Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp.
If anyone in the mortgage industry was prepared to meet the unexpected challenges and opportunities that came with 2020, it was Chris Channell of Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp. The home financing professional had made his start in the industry in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and steadily built up a reputation as an accomplished industry leader and a nationally ranked mortgage originator. The turbulence of 2020 would put what he had learned to the test.
As with the rest of the economy, the mortgage business saw many disruptions from the pandemic. Employees were sent home from offices, the logistics of the homebuying and financing processes were thrown into disarray and — as Chris had seen before — financial markets were riled by instability that threatened to upset the very ability of mortgage lenders to lend.
“There were certainly echoes of 2008 in 2020,” says Chris. “But there were also several surprising opportunities as well.” These bright spots included the well-timed launch of Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp.’s DK Xpress™ digital mortgage process in late 2019, and the fortuitous drop of mortgage rates down to record lows throughout 2020. With many lenders struggling to adapt, it was also an ideal time to recruit new loan-officer talent that was seeking a lender with better support.
Amid the challenges of the pandemic, Chris and his regional group of mortgage professionals were able to achieve several stunning accomplishments over the past year. Chris personally closed over $255 million in home loans in 2020, earning a ranking as the #166 mortgage originator in the nation by industry trade publication, Scotsman Guide. Meanwhile, his team closed over $1 billion in loans for the year.
In addition to growing their loan volume, Chris’ team expanded their ranks as well. Since the start of 2020, his 18-member loan officer group has recruited 10 new members. In addition to Chris, their team now includes four nationally ranked top-producing originators: Manny Malhotra, Van Papadopoulos, Melinda Zuppo, and Cathy Zhou. This growth precipitated the opening of their new Bethesda branch in October, and the recent move of their main branch from McLean to a new space in Reston.
Chris credits his team for being a major driver of his success. “At the end of the day, I’m only as good as those around me,” he says. In addition to his fellow loan officers, his group touts seasoned mortgage operations professionals with years of experience and the shared goal of helping clients and partners with any and all of their mortgage needs. Key members of his staff include Senior Vice President Lorna Davis and Operations Managers Brittany Blankenship and Jane Shammas.
Already, 2021 is shaping up to be another banner year for the group. Chris has closed more than $130 million in loans as of May, and his team has closed more than $430 million. “I’m producing at my highest level ever while continuing to grow my diverse team of talented professionals in the D.C. metro area,” Chris says. “I can now proudly say that we have some of the best originators in the DMV region.”
Chris says his success relies not just on the support of an exceptional team but also on the backing of a world-class lender as well. Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp. provides him with several advantages, including the capability to “lend not only from their bank but from over 80 other banks and investors while still processing, underwriting, and closing loans in-house for greater efficiency, transparency and control.” The company also offers a “vast array of conventional and government loan products for simple and complex scenarios alike” and their innovative mobile app, DK Xpress™, which allows borrowers to apply, submit their documents, and sign their forms, all from the convenience of their mobile devices.
When he isn’t closing loans, Chris spends as much time as possible with his wife of nine years, Roxanne, their four-year-old son, Chase, and three-year-old daughter, Fay. Together, they enjoy outdoor activities, including tennis, golf, hockey, and going to the pool and beach.
By reaching so many accomplishments with a standout team and company, Chris is thriving today. “Every home financing transaction is a win-win for me,” he says. “I get to make a living doing what I love, my clients get to enjoy the pride and benefits of homeownership and my agent partners get to close more deals and enjoy the peace of mind of working with a reliable mortgage provider.” With all he’s achieved so far, Chris’ talent and dedication are sure to take his lending business to even greater heights.
To learn more about Chris, visit dkmortgage.com/chris, follow his team on Instagram at @draperandkramermetrodc, or give him a call at 571-489-0581.