Texas Mortgage Firm Moves into Tulsa

One of the largest independently owned mortgage-banking entities in Texas has moved into the Oklahoma market, opening an office in Tulsa with plans to expand.
Plano, Texas-based WR Starkey Mortgage opened a branch at 7136 S. Yale Ave., Ste. 110, operated by Brad Colvard, vice president and office manager, just over a month ago, said Julie Gross, executive vice president-division manager.
WR Starkey, which employs about 330 systemwide, writes about $1.5 billion in loans a year on 10,000-11,000 units, said Gross. The firm has offices throughout Texas and into Colorado, Oklahoma, North and South Carolina and Kentucky.
Oklahoma “is a place we have always wanted to grow,” Gross said.
The Oklahoma market “is very similar to the Texas-Colorado markets that we are in, in that we kind of consider it the heartland – good people, working class people,” she said.
WR Starkey moved into the local market because the company sees Tulsa as growth-oriented and diversified.
WR Starkey does not fall into a mortgage niche, Gross said.
“We can do all kinds of loans, not just predominantly a first-time home lender, although we can first-time home buyers,” she said. “We can also do the high-end, more affluent financing. There is a very wide diversity of clients here.”
Gross said WR Starkey is looking at other markets in Oklahoma for additional offices.
“We very much like the Oklahoma City market and we like Edmond,” she said. “We are strengthening our relationship with several companies. Our company has the ability to do affinity lending. We have several different arms where we can reach out to corporations and partner with them.”
WR Starkey recently partnered with the Keller Williams Realty Inc. offices in Tulsa, Gross said.
“We have strong Keller Williams relationships across the country,” she said.
CEO Bill Starkey Jr., who has nearly two decades of experience in the home lending industry, founded WR Starkey in 2000.
The Tulsa office is not its first move into the Oklahoma market, Gross said. A small branch the firm opened in the Durant area closed when the operator started his own mortgage broker business.
In a time when much of the rest of the country is experiencing soft or troubled real estate and mortgage lending markets, Gross said the move into Oklahoma reflects the leadership of Starkey.
“Bill Starkey has been in the mortgage banking industry for a long time and has really been very careful in how we have targeted market places to go into,” she said.
She said the company is debt-free and is structured financially so it functions as a “true mortgage banker, independently owned.”
“We can close and fund everything in our own name with correspondent relationships everywhere,” she said. “Bill’s philosophy is it makes sense to go someplace as long as the right people are there.”
“And Oklahoma has always been on our map,” she said.?



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