April 4, 2023

Kind Lending CEO Keeping His Promise - National Mortgage Professional

Mike Savino, Head of Multimedia at National Mortgage Professional
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When Glenn Stearns does well, he wants his employees to do well.

So when the housing market took a downturn in 2022 and he had to lay off 150 employees at Kind Lending, he made a promise.

“We laid them off, and we told them that we’d get them back,” said Stearns, founder and CEO of the Santa Ana, Calif.-based lender.

But in this case, Stearns is making good on his promise. Since late last year, the company has seen origination volume turn around. So, after laying off staff, Kind is bringing them back.

The company rehired 53 of the laid-off employees in the first quarter, and another 43 more are set to rejoin Kind this month, the company said.

“We probably already have hired back at least half of them,” Stearns said of the laid-off workers.

Stearns said he prides himself on running a business where people want to work. After he sold his first company, Stearns Holdings, to Blackstone in 2015, he remembers being told by new executives that a turnover rate of 28% was normal for the time.

If you have 3,000 people in your company, that’s the equivalent of nearly 1,000 people who are likely to go quit and go somewhere else

A former star of the TV reality show “Undercover Billionaire,” Stearns wanted to bring his family approach to Kind, a multichannel lender he started in 2020. He even brought his wife, Mindy, aboard. She’s currently chief kindness officer.

“It’s a very personal experience and that’s probably our secret — well it’s not really secret anymore, but that’s our sauce,” Mindy Stearns said.

Glenn Stearns says Kind’s recent success shows companies can thrive in any market. Kind has focused on its culture and its software, Kwikie.

“We sit there and we explain to everybody, ‘is this your first time, we’re gonna go easy on you,’” he said, “and a lot of little puns where people go, ‘hey, did they really say that?’”

Article Issued: April 4, 2023

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