In the end I wanted to create a tool for others, and to do that I needed to understand the issue from all angles looking at the needs of each member of the equation.
Kyle Kamrooz is co-founder and chief operating officer for cloudvirga. He is an experienced lending and financial technology professional with more than 16 years of executive management experience. By the age of 25, Kyle built one of the largest direct-to-consumer lending companies in Orange County, Calif., and he went on to expand his next business venture to more than 500 employees across all 50 states, processing more than $7 billion in loans yearly.
After experiencing firsthand the inefficiencies in home lending, Kyle set out to tackle the complex problems plaguing the loan process. Although technology has disrupted and improved many industries, the antiquated mortgage lending process remains manual, slow and costly. Along with his co-founders, Kyle created the intelligent Mortgage Platform, which leverages data and an intelligent workflow to drastically cut the time and costs associated with closing a loan. The proven system, which has already processed more than $3 billion in loans, is successfully transforming home lending by digitizing, automating and simplifying the process for consumers, lenders, and realtors.
Kyle received a bachelor‘s of science degree from Pepperdine University in business management and finance, graduating Summa Cum Laude.
Where did the idea for cloudvirga come from?
Inside of a private mortgage lender – Loans that should be closing in 10 days were taking 40-50 days and we realized the technical capabilities and workflow efficiencies needed to truly automate a lot of the manual work was missing from current systems. Current systems are built on old platforms and workflow was driven by PDF images versus data. Not a new concept in other industries, but something unheard of in mortgage lending.
We saw the major inefficiencies in closing a loan and decided that in order to really change home lending and “modernize” with the rest of the technological advances in other industries, we had to tackle every detailed task of what it takes to close a loan. We needed to go into the weeds to truly solve a very complicated process.
This has become a movement to truly tackle the whole problem, not just the consumers experience (as crucial as that is) but also the lenders massive overhead needed to close a single loan. If we fix the lending process, the consumer reaps the benefit of not only a better loan process but a cheaper home loan!
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I spend my mornings on product calls to make sure the intelligent Mortgage Platform and all the many facets of it are going in the right direction .This is a VERY big piece of code. Afternoons, usually pitching investors and big banks/lenders who heard about what we are doing and wanting to join the movement. I find that the blend of managing items in progress in the morning and reaching out for new objectives helps me see the natural progression of cloudvirga and stay productive when it comes to continuing the revolution we have started.
How do you bring your ideas to life?
I try to put myself in not only the consumer/borrowers seat of getting a home loan, but also the lender (and the operational staff) that has to work through archaic systems with no automation (manual workflows). This shift of perspective has allowed me to bring a product to the space that truly solves a problem and makes life easier. In the end, I wanted to create a tool for others, and to do that I needed to understand the issue from all angles looking at the needs of each member of the equation.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The obvious trend that excites me currently is the digitizing of the entire mortgage process and cutting the cost to do a loan drastically. For the first ever, the technology exists for us to finally tackle this issue. By doing so we have the opportunity to not only make the process more efficient and accurate but for those who do get a loan, it becomes cheaper. Monthly mortgage payments are reduced (less closing costs and lower interest rates) because all lenders will have a streamlined automated process available to them. In order to compete, costs will naturally come down for borrowers, as lenders will have to adopt these tools and processes just to stay competitive!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Knowing what is needed vs wanted. I have always taken pride in my ability to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. I feel it is one of the qualities that has allowed me to achieve so much. By embracing the difficulties and struggles of others, I expand my own knowledge base and perspective in an attempt to fully grasp a situation. This process has allowed me to address the issues facing our current business from all directions, which has been incredibly advantageous.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
My worst job I ever had was an Internship as a Financial Analyst. This is before I got into home finance. The stress of managing other people’s money coupled with the volatility of the stock market was awful (for me at least.)
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Not get sidetracked on shiny objects and stay focused on the mission. In the beginning, I got caught up in part of the problem and wasn’t looking at the industry as a whole. Once I was able to see the systemic issues with the lending and mortgage process, I was much better equipped to face the problem head on.
As an entrepreneur what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
One of the main things that has worked for me that I encourage others to do is Focus on how to make your staff better than you. Empower, encourage and always try and replace yourself. Serve the people around you. By doing so, you show your staff that they are an integral component to success and that you value their efforts. Never forget that your employees are your most valuable resource, respect them and your investment will be returned in full.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please Explain how
One of the most valuable strategies I employ is constant networking. I have seen a great deal of success in my career due to my drive to constantly seek out those I felt I could learn from, and who would inspire me to reach my own potential. These mentors and partners have spurred me to achieve great things and pushed me to expand into areas I may not have felt comfortable in, on my own.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur and how did you overcome it?
As with most entrepreneurs, I have had many failures but the ones that stand out in my mind are bad investment decisions. Fortunately, each time I was able to overcome these by realizing the past cannot be changed and I can’t “time travel.” Move forward is what I tell myself, and keep getting up.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A social platform for mortgage, finance and banking professionals to connect and discuss the largest issues facing our space today. Would love to see a well made online space that further enhances our ability to network and discover new business opportunities.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and Why?
I recently made a donation to help my old pastor start a new church in the OC. Faith is very important to me as is serving something much bigger than myself.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
Given that my business is targeted at the lending space or at least partially at the end user, I try to spend a lot of time engaging with the tech as they would, through my cell phone and tablet. I have discovered more and more that I am definitely an Android fan as opposed to an Apple user. Nothing against you Apple lovers, just a personal preference.
What is one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The books that I find to be most valuable in my work that I recommend to others tend to be Old school books, but one’s with principals that apply to life in general. For example “How to Win Friends & Influence People” is probably one of the most notable. Followed closely by the Bible, a book I find to be highly applicable still to my daily life.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
My biggest supporter and mentor I have had in my career so far has been Bill Dallas, founder of Dallas Capital and my Executive Chairman. Starting from my days at Pepperdine, Bill would come in and speak to our class. I was inspired by his drive and his willingness to help those who came after him to get a handle on the business. He demonstrated the value of giving back and it is something that has always stuck with me. Besides his great character, Bill is a legend in the mortgage/fintech industry and I think anyone in the financial or simply the business space could learn a lot from him.
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.