Your Mortgage: What makes a company the “best?”

Charity Ohlund

By Charity Ohlund, Director of Business Development

A few months ago, I asked you to vote for Fountain Mortgage as “Best Mortgage Company” in The Pitch KC’s annual “Best Of” contest. The mortgage category was new in 2017 (and hey, we won that year!), and I said the only thing more exciting than winning it once would be to win it again in 2018. And thanks to you, we won again.

Well, I couldn’t be more thrilled to share with you that we just completed a hat trick – thanks to you – with our third win for Best Mortgage Company in 2019.

Now, there are probably a few categories considered more boring than “Best Mortgage” – but not many. In Kansas City, the “Best Barbecue” category gets all the buzz while “Best Accounting Firm,” “Best Home Lighting Company,” and “Best Property Management” surely wallow near the bottom of the voting pool near the mortgage folks.

That got me to thinking … why am I so excited about this award every year? Why do I want to win so badly? Who cares about winning a subjective voting contest, and what does “best” even mean anyway?

I’ve worked for several companies over the last 20 years. A few have been awful. Most have been good. And two have been great – or what I consider to be the “best” among their competitors and performing as higher-level thought leaders in their markets.

Fountain Mortgage is one of these great companies. So getting that bit of recognition, no matter how small, local, or subjective, means the world to us.

I’ve read dozens of books and articles and have attended several conferences and workshops that analyze what it really takes to make a company great. They all have their own ideas and share them in many different ways. But it all boils down to this – the best companies achieve excellence in three areas:

  1. People
  2. Product
  3. Purpose

This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s actually the hardest part. Hiring and retaining the best people that represent your brand in a way you envision it is something that takes daily attention and focus from leadership. So how do great companies accomplish this? They give employees the opportunity and training to learn and grow professionally. They create teams that ensure employees are working with people they respect. (In other words, they hire for cultural fit.) And, most importantly, they inspire a vision for the company that every single employee believes in and works to achieve.

In the best companies, all on board are united and working together to produce an excellent product or service, and they all consider it something of immense value. Whatever their role, employees at great companies strive for perfection in that role because they value their team, their customers, and they believe in their product.

This is the most important part. Purpose is what separates good companies from great companies. The best companies have a clearly defined purpose – a reason for being, that everyone understands and considers crucial to the success of the company.

I wrote about our purpose (I called it mission) in 2017 after our “Best Of” win. But it continues to ring true at Fountain Mortgage and at every other great company. When you put your purpose in the center of your organization, it will inspire your employees. In turn, your employees will delight your customers, and your customers will deliver your profits.
We put our purpose in the center of everything we do. And that purpose is simple: To educate and empower our clients to make the best possible financial decisions for their families.

So, to the average reader, our “Best Mortgage Company” win will be met with a big yawn. And that’s totally justified. But my hope is that the people, product, and purpose behind this award will resonate with you the next time you are considering a mortgage. While not exciting, a home loan is usually the biggest financial transaction of a person’s life. And working with best makes all the difference.

This weekly Sponsored Column is written by Mike Miles of Fountain Mortgage. Located in Prairie Village, Fountain Mortgage is dedicated to educating, and thus empowering, clients to make the best financial decision possible for their situation. Contact Fountain today.

Mike Miles NMLS ID: 265927; Fountain Mortgage NMLS: 1138268