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Top Originators 2012: #2 Top VA Volume


Rick Raimond, Fitzgerald Financial, a Division of Monarch Bank
#2: 2012 Top VA Volume
Volume Rank: #38
2011-2012 Change: #7


Location, location, location. It’s an axiom for real estate, and it’s a big reason why Rick Raimond originated more than $157 million worth of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans in 2012.

Based in Rockville, Md., about 20 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., Raimond boasts a client base that includes Pentagon workers — “and those folks tend to all hang out together,” he says.

Thanks to increased marketing efforts this past year and a strong referral network, Raimond placed second among originators in VA volume in 2012. VA loans comprised about 91 percent of his total business, with most coming as refinance loans. But they didn’t always come easy.

The sometimes complicated nature of VA loans makes some real estate agents hesitant to take on VA clients, he says. That can be frustrating for originators seeking purchase business. Equally frustrating are lender guidelines for VA mortgages: “Although VA loans don’t require appraisals, every investor I know of does,” Raimond says.

As with any niche, however, experience certainly pays off, Raimond says. His company’s closers have been around for more than 20 years, and it’s 50 years for the compliance folks. Having a captive audience of military personnel nearby doesn’t hurt, either.

“To be honest with you, the reason stuck I’ve with VA loans is that it’s nice to help these guys out,” he says. “A lot of them, you know, they’ve had a tough time the past few years.”

-- Tony Stasiek

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