Matt Beckwith, an executive vice president at OVM Financial Inc., is a competitive guy. Sometimes, he admits, he’s almost too competitive. “I usually don’t let my kids win [at] Candy Land,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve gotten better about it, but if they’re going to beat me, they’re going to have to earn it.”
That’s how it has always been for Beckwith, a high school and collegiate athlete who still shoots hoops, plays soccer and snowboards in his free time. The competitive nature of the mortgage industry, in fact, is what drew him further into the housing world.
Answer your phone. Call people back. Really listen and connect when you talk to people.
“I definitely didn’t plan to be in the mortgage business,” said Beckwith, who has a bachelor’s degree in history and had plans to go to law school. “I kind of fell into the mortgage business in 2003, pretty much right after college when I was just really looking for a job. I got started doing it the old-fashioned way, I like to call it — picking up the phone and calling people.
“It was just a competitive environment and I liked the opportunity to win. … At that particular office I was in, my first goal was to be No. 1 in that office. Once I got there, well, I wanted to be No. 1 in the area, and then it just kept expanding from there.”
That drive to win has certainly pushed Beckwith to success. In 2018, for example, he closed 363 loans for a total dollar volume of $83.5 million. And his volume of $60.5 million in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans was good for third in the country, according to Scotsman Guide’s Top Originator rankings.
For Beckwith, however, the definition of winning has changed over the course of his time in the industry.
“Winning then [when I first got into the mortgage business] was more about being No. 1,” Beckwith said. “And, you know, of course I still like to be No. 1, and set my sights even higher and higher as I get to certain levels.
“But winning now, it’s all about making the process smooth and also having a balanced life at the same time. That has been a challenge in this business — to figure out how to do a lot of loans, and have time for the wife and kids, and all the important stuff outside of work.”
Being a dad to four daughters, he added, has taught him important lessons that he has carried over into his professional life.
“Fatherhood is about being intentional and carving out time to spend with the kids,” he said. “And, you know, I think the same thing could apply in the mortgage business. There are so many things flying at you all at once and all day long. You really have to manage time so you can take intentional time with everyone you work with, whether that’s having a one-on-one conversation with somebody on my team, or having a conversation with a customer or referral partner.
“Everyone you talk to in this business, it’s an important conversation, so it’s important for you to really take the time and make the most out of every one of them. Answer your phone. Call people back. Really listen and connect when you talk to people.”
That’s why he counts simple and honest communication as one of the biggest keys to his success.
“Sometimes, some loan officers, they try to hide the truth when there’s a problem,” he said. “And that’s the worst thing you can do. Sometimes you’re just hoping you can sweep it under the rug and nobody finds out. But at the end of the day, most of the time, that stuff comes out anyway. So, it’s better just to be honest with people, as transparent as possible. I mean, that’s just a good policy in life as well as at work, you know?”