For the eighth year in a row, we compiled the industry’s most comprehensive list of the nation’s top mortgage
originators. The rankings include
not only the originators who are
closing the most dollar volume and
the most loans, but also the leaders
in niche areas, like Federal Housing
Administration, U.S. Department of
Veterans Affairs and U.S. Department
of Agriculture loans as well as home
equity lines of credit.
View Scotsman Guide’s
Top Originators 2016 at
By Steven Wyble
After a couple years working for a small law office as
a real estate paralegal, Julie Long decided to find a
bigger office where she could grow professionally.
In 2010, she found one, owned by Michael Richards,
who also owns Commonwealth Mortgage, where
Long has worked for the past seven years. She
excelled at the paralegal job, and Richards suggested
she’d make a fantastic loan originator.
“I was a little on the fence about it because of the
commission structure,” Long says. “Going from
a salary to a commission-based pay was a little
nerve-racking because I had just bought my first
home. I was a homeowner, and I liked the security
of having a salary. But he told me I was going to
make much more money and that I’d close at least
15 loans a month. He kind of talked me into it.”
In June 2011, she moved from the law office to
Commonwealth Mortgage. She took to the new job
immediately. Her first year as an originator, she made
Scotsman Guide’s annual Top Originator rankings,
earning a No. 162 spot for Top Dollar Volume, and
No. 109 for Most Loans Closed. Additionally, Long
became the No. 1 originator at Commonwealth
Mortgage her first year, and remains No. 1 to this day,
Long has come a long way in Scotsman Guide’s rankings. This year, she ranked No. 2 for Top Refinance
Volume, based on 2016 loan data, with $273 million in refi volume. Long also ranked in the top 10
for both Top Dollar Volume and Most Loans Closed,
at No. 10 and No. 9, respectively.
Steven Wyble is online content editor for Scotsman Guide Media.
Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or email@example.com.
Part of the reason for Long’s quick success as an
originator was because of her experience as a real
estate paralegal, she says. In addition to hard work
— she’s put many hours into the job, she says —
her ability to connect with people was another plus,
leading to a lot of referral business.
Low interest rates helped, too, as people were eager
to refinance their mortgages and save money.
With interest rates rising, that’s changing. Long says
she has already shifted her focus toward purchases.
But refinances shouldn’t be completely discounted.
Long says as home values rise, she’s seeing more
people take advantage of cash-out refis.
As the top woman on this year’s Scotsman Guide’s
Top Dollar Volume list, Long says she hopes she
serves as a positive role model for other women.
“I think it’s really empowering, and I think that
we’re breaking the glass ceilings,” Long says. “In an
industry … (where) the majority of loan originators
are men, I see more and more women getting into
the business on the originating side of it, coming
out of the operations and actually being in the
trenches in originating. … I think it’s fantastic. I feel
great about it.
“I think other women can look and say, ‘Wow, if she
can do it, I can do it,’” she adds. “Because if I can do
it, really, anybody can do it. It’s just hard work and
dedication. That’s all you need.”
Julie Long, Commonwealth Mortgage
No. 2 Top Refinance Volume (2016)