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 Jim Davis
To reach the top of the profession, mortgage originators usually need to take years to learn the business
and develop relationships. For Jeffrey Hawks, it took
Hawks landed at No. 33 in Scotsman Guide’s annual
Top Originator rankings for Top VA Volume in 2017,
his first full year as an originator.
“I think it was just a good combination of getting
lucky and just meeting the right folks at the right
time,” Hawks says. “I got along with a lot of agents
really fast. We just clicked. Everything went right.”
He also relied on his family’s support. His mom, Tammy Frith, has been an originator for 30 years. His brother, Dustin, has been in the profession for nine years.
Hawks, who works for Guild Mortgage in Cumming,
Georgia, learned early that he needed to put in
“I think in this business a lot of people tend to not be
too successful because they just don’t answer their
phone,” Hawks says. “You’ve got to get out there,
and you’ve got to meet face to face. You’ve got to
Hawks initially avoided entering the profession,
mainly because he saw how hard originating loans
can be. “I saw my mom working seven days a week
and ungodly hours, and I thought to myself, ‘I don’t
want to do that,’” he says.
After graduating from high school in 2000, Hawks
went to college and then joined the Navy. When
he got out, Hawks was hired at Home Depot and
became a department manager at a Virginia store.
Home Depot offered him other management jobs,
but he would have had to move away from his family to follow that career path. Instead, he returned to
Georgia to follow them into the mortgage industry.
Jim Davis is editor of Scotsman Guide Residential Edition.
Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2015, he started as a loan assistant to six mortgage
originators, setting up files and answering phones.
He was indecisive about whether he should go into
sales or operations, but chose sales with encouragement from coworkers and family.
Hawks received his license in 2016, made that first
sale and then celebrated with a family dinner at
Pampas Steakhouse near his home.
“You went from not making anything and then you’re
seeing all of these big checks,” Hawks says. “Yeah, it
was an adrenaline rush.”
The competitive nature of the mortgage business
took hold. He’d watch the numbers at the end of the
month. That pushed Hawks to work on building new
relationships and writing prequalification offers that
were guaranteed, not just “let’s see what happens.”
“For me, I try to do everything I can not to push an
online application,” Hawks says. “I try to have a personal touch with everybody, especially on that first
phone call because that’s where you bond with the
customer and cement that relationship.”
Last year was a struggle, however. Hawks lost a builder
client early and thought he might only do half of the
business of his previous year. Things improved as the
year advanced, and he got back on track to reach
the same level of success in 2018 as he had in 2017.
He credits the support of his coworkers, family and
Guild Mortgage for his success.
“I can call the No. 1 person at the top of this company right now, and they would pick up the phone and
talk to me and help me out with any situation or a
problem I have,” Hawks says. “The support is absolutely just amazing.”
Jeffrey Hawks, Guild Mortgage Co.
No. 33 Top FHA Volume (2017)