Twelve years after opening a law firm, Mr. Wittstadt made a decision he never expected to make. My partner and I had built our business from the ground up, and through the years of launching our enterprise, we faced life changing decisions following the course of business owners that would affect clients and our 80 staff members. The most important decision I was faced with illustrates my ability to be a foreword thinker and front runner as an efficient business man, and as a leader.
Recognizing that the mortgage boom and bust in 2005 would affect my clients and business, I was cognizant that there was a greater need to serve the millions of people affected and impacted by this drastic environmental change. My partner and I made the strategic move to merge our rapidly growing mortgage servicing industry firm with a larger, national firm in order to progress with the expanding trends and needs from industry leaders.
My ability to assess our own firm’s strengths and weaknesses allowed me to recognize that we would be able to serve our clients more efficiently at a national level. This strategic objective would serve clients with more impact, greater service, and not only increase their business but also safeguard their company.
My partner and I held weekly meetings with our potential business partners in order to be attentive to the needs of the clients we had built relationships with over twelve years. In those meetings, we were able to address the issues in the unpredictable industry. This was a challenge, to protect our clients who would be affected by the mortgage crash, where in turn, Americans would also be affected. Merging our company with another larger firm provided the solution that would impact not only our clients but also our hardworking and diligent employees in a positive and lucrative way.
One tremendous demand in the industry was to provide a resolution for a beginning to end mortgage service to clients in all 50 states in the country. There is a circle of life to a property, and the process that goes into protecting a mortgage lender, a trustee, a title company and a homeowner is a large wheel to maintain in order to establish the best practice to keep the wheel oiled and spinning. In need of a superior base for technology in order to respond to needs of client’s more quickly, merging our company with that of a national presence, and one with the scope to expand to new states, proved to be the long term solution for a shared vision for both.
Merging the company you built with another company came with its own set of challenges, and remaining stable but adaptable through obstacles and changing conditions was a top priority. My vision for the mortgage world, including our mission and structure, was to remain a forefront leader in the industry. That vision proved fruitful, as with integrity and resilience, I pushed our company to become the number one real estate company in the country for years, and had an annual revenue of over $70 million. We were able to provide service to over 31 states through strategic alliances with partnering law firms and title companies.
In order to be paramount, one must work from the inside out. After the merger, we strove to maintain an efficient internal structure that was both fluid and operative under the circumstances. Our hard working staff of 80 quickly jumped to 450 employees, and offices in five states merged with over 50 offices in thirteen states. Indeed, shifting a small office setting to the national level was demanding and we faced confrontations with such a drastic change.
In our inaugural staff meetings, I was able to identify the discontent and growing pains that come with the new direction of merged companies. I laid out my vision and future plans to my employees and provided an open forum to work together to move forward, together. I received full cooperation from my staff as I encouraged them to share in a vision to remain result driven as we streamlined an effective method to run our business.
Working together to keep the family feel despite becoming a larger firm, I saw leaders step up to help draft a mission statement, we established new procedures and policies to organize the offices to be the most efficient across the board, and I assigned key players who had shown their potential to leadership positions. We implemented a process that was respected and most importantly, functioned.
In leading this drive to implement internal working webs to ensure the flow of business and client files was not affected, I challenged those new leaders to step forward and take action in their roles. I set up an effective hiring system to ensure we attracted quality talent to our team. I kept our loyalty and devotion to the client the top priority during this marriage of business.
As a result of my efforts in this role, productivity soared, we increased our employee numbers to over 850, and gained momentum with current and new clients. Through this streamlined process, our national services broadened our footprint area to provide an unparalleled level of service with more technologically-advanced solutions and economies of scale for our client; in turn, our company became the largest real estate closing firm in the nation.