30 Jul Client Spotlight: John Thompson, CLA, CRMP – Mortgage Advisor / Founder of SMPL Mortgage
Let us introduce our partner in lending and valuable resource to our Bridge clients, John Thompson. He has a planning-based approach much like your Bridge team and brings a completely different type of approach to a marketplace that is usually solely focused on sales. Please take some time to read our most recent ‘Client Spotlight’ on John and learn a bit more about his passion for the lending business.
Q: John, please tell us about yourself:
A: I recently celebrated my 28th wedding anniversary with my wife Tina. We are blessed with 3 adult boys, 26, 23 and 20. After moving to the US from overseas (England, Brunei, Haiti, and Nepal) in 1975 our family settled in Arcadia CA, where I went to Junior High and High school. Went on to study International Finance at the University of Southern California (Go Trojans). After graduation I found myself in retail banking in management training.
Q: What inspired you to start your business and become a Mortgage Broker?
A: I was welcomed to the world of big banking by getting “made redundant” in a merger and moved into being self-employed almost immediately. I worked to get a few businesses off the ground in import/export and even opened two retails stores with my future wife. I learned a lot, but needed something different and joined one of my close friends at a mortgage company he had formed a few years earlier.
I started off entering data and working on my friend’s loan files with his clients and discovered that I loved the problem-solving aspect of mortgage advice. It was clear that I was able to have a positive impact on the clients we were helping. As the company grew, I also grew my network of partners and clients. I became one of the top producers in what rapidly became one of the largest mortgage banker/brokers in Southern California, if not the US. I ran a branch and division for the company and learned a tremendous amount – always willing to take on new challenges and opportunities. I created my own brand early on and focused on education and the financial aspect of how we worked with clients. I built a support team around me to increase production and by 2005 was one of the top producers in the US.
At the same time, I was spending as much time as I could with my growing family, coaching sports and participating on school boards. At some point, I choose to step back from the growth mode and opted to make more space in my life for my boys and wife. The business continued to do well, albeit somewhat up and down with the real estate and interest rate markets.
Also, in the mid 2000’s I focused my efforts on truly understanding Finance at a deeper level, for myself and clients. I read voraciously and went to seminars all over the place (and still do when I can). Education around finance became a passion and has become a key element of the business, from initial conversations and throughout every transaction.
Q: Tell us about your businesses:
A: SMPL Mortgage is a mortgage broker aligned with the largest mortgage brokerage in the US. We offer all types of residential mortgages, from first time buyers through sophisticated Reverse Mortgage strategies. We call ourselves Generational Lenders, as we believe that every mortgage decision you make at pivot points in your life, will affect your financial security and ability to grow wealth and make a difference in the world. We start with education, advice and understanding, and then help our clients implement the plans that we develop for them.
Q: What has been the most rewarding part of running your own business?
A: The fact that I have been able to start a business, grow the business and have a level of success over 32 years, while raising three wonderful young men is amazing to me. The most rewarding part is that I have been able to advise 1000’s of families, make a huge impact on the world and been able to care for my family at the same time. One additional reward is that one of my sons has moved into the business and is now working with me and doing amazing things!
Q: What was your biggest business challenge last year and how did you or how do you plan to overcome?
A: The biggest challenge we face is a lack of awareness in the public of the impact that the management of mortgages and home equity can have on their personal finances. I truly believe that I can have a greater impact on someone’s financial well-being that many financial advisors (Bridge Advisory being one of the few exceptions). And, in the senior homeowner space, misinformation around Reverse Mortgages is still very prevalent, despite massive legislative updates by the Federal government to the program, making it safer and a wonderful option for many people. Understanding the appropriate usage of Reverse Mortgages is going to save many retirement plans over the next few decades!
Q: What locations/areas do you service?
A: We lend all over California and several Western states through our partners. But we love SoCal the best!
Q: Is there anything else you think we should know?
A: The most important part of our business is the human connection to people’s lives, goals, and wishes for their families’ future. As much as we embrace technology and automation to reduce friction for our clients, we remain committed to the personal advice and support that makes the difference in our approach to mortgage lending and sets us apart from the competition.
It has been an honor to be able to work alongside the professional advisors at Bridge Advisory, it truly has been a great experience. The clients are interesting, the cases complicated and the impact tremendous.
Q: What is the best method for customers to reach out to you regarding your service/products?