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Brad Benson

Branch Manager/ VP of Mortgage Lending
1900 Main St, Ste 201, Sarasota, FL 34236
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NMLS: 373382
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TestimonialsCustomer testimonials Read more

Fast, easy and very nice to deal with. Highly recommend!

Lisa B.

Team did a great job. They moved quickly with approval and less than a 30 day close.

Robert J.

Every team member was extremely helpful and customer-oriented. They made the process very easy, especially since we were remote in Pennsylvania. THANK YOU to Brad, Sebrina, Nique, April and Jennifer for taking care of us. I apologize if I forgot anyone.

Glenn and Debbie W.

THANK YOU - your customer service is exceptional. This was the easiest home-buying experience we have had.

Glenn and Debbie W.

Brad Benson was extremely helpful and kind.

Elizabeth D.– Sarasota, FL | June 2015

Brad Benson was wonderful to work with - very knowledgeable, accessible, and facilitative. Brad even kindly arranged his schedule to be present at the closing, which facilitated the process. He is a great asset.

Carol H. – Sarasota, FL | Mar. 2015

Brad Benson seemed like he was a well-run help desk or even in the next room to answer every question... Best loan experience yet. Brad is a superstar!

James H. - Sarasota, FL / March 2015

Brad Benson was easy to work with

Samuel T. -- Harpers Ferry, WV -- 10/1/2014

The advanced technology was very impressive. Being able to send PDF files as well as sign my signature without the travel time was wonderful. Thank you

Virginia D. -- 8/19/2014

About Brad

I have had friends and family that knew exactly what they wanted to be from as early in their lives as they can remember. I can tell you that was not me. Looking back on my earlier years, Engineer, Attorney, and Banker were among the career paths that I thought I would follow based on my understanding and love for math and science. Mortgage lending was not on my radar until I was wrapping up my sophomore year at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York- a quaint village in Upstate New York, not much different from the various towns in which I grew up throughout my childhood. As many of my classmates were heading to Wall Street for internships, in the spring of 2003 I got my real first taste of the mortgage world through an internship with a small correspondent mortgage lender based out of Syracuse, NY. The company happened to be owned by an attorney and an alumni of Colgate; this gentlemen became the first mentor (of a handful) in the mortgage world that opened up the possibility of making a career in helping family, friends and others obtain the goal of homeownership. Having moved several times around New York State during my childhood- starting in Plattsburgh with stops in the Utica for two years and Albany for five, I considered Baldwinsville ý small village on the northwest side of Syracuse my hometown, where I spent the majority of my formative years. A new school, new friends, new town AND a new home were among experiences that came along with these moves, but also set the base for my interest in the real estate industry. Although I was not integrally involved in the house hunting at those times, that process began to intrigue me more as I grew older. I can empathize with our clients about the stressors and some of the unknowns of what takes place when uprooting a family and making that move. Providing mortgage solutions and a process that is unique to Guaranteed Rate relieves some of the unnecessary stress of the home-buying process. As I alluded to earlier, there were no mortgage banking majors at any schools and towards the end of my college career, I continued to believe that banking or the law (as a Political Science major) were to be my chosen career paths. Although there were no specific majors, the liberal arts education that I obtained provided tools in critical thinking and problem solving which I see as the most integral part of a successful mortgage professional. That one summer internship at the small correspondent lender turned into working full time during winter breaks, and a few more summers. This opportunity allowed me to start as an accounting intern, but then be able to shadow different departments within the company, such as processing, underwriting, post-closing, and even helped with the title company that was jointly owned at the time. I was able to gain tremendous perspective and a well-rounded baseline of the mortgage industry, including being an assistant to an originator after my regular duties were completed. I cannot thank the other key mentors in my career trajectory including a family member who took me under his wing and paved the way for my first ýrealý job after school and eventually becoming a junior partner of his. I have had other mentors along the way in the form of bosses, colleagues and partners that continue to push me to learn more and to improve the way we do business in the ever-changing mortgage world. I have worked for the largest mortgage companies (including banks) as well as independent lenders; I have never seen the strength, capabilities and synergies created anywhere that compares to what Guaranteed Rate has to offer. We are truly lucky to have a company invested in their employees and providing the tools and resources needed to be successful. Upon graduating from Colgate in 2005, I packed everything that I could in my car and began my trek to Sarasota, Florida. I can say with all honesty that I have never looked back and love the decisions that I have made for my career and new hometown- Sarasota. Being home to the #1 Beach in the United States- Siesta Key beach- and some of the best golf courses, I cannot think of a better place. Now being here for more than a decade, Sarasota has become the place where I have lived the longest and have grown to love as my own. I continue to reside in Sarasota with my wife- Christen- with whom we are expecting our first child July 2016. We currently stay busy with our love for travel, enjoying the great food and restaurants that our town has to offer and spending time with our friends and family (including our current ýfur-soný, a dachshund mix rescue).

Brad interview Q&A

How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I have been in the industry for more than 13 years and it all started with a summer internship. I think combining real estate and math were a key element, but helping friends and family obtain their goals of homeownership are rewards/inspiration in itself.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
I work with all borrowers - whether they are first time home buyers or the ultra-savvy multi-million dollar buyers for which our market provided tremendous opportunity. The typical questions are: how much money do I need to close, how much is my payment and how quickly can we close?
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
The right loan product is factor of a few items including the time horizon within which a borrower may keep the mortgage, how much a borrower wants to use for down payment and how they intend to re-pay the loan through their various sources of income. No borrower or loan scenario is created equal, so the conversations develop organically to find the best solutions.
How long have you been in the mortgage business? What awards have you won?
13 years. Have been awarded the Five Star Professional designation several years.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
Technology continues to evolve and new adaptations to the mortgage industry continue to create efficiencies in the process. Even in my career history, I have seen carbon copies and typewriters be replaced my computers, laptops and tablets. Once used reams of paper are now gigabytes of data that can be securely sent via encrypted software. The speed of transaction has increased dramatically. In the same breath, I have not seen more regulatory change in any other industry, which often prompts questions as to why certain processes are in place or why certain documents are required.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
The amount of documentation that is required in relation to a borrower current debt situation, income and assets being used for down payment and closing costs. Many borrowers understand change was necessary from the stated income or no documentation loans that were originated in the early 2000’s; however, many of the same borrowers have difficulty in understanding the need for ALL of the documentation- including the explanations required for larger deposits to bank accounts being used for closing.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
It takes too long; its too much paperwork; its too hard to qualify. With a company such as Guaranteed Rate- we work with several investors and have multiple loan programs that cater to all types of borrowers. Streamlined systems allow us to minimize paperwork and speed the transaction up.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
I was born in Plattsburgh, NY, but moved several times during my childhood around Upstate New York including living in the suburbs of Utica, Albany and Syracuse. I graduated from Baldwinsville High School before attending Colgate University, where I majored in Political Science and was a member of their Division I lacrosse team. I subsequently moved to Sarasota, FL where I reside with my wife- Christen.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
Closing day: seeing the excitement of the first home for a young family or even for the retired couple closing on their retirement home, it is incredibly satisfying knowing that my team and I helped make that dream happen.

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