the company’s lure in recruiting loan officers is that it allows them to focus more on sales, while letting the company take care of more of the paperwork, compliance and back office tasks.

“We want the vice presidents of lending to run this like their business,” he said.

In addition to recruiting and leasing office space, Walencis said the company will look to get the word out in earnest.

“You’ll see a full marketing push from us,” he said.

The company is also making a push into the Hampton Roads market and will look to the western part of the state, such as Roanoke, Walencis said.

Peter Walencis

Peter Walencis

With a veteran local lender on board, a national mortgage company is making a push into Richmond.

Guaranteed Rate, a Chicago-based company with more than 170 offices around the country, is getting its Richmond office off the ground with Peter Walencis leading the way.

Walencis has been in the local mortgage scene since 1999 when he said he was recruited to help run First Market Mortgage, which was part of First Market Bank. He served as president of the mortgage business until its merger with Union Bankshares.

He’s now regional sales manager for Guaranteed Rate, which was founded in Chicago in 2000. He said growing the Guaranteed Rate brand in Richmond will be similar to his efforts in the early days of the First Market brand.

“I’m familiar with startups, although Guaranteed Rate is far from a startup,” he said.

Guaranteed Rate was founded in 2000 by Victor Ciardelli. Walencis said the company closed about $18 billion in loans in 2015.

Walencis is now on the hunt for loan officers and for office space in Richmond, with plans to open a Guaranteed Rate outpost on the north and south side of the river. He hopes to have eight to 10 loans officers in each of the two offices and is currently in talks for leasing space.

He said Guaranteed Rate will look to make a dent in an already crowded local mortgage market by recruiting connected, experienced loan officers and with its ability to offer so-called “laptop loan origination,” in which much of the initial loan process can be done online.

Guaranteed Rate is a nonbank lender, meaning it doesn’t have a bank formally tied to it, and it funds its own loans. It is also a correspondent lender, which originates and funds mortgages, then sells them off into the secondary investment market.

Walencis said the company’s lure in recruiting loan officers is that it allows them to focus more on sales, while letting the company take care of more of the paperwork, compliance and back office tasks.

“We want the vice presidents of lending to run this like their business,” he said.

In addition to recruiting and leasing office space, Walencis said the company will look to get the word out in earnest.

“You’ll see a full marketing push from us,” he said.

The company is also making a push into the Hampton Roads market and will look to the western part of the state, such as Roanoke, Walencis said.

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