“It was always my goal to be an entrepreneur,” says Assurance Financial founder Kenny Hodges. “When my wife and I were in college, I used to drive her crazy discussing different business ideas.”
After earning a bachelor’s in entrepreneurship management from Louisiana Tech in 1994, Hodges entered a management training program at Wells Fargo. In the course of seven years there he developed lending experience, as well as skill in recruiting and development—”the most important lesson,” he says.
In 2001, he channeled his experience into founding Assurance Financial, which was turning a profit by its third month. The Baton Rouge office, which has become the mortgage company’s headquarters, opened in 2002; the operations center is located here, as are two retail production offices. Assurance now does business in most key markets in Louisiana and in other Southern states, employing over 100 people. Though he’s a managing partner with executive responsibilities, Hodges says he daily serves in a sales management capacity.
“I enjoy working closely with our sales team and doing everything possible to create an excellent client experience,” he says.
Read the full Q&A with Hodges. Here’s a sample of what you’ll find:
What was the state of the residential mortgage industry when you founded Assurance, as compared to now?
“The major difference in the residential mortgage industry when I founded our company compared to today was the regulatory environment and the lack of professionalism in our industry. The negative part about the regulatory burdens placed on lenders today is that it’s very expensive to meet compliance requirements. Unfortunately, it’s become more expensive for consumers to obtain a home loan. The good that came from the housing crisis is that there were legitimate licensing requirements enacted for mortgage loan officers. For the most part, you really have to know what you are doing to obtain a license to originate loans, and that is a benefit to those that we serve.”