The first thing you notice about Rick and Patty Arvielo is how much they like each other. That might seem like a foregone conclusion when you meet a married couple, but when that couple also runs an incredibly successful business together, I imagine it could get complicated. Not so with the Arvielos, whose affection is evident throughout the morning we spend at the New American Funding office in Orange County.
They tease each other during the photoshoot and have to be told several times to stop smiling at each other. When we sit them in chairs that are about five feet apart, something seems off in the pictures. “I’m usually not this far away from him,” Patty says. Sure enough, moving the chairs closer brings the shots back into harmony.
Such domestic bliss is reflected in the way the two lead New American Funding, where they operate within their respective areas of expertise as a unified team — with phenomenal results.
Since starting the company in 2003, Rick and Patty have grown New American Funding into a lending and servicing powerhouse which now funds approximately $980 million a month in home loans and has a servicing portfolio of more than 100,000 loans for $26 billion. The company’s skyrocketing growth has landed the company on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies an astonishing six times. New American Funding now has 165 branches and almost 3,000 employees, and it continues to expand.
The company’s success isn’t just measured in growth, however. New American Funding and the Arvielos have racked up awards from Ernst and Young, Best in Biz, Stevie American Business Awards and NerdWallet. HousingWire recognized Rick and Patty in its inaugural Vanguard Awards in 2015, and again in 2017. Patty has been recognized as a HousingWire Woman of Influence for the past two years.
What’s the company’s secret sauce? The complementary nature of the strengths of its two leaders. With a strong background in technology, Rick serves as CEO, while Patty, who has extensive sales and mortgage experience, is president. Together, they were able to bring all the mortgage and technology functions in-house, driving an efficient, innovative company culture focused on giving loan officers everything they need to succeed.
Rick’s deep technical expertise gave the company an early advantage as it developed solutions to provide a complete back-office organization for loan officers. These assets include microsites, social outreach, co-branded marketing collateral, a mobile app suite, coaching help and more, fueling the 23-day average closing time for its loans.
Patty’s ability to build and motivate a passionate sales team is another critical factor. She sets the example through her own work, originating and booking millions in home loans each month while still managing the company’s operations and sales.
The company continues to evolve alongside the ever-changing market. New American Funding was quick to recognize the shift in consumer behavior that drives borrowers to engage with lenders before they contact real estate agents. The company understood that it needed to capture those borrowers with excellent service at the very start of their loan process, so it leverages a massive volume of data to put accurate information at its loan officers’ fingertips, optimizing its call center to capitalize on those leads while still building relationships with Realtors.
New American Funding’s resounding success has inspired a whole class of competitors who want to disrupt the industry in the same way. But while other lenders can try and copy New American Funding’s technology or operations, the synergy between Rick and Patty presents the biggest challenge. In their case, the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts.
A PASSION FOR PEOPLE
The elegant sophistication of Patty’s office at New American Funding provides a fitting backdrop for the roles and responsibilities she juggles as president. She works at a smooth marble-top desk with plenty of room to collaborate with Rick or other team members, with white leather chairs and a gorgeous chandelier transforming the office park setting. Photos of Patty and Rick with numerous celebrities and several former presidents share space with framed artwork from her children.
Patty’s 30 years of experience in the mortgage industry started when she was just 16, working at TransUnion in a clerical position. She was promoted to a sales position at 19 and never looked back, forging a career that includes leading the operations unit of an independent broker shop before starting New American Funding.
Looking at Patty’s long list of responsibilities today is daunting. She is a tireless advocate of expanding homeownership opportunities for Hispanic borrowers, serving as a member on the Corporate Board of Governors for the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and spearheading the Latino Focus Committee within New American Funding. She also created the New American Dream initiative to increase homeownership in African-American communities and serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the Consumer Affairs Advisory Council for the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Her influence extends to Washington, D.C., where she frequently lobbies on behalf of the industry and homeowners. She is a former member of the Fannie Mae Affordable Housing Advisory Council and both Freddie Mac’s Community Lender Advisory Board and Affordable Housing Council. She has recently joined the Latino Donor Collaborative board.
In addition, Patty is highly involved in mentorship, providing a roadmap for women — especially minority women — to achieve more than they ever imagined.
Yet Patty doesn’t interact like someone who is stressed out. On the morning we meet, she and Rick are hosting their leadership team from around the country, but she has tamed the whirling tornado of obligations into a calm focus. She is serious, but also warm. She gets the most animated when she talks about the people involved in the loan process — from the loan officers behind the scenes to the borrowers they are helping. Her family, her employees and even those people she hasn’t met yet who could be her customers, these are her motivators. She is on a mission, and when you spend time with Patty, you know it’s a mission she will accomplish.
Rick’s office is sleek, straightforward and modern. He has an easy smile that extends to a grin when he looks at Patty. He is funny and accommodating during our photo session, which is squeezed in between meetings with the company’s senior leaders.
Rick started his first company when he was 16 and he specialized in finding technical solutions for other industries before he founded Broker Solutions Inc. in the early 2000s. His passion to optimize every part of the loan process for more efficiency is contagious, and it’s easy to see why he is the 2017-2018 Chairman of MORPAC, the MBA’s Political Action Committee. He seems like the type of person you would be excited to vote for, but is too genuine to be labeled a politician.
His face lights up when he talks about the innovation behind many of the tech solutions he has spearheaded at New American Funding, from its robust CRM platform to its latest mobile app, GoGo LO.
As individuals, Rick and Patty are overachievers who would thrive in any environment. Working together, they make a formidable team that is transforming not only their own company but the larger mortgage ecosystem.