#1: 2010 Most Years in Business
> Purchase-Volume Rank: #3
> FHA-Volume Rank: #7
Top Originators rankings | Next profile
With 36 years in the mortgage industry, Kevin Budde ranks as the most tenured member of this year’s Top Originators list. But in 2000, while taking a year off, the California-based Bank of America regional vice president had a chance to choose another path.
He chilled a while. He took the family to Europe. Then he sent his résumé around.
“I never felt more kicked in the teeth — being ignored, no one wanted to talk to me,” says Budde, who entered the mortgage industry as a “broke” 20-year-old, sorting credit reports on the floor of his neighbor’s apartment.
So he disappointed his wife, his father and anyone else with an idea of what a former brokerage-owner and bankers-association president should do. He started over, as a loan officer.
“Everyone thought I was going through a midlife crisis,” says Budde, who now is the preferred lender for 12 real estate companies. “But when I looked at everything, my happiest days were in origination.”
He hasn’t looked back, posting a loan volume of $136.8 million in 2010. His advice?
“Realize you’re not selling a device or a widget,” he says. “You’re selling a service.”
— Tony Stasiek