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Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018

Aulds Horne & White / Standard

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Mortgage company gets a new face lift and continues same focus

In the 61 years that Aulds, Horne & White – now Standard Mortgage Corporation – has been in business, the basics of getting a home loan haven’t changed.

Your employment and income have to be verified. Your credit report has to be pulled. An appraisal on the property you want to buy must be ordered.

However, the way – and speed – in which all of that is accomplished has changed.

A lot. “Technology,” Jim Griffith doesn’t hesitate to say when asked how the mortgage business has changed. The vice president/branch manager of Standard Mortgage Corporation’s Shreveport office is in his 40th year in the profession.

“When I started out, we would have basically a bullpen of typists,” Griffith said. “When an appraisal request would be sent out, you would type up a request and mail it out. You did the same thing for a credit report or verification of someone’s employment. All of those items were usually mailed out. Then, we got into fax machines, and that sped up the process. Now, the credit report is done instantly — we get that back. Appraisals are done online also. We get those back soon. We’re doing the same functions, but it’s a lot quicker.”

Aulds, Horne & White began in 1957.

The company did one thing and one thing only: wrote single-family residential loans. In 2006, Aulds, Horne & White’s owner, Henry Voohries, retired and sold the business to Standard Mortgage. But even with new owners, the company’s focus has stayed the same.

“That’s what we do, so we’re not distracted about other things,” Griffith said. “A home purchase is not an impulse-type purchase. It requires some advice, some counseling, on what type of mortgage product you need for a 30-year loan, especially for a first-time homebuyer. So it’s the people involved — the loan officer that’s helping you with the process. It’s not where you push a button, and your home loan is approved, and you don’t need to know anything else about it. You do need to know about it.”

Having a singular focus is one of three intangibles that have provided the foundation of Aulds, Horne & White/ Standard Mortgage over the years. Another intangible is its employees.

“We have an experienced, professional staff of people that have been here and in the business for a long time – most of them 20 or 30 years,” Griffith said. “We have a dedicated staff of people.”

The company’s third intangible is the fact that it keeps your loan local.

“We service our own loans,” Griffith explained. “All of our conforming loans we service. In other words, you make your payment to us. We don’t sell the servicing of your loan to a big wholesaler, so when you have questions down the road about your payment or your mortgage … chances are the person you’re going to call is the person who made you your loan. We’re going to help you through that process.”

Standard Mortgage is 93 years old and is the largest privately owned mortgage banking institution in Louisiana. It has eight locations throughout the state, including a home office in New Orleans. In those locations work 110 employees – nine of them in the Shreveport office.

Before selling to Standard Mortgage, Aulds, Horne & White only wrote loans in Louisiana – specifically Northwest Louisiana. However, Standard Mortgage is licensed in other states. That means just because you move out of Louisiana, you don’t have to give up your loan company.

“We’ll have people who maybe live in East Texas but work in Shreveport, or they’re moving to Dallas and would like to continue a home loan with us,” Griffith said.

Most real estate agents will tell you the bulk of their business comes from referrals — past clients who tell others about their positive experience. The same is true for mortgage companies. That’s why Griffith and his staff value each customer.

“When we make a home loan to a couple perhaps, they’re going to possibly tell their co-workers, they’re going to maybe later on buy another house, they may be refinancing, later on their children are going to buy a house. We’ve been in business so long, we’re making loans to people’s children and grandchildren.”

Griffith admits he isn’t sure what changes are ahead when it comes to the mortgage industry. But he is confident of what the future holds for Standard Mortgage.

“I only see good things for the company. We are certainly dedicated to this area. This is our business. We will be here.”

To learn more about Standard Mortgage Corporation, you may visit www.stanmor.com.

– Tony Taglavore

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