Guaranteed Rate makes mortgage process easy, offers great perks - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Guaranteed Rate makes mortgage process a breeze: Momentum Awards

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

FOX 32 News is committed to covering the issues related to jobs and our local economy. The struggles we're going through as the city tries to turn around a tough situation.

Good Day Chicago took a look at an example of the kind of business that's fueling growth. A local entrepreneur with a dream launched Guaranteed Rate, a company that now employs nearly 3,000 people.

Guaranteed Rate is one of four companies up for a major award in Chicago: The Momentum Award.

When you think of a mortgage company, you probably don't think of a place like Guaranteed Rate's headquarters. The Ravenswood office has a modern feel, a social media center and a gorgeous rooftop. The North Side company merged technology with a traditional mortgage model to spell huge success.

"The mortgage industry is the last big industry that I could see is a dinosaur," Guaranteed Rate President and CEO Victor Ciardelli said. "It has not been advanced in the digital space. So what we did is we incorporated technology with the overall business model that we have."

Ciardelli is an example of the type of business owner who is growing the local economy and creating jobs. He employs 2,800 people total, and 1,300 of those jobs are right here in Chicago. The tech businesses are helping lead the charge for job growth in our city.

The traditional mortgage model may take a couple of months to go through the process: In-person meetings, phone time, lots of processing. Guaranteed Rate cuts that process substantially.

"Consumers can go online, get a customized rate quote, pull their own tri merge credit report for free," Ciardelli said, "then run their loan through an automated underwriting system that's directed through Freddy Mac and actually get and underwriting decision – all within 15 minutes.

"We reduce the time period for a customer to get a loan from what would normally be 30 to 60 days - we're getting done within ten days," Ciardelli said.

The employee perks are also growing with the success of the company. The company is talked about across the city, especially for having a five star chef on the premises to serve up delicious breakfast and lunch for employees.

"Well, we have our own gym. We do yoga classes on the roof twice a week," Ciardelli said. "Outside we have spin classes and Pilates classes and all sorts of CrossFit classes. So there's a big health focus."

Not just a health focus, but they also have a massage therapist on site, a dry cleaner and an employee foundation that lends a hand in difficult times.

"You spend so much time in your work environment that I wanted to provide a space for my employees," Ciardelli said, "to make their lives better and really enjoy it."

Now the eighth largest mortgage company in the nation, Ciardelli said he's not done yet.

"Building the company would be the number one mortgage company in the country," Ciardelli said. "Still haven't really accomplished the mission yet. We're working hard to get there."

Guaranteed Rate Chief Marketing Officer Bob Armour joined Good Day Chicago Wednesday morning to talk about what the Momentum nomination means to the company, how innovation is making the city better and why changing the work environment is so important.

Anna Davlantes has the honor of hosting the Momentum Awards Wednesday night. FOX 32 News will be profiling local entrepreneurs all week long, putting a spotlight on this important and growing part of our local economy.

Visit Guaranteed Rate's website for more information.

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