Supreme Lending has record year

Portrait of CEO Pat Flood at the Supreme Lending Southeastern region offices in Alpharetta on Wednesday January 20, 2021. For a story on the Top Workplace midsize category.PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Credit: Phil Skinner

Portrait of CEO Pat Flood at the Supreme Lending Southeastern region offices in Alpharetta on Wednesday January 20, 2021. For a story on the Top Workplace midsize category.PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Supreme Lending Southeast Regional Office had a banner year in 2020, sparked by soaring home sales in metro Atlanta.

The Alpharetta company – which is ranked as the AJC’s top mid-sized workplace for the first time – had a 75% increase in mortgage loan closings for the year, despite the upheaval created by the coronavirus, said Pat Flood, regional operating partner.

“Our folks worked harder this past year than they’ve ever worked,” Flood said. “They did an amazing job of adapting, and I think, in large part because they care so much about being a part of our organization, they did whatever was necessary to make it work.”

Most employees of the 10-year-old mortgage company have been working from home since last spring’s economic shutdown — mastering the art of Zoom and other teleconferencing apps.

“When we do come back, we’re pretty confident that we’re going to have to adapt and allow some of our people to work virtually because some of them, frankly, now that they’ve gone virtual, like it that way,” Flood said, adding that employees have discovered the working-from-home perks of no traffic, smaller dry-cleaning bills, and more time with family.

Supreme Lending was able to capitalize in 2020 on soaring home sales that analysts say likely resulted from a lack of homes in the market and low mortgage interest rates, closing just under 8,000 loans worth $2.1 billion.

Despite a super busy and stressful year, the company stayed committed to its mantra of “service to others before self,” and a program Flood started several years ago. The program’s goal is to help associates achieve their personal and professional bests. Each of Supreme’s 165 metro Atlanta associates is expected to set annual goals in six categories: family and relationships; health and fitness; personal finance; fun and recreation; faith and community service and business growth.

Flood’s theory: by investing in people to make them the best they can be, they end up doing the best work they can, and the profits naturally follow.

Flood brings in speakers throughout the year to keep the associates motivated – even virtually during the pandemic. Last year’s speakers — including former prisoner-of-war Charlie Plumb, former University of Georgia star football player Herschel Walker and North Point Community Church Pastor Andy Stanley — discussed the all-too-timely topic of navigating through challenging times.

“I do think it benefitted our folks to hear powerful messages from really influential people who could maybe speak to some of the experiences our own folks were going through,” Flood said.

He opened a gym at company headquarters last year for employees, though few have been in the office to use it. He also has started presenting personalized bobble-head dolls as rewards to excelling associates.

Employees have consistently praised Flood’s management style and Supreme Lending’s family atmosphere, helping the company earn the AJC No. 1 Top Workplace designation in the small size category four times — in 2014, 2017, 2018, and 2020.

The company is being recognized for the first time in 2021 as No. 1 in the midsize category because it has steadily added employees through the years and now exceeds the small size category maximum of 149 employees.

In the latest survey, one Supreme Lending employee said, “I am always motivated to keep working hard, and I know that my hard work will pay off.” Another said, “My job plays to my strengths as a person.”

Flood built HomeBanc Mortgage Corp. into a regional powerhouse and Atlanta’s largest mortgage lender between 1992 and 2005.

He and a handful of former HomeBanc Associates started Supreme Lending’s Southeast in 2011.

The company has an Associates’ Emergency Fund to help employees facing unexpected financial burdens. Employees also have flexible hours, receive incentive pay for exceptional performance and commit to charitable giving. Last year, they donated more than $300,000 to worthy causes.

Leadership file

Pat Flood, regional operating partner

Age: 59

Job: He is in charge of the Southeast region of Supreme Lending, a national residential mortgage banker.

Company motto: “Service to others before self.”

Flood’s personal goal: “To leave all I come in contact with BETTER than I found them.”

Working through the pandemic:

“Early in the year last year, most people thought it was just another version of the flu. When the country closed down from a business standpoint, we sent everyone home. We’d never really worked virtually before. But fortunately our people — and that’s where the culture comes in — care so much about this organization that they were willing to do whatever they needed to do. We would have never known in March that this would be the biggest year we’d ever had ...”

– Pat Flood