Gateway Mortgage Group: Bringing People Home
Author: Lynnie Leavenworth | Photographer: M. Kat Photography
The Gateway Mortgage Team
Front Row: Nicky Fowlkes, Paddi Bailey, Tayloe Stevenson, Jaclyn Borja and Lucy Waldorf
Back Row: George Spradlin, Steve Ross, Eric Stafford, Sheri Little, Jack Little, Betty Hahn and Lindsay Franklin
Gateway Mortgage Group is in the business of building: building character, building families, building futures—building foundations on which their clients and their team members create lives worth living. With a straight-forward, communication-based approach to mortgage lending, area manager Jack Little’s Lowcountry team is earning their way to the top of their game, one transaction at a time. “With a 22 percent increase in volume in 2016, we exceeded our expected growth by 10 percent,” he said.
Little attributed their outstanding numbers, along with finishing sixth out of 300 Gateway Mortgage Group branches in 2016, to building an outstanding reputation among local realtors, and assembling a team that works together to make great things happen. “The realtors are very satisfied with our level of service, and they continue to refer people to us,” Little said. “They rarely have to ask where they are in the process; updates and information is sent to them directly and automatically.”
Little said of his award-winning team, “We all grew our business together, and we’ve had one of the best years we’ve ever had. We used to compete against each other. Now we work together as a team where we all experience growth in this same market. That’s the way Gateway works; we help each other grow.”
The strength of the local team begins with founder Kevin Stitt. “The owner of the company really believes in family and faith,” Little said. Supporting their initiative to build value through each stage of the lending process, clients experience a streamlined approach to the loan underwriting process, and can count on reliable closings. Gateway’s way of doing business affords Little’s staff the opportunity to build fulfilling careers, where the client’s expectations are exceeded and where personal well-being and family life is valued.
The company supports team members’ growth, professionally and personally, through a series of educational tools and initiatives, providing inspiration, and encouragement. The foci are presented to the team during staff meetings and are found on their website and in Character CORE Magazine, the company’s publication series. The materials are intended to provide information to help build successful careers and bridge those careers into building successful family lives, Little said. “If you take what you do at work to your home and you discuss it, then everybody understands your job. The result is that you have a better workplace by having a better family life, and you have a better family life if you have a better workplace.”
The Bluffton branch of Gateway Mortgage is located at 27 Towne Drive in Suite 301. Just look for the large building to the left of the Kroger shopping center.
The eight-page Character CORE Magazines have titles like, “Initiative,” “Attentiveness,” “Truthfulness,” and “Generosity.” Each issue is filled with articles, interviews, tips, and commentary on the mortgage industry, personal and family life, character building, and so much more. “Our owner believes that you can take your way of doing business home—take home things of inspiration, and loyalty, and commitment,” Little said. This business model results in a highly-satisfied workforce. “If you called anybody who works with our company in the Beaufort or Bluffton branches, they would tell you the job is better than we promised them—everybody.”
Experiencing Gateway’s professional encouragement and personal support first-hand, loan originator Tayloe Stevenson said, “It comes from the gentleman who founded the company. He has a good work ethic and he’s a good Christian man.
It just trickles down through the company.” Hired by Little in March of 2016 as his loan officer assistant, Stevenson brought with her 21 years of banking experience, has learned the mortgage ropes, and as was planned, is building on her already-successful career.
“Jack [Little] reached out to me when it was good timing,” Stevenson said. “I had known him for a long time. I knew how successful they were, and it was a good company, so I made the leap.” Married to a Bluffton fire captain with two children, the work-family connection encouraged by Gateway’s way of doing business and life gives her family the flexibility and support they need. “It’s family first and work second. Professionally, they [Gateway] give you all the tools to succeed, and personally they’re very family-oriented. I can go to my children’s things during the day, and I can work from home if I need to, which is a huge advantage.”
Gateway’s way of doing business and life, has created an environment where growth is inherent. In addition to Stevenson, what was once a small handful of hustling mortgage professionals has grown to what Little describes as his little Camelot—a place he looks forward to going every day, and a collection of people who work as a team, building on their success daily. “I’m very privileged to work with these people.”
Along with Stevenson, Little’s Lowcountry squad includes loan originator assistants Jaclyn Borja and Lindsay Franklin, loan originators Steve Ross, George Spradlin, Eric Stafford, Sheri Little, and Paddi Bailey, and processors Betty Hahn, Lucy Waldorf, and Nicky Fowlkes. “These people are living in the communities in which they work,” Little said. “They’re volunteering, their children are in the schools, they’re your neighbors. These are the people you want to work with.”
Gateway and Little are pleased to be able to now offer reverse mortgage options in-house with the addition of loan originator George Spradlin. “That’s big,” Little said. Sitting down with Spradlin to learn more about how these FHA-insured mortgages work is the best way to begin. Considered a non-recourse loan that does not affect an individual’s estate, any homeowner 62 years old and up is encouraged to explore the benefits.
“We’re looking to continue our growth in 2017,” Little said. “I’ve always believed, whatever you do in your box, do it really well.” Gateway Mortgage Group is continuing to build character, families, futures, growing careers and creating lives worth living.
The Bluffton branch of Gateway Mortgage Group is located at 27 Towne Drive, Suite 301 – (843) 815-2999. Their Beaufort branch is located at 24 Professional Village Circle – (843) 321-8834. For more information, please visit gatewayloan.com.