The biggest challenge facing Supreme Lending in 2021 is the lack of housing available for sale in Colorado.
Despite a global pandemic, 2020 was an excellent year for Supreme Lending, which offers customers various loan products to buy homes.
“We were able to keep our team unified and experienced little attrition internally,” says Dale Petrillo, Supreme Lending regional branch manager.
But looking ahead in 2021, he’s worried the demand for houses outweighs the availability. “If we had more supply, we’d see the transaction count in Denver go up,” he says. “COVID has stifled available inventory. Many people are nervous about putting their houses on the market because they don’t want strangers in their houses. I think people are waiting to sell their houses until their comfort level increases.”
The other challenge Petrillo sees is the rising home cost is pricing out the entry-level home buyer.
But even with those challenges, he’s optimistic about 2021. “We will continue to be focused on the services we provide and make sure we offer best of class service to the public.”
Keeping employees safe
Before the pandemic, Petrillo and his staff worked full-time in the office and didn’t have any employees working from home. “We liked the dynamic of everyone being together,” Petrillo says.
That quickly changed last year, and the company invested in technology and built workstations at their employees’ homes. “We wanted them to have the tools to be productive. We knew they couldn’t do the job with just a laptop. They needed dual screens.”
Now, as health restrictions ease, he plans to let employees decide what will work best. The office is set up with individual offices rather than cubicles, so some employees feel comfortable returning to the office. Others choose to continue working from home. “It’s not one size fits all. Some people don’t want to work from home. Others worry about their health. We don’t plan to dictate to anyone where they have to work.”
Employees have been productive and have used online tools to stay connected.
Creating the workplace of tomorrow
“Being flexible is a good move for our employees. It’s empowering,” Petrillo says. “I like to think our office is more a democracy than a dictatorship.”
He anticipates the work from home trend will continue for some employees. “Some appreciate working from home, so they don’t have to fight the traffic. Others enjoy being there for their kids.”
Once it’s safe to do so, the company will plan more in-person gatherings like cocktail hours, painting classes or ball games.
“We want people to feel welcome. I believe people do their best work when they like the people they work with.”
Being in Colorado makes it easy to recruit and keep employees.
“People come for the lifestyle, the mountains, the outdoors,” Petrillo says. “Once they get here, they rarely move away.”
Operations manager Jody Petrillo says the company’s loan officers get multiple recruiting calls, each week. “But those appeals fall on deaf ears,” she says.
Supreme Lending works to keep its employees happy not only by paying them well and offering competitive benefits but also by offering flexible schedules and time to meet their goals.
And it helps that the employees genuinely like each other.
“You spend the majority of your waking hours with your co-workers, so you need to enjoy being with them,” Dale Petrillo says.
“We’re always looking for ways to keep everybody connected. We make decisions as a group. We want to be like a family,” he says.
“Our employees are passionate. They like what they do and where they do it.”
Years named: 4
Employees: 1,800, with 50 in Colorado
Locations: 4 in Colorado
Facts: Supreme Lending offers customers a variety of loan products to help them achieve their dream of homeownership.
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