Throughout 2021, we are celebrating Dave and Rob’s 25th year together in business. As their longest standing staff member, I’m reflecting on how our staff and office have changed over those years.
I started with the company in 2002. Our office was downtown Muskegon in the Noble Building on W. Western Avenue, which is now home to Pigeon Hill Brewery. Now, when you’re sitting the brewery enjoying a beer, that’s where our desks used to be. It’s a cool facility now, but back then it was…not as ideal.
We had a shared bathroom with the entire first floor, and the bathroom also served as our kitchen for washing dishes. When Dave’s long time processor Tiffanie started with us in 2003, we made an office space for her in what was previously a broom closet. The walls may have been moldy, but luckily, she stuck with us.
We moved into our current location on Harvey Street back in 2004, which I believe is the only full location change we’ve had. Our sign has changed a few times though, as we moved through a few different company names. We had some growing pains finding the right fit, but as Michigan Mortgage we have seen an incredible level of success and growth and are here to stay for many years to come.
Our staff has been the most notable area of growth. Back when I started, I was one of only two staff members. At the time we also had about five Loan Officers (plus Rob and Dave). You don’t always realize how much we’ve grown until we look at group photos. Getting a photo of the entire staff went from 4….to well over 24!
Rob and Dave realized early on that growing their teams with additional support staff was a successful business model, versus attempting to add and support more loan officers. I say without a doubt that the staff we have now in 2021 is the best staff we have ever had. Our focus for each job position is laser sharp, our closing and marketing departments exists where they didn’t before, and the best part — we all genuinely enjoy each other and the work we do for our community.
We also have five staff members who have been with us for over 10 years (myself, Tiffanie, Joslyn, Ronda, and Hayley). When we talk about the growth of our staff, part of that means adding staff. But perhaps the best part is seeing the growth of the staff members themselves.
Joslyn started as a teenager, and now runs the entire office as our Operations Manager. Tiffanie and Ronda have perfected the loan process as part of Team Lehner, and their clients rave about them. And Hayley transitioned from a valued Loan Officer Assistant to an incredibly successful Loan Officer in Holland.
Opening an office in Holland was one of the biggest steps we made toward growth. Adding a location can be a risky decision: going into an unknown market, adding additional office expenses, transitioning two full time staff members to loan officers, etc.
From day one, there was no doubt Amy and Hayley were going to be successful in leading our Holland branch, and they certainly have been. They are both President’s Club members (loan officers who close at least 100 units each year) for two years running and have garnered many Best of the Best Awards in the Holland market.
It can be mind-boggling to imagine where Michigan Mortgage will be 25 years from today. I have no doubt that our trajectory will continue to upwards, and we’ll continue to serve the West Michigan community for a long time to come.