Matt Ryder and Steve Hanna bought Anchor Mortgage Services of Ocala, Inc., in January 2007, with the intent of building on the groundwork laid by founder Tim Rogers. Steve was one of just three brokers and a loan processor working with Tim a few years ago after Anchor Mortgage opened in 2000.
With the boom in central Florida real estate, and a solid customer base, the Anchor Mortgage team expanded to one of the largest volume brokerages in the area, with 11 brokers and staff. Their landmark blue office at the corner of Silver Springs Boulevard and Eighth Avenue is teeming with deals being made.
First-time homebuyers Eric and Jennifer Love just closed on their home this spring. In the beginning, they were shopping around for a lender and had spent hours researching on the Internet. When Eric contacted Anchor, Steve took the time to explain things that other brokers had kept secret.
“He wanted to be a well-informed consumer,” Steve says, “and we don’t mind telling you how it works.”
Residential and construction loans, and especially first-time homebuyers, make up 90 percent of the company’s business. Dealing with a wide variety of lenders, Anchor can place each buyer with the best available financing. Anchor makes it a point to locate a lender to match the customer’s situation. For all credit grades, and from new construction to older mobile homes, they find a deal that works. They also handle commercial and investment properties, farms, and vacant land.
“We’re in the business of holding our customer’s hand from beginning to end when we go to the closing,” says Matt. “They can even call us in the middle of the night.”
The company’s website, anchormortgageservices.com, has many tools a curious customer can use. For filing an application, or calculating whether it is smart for you to refinance, there are several links that provide easy accessibility to the loan process whether customers are local or across the country.
“We get a lot of our clients through the website,” Matt says, “or we can send them to the website, and that helps speed up the loan process. The faster we can get it in, the faster we can get it closed.”
Until he contacted Matt Ryder at Anchor Mortgage, Bobby Tillander says “I was skeptical of mortgage brokers because of frustrations in the past.” His experience with Anchor changed his mind. “They did everything they said they were going to do,” says Bobby. “They kept me updated, and hustled to get it done. They handled it all for me and closed in only 17 days. I just recommended them to my brother!”
And with satisfied customers such as Mr. Tillander, it’s no wonder that word- of-mouth advertising is their mainstay. Referrals from previous customers, friends and family, local real estate professionals, and banks have always delivered the majority of the company’s business. A belief in the “Customer for Life” principle of doing business fuels the company.
As the company grows, it is important to the new partners to retain all the people who have been a part of the historic success of Anchor Mortgage. The business is like family. Steve remarks that his family and Tim’s have been friends for 35 years. Matt jokes with him, “You’re really showing your age!” But Matt was only a year behind Steve at Vanguard High School. They all grew up in Ocala.
After a tour of duty in the Air Force, Steve studied Business Information Systems at the University of South Florida. He returned to Ocala in 1997, and has been part of Anchor’s growing success since 2002.
Matt spent 12 years purchasing and underwriting mortgage loans with companies in Jacksonville and Palm Beach Gardens after graduating from Florida State University. He and his wife, Kelli, came back to Ocala in 2004.
“It was a combination of getting out of the hurricane-ridden south,” Matt says, “and the opportunity for us to raise our daughter in our hometown.”
“As mortgage brokers, you have to be very familiar with what’s happening in the market,” Matt continues. “To deal with a lot of lenders, you have to really know more than just a few products. You must have a hand on the pulse of the market to best serve a clients’ interests.”
“We have the ability to match or do better than what you can get on your own,” Steve adds.
He says they start by asking, “‘What is our objective?’ Our objective is to get someone into a home. We’re going to make sure we do that.”
Anchor Mortgage Services of Ocala, Inc.
752 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala • (352) 867-7277