For the ninth 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 2017 at
By Steven Wyble
The mortgage business is in Ryan Shane’s blood.
Ryan’s dad, Harley, started a mortgage company
in 1988, when Ryan was 4. In 1992, Harley and a
business partner started Sammamish Mortgage,
the Seattle-area mortgage company Ryan Shane’s
family owns to this day.
Harley, a former football player, suffered a major
back injury that caused disintegration in his spine.
He eventually needed a wheelchair to get around.
Before he died in 2002, Ryan’s mother, Jeanne, started helping out at the office answering phones. By the
time Harley passed, she was originating loans herself.
Ryan’s brother Michael left college in 2003 to join her.
Ryan graduated from college in 2008 and came to
work for what had become the family business. Like
his mother, he started out answering phones, but
worked his way up to originating mortgages. Ryan’s
younger brother Trevor also has joined the family
business as a loan officer.
Although he had been around the mortgage industry all his life, there was a steep learning curve once
he began originating mortgages himself, Ryan said.
“There’s so much that goes into it,” he said. “Being
around it just kind of gave me an idea of the highs
and lows … I saw the highs, but this industry is crazy,
and there are times when it’s cyclical. My dad getting
sick and passing away, obviously there were lows at
that point. So I’ve seen it all.”
One thing’s for sure: Ryan Shane is enjoying a high
point recently, ranking No. 2 in Scotsman Guide’s
annual Top Originator rankings for Top Volume Gain.
Steven Wyble is the former online content editor at Scotsman Guide Media.
For questions about this article, call (800) 297-6061 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
His volume gain in 2017 over the previous year was
more than $74 million.
Much of that success came as the company shifted
away from refinances toward purchase mortgages,
Ryan said. In 2015, refinances made up around 80
percent of the company’s volume, but the company
began pivoting toward purchases in the wake of rising interest rates.
For Ryan, much of the shift toward purchases was
facilitated by forging new relationships with real
estate agents. Many of his clients began asking him
if he could refer them to real estate agents.
“It wasn’t something I ever pursued,” he said.
“So, in late 2016, I started making that a priority, and I
started being able to kind of flip the script and …
refer out business to Realtors.” They reciprocated,
and his purchase volume grew.
Technology is another area of focus for the company,
Ryan said. As a small company, Sammamish Mortgage
is at the forefront of testing new technologies to see
what works the best, he said, noting that there’s pent-up demand for an easier, more efficient mortgage-application process. Greater efficiency is a win-win:
It makes it cheaper to process loans, and mortgage
companies can pass the savings on to borrowers.
“Operational costs right now are huge for a company,
compared to what they could be or should be,” he said.
“I think tech is going to play a huge part in (changing
the industry) eventually. … Everything from asset
verification to income verification to many other
things, the way the systems talk to each other —
it’s all going to change.”
Ryan Shane, Sammamish Mortgage
No. 2 Top Volume Gain (2017)