December 14, 2018
via Villanova Class Feedback
I thoroughly enjoyed having Mr. Kuranda speak to our class. I found the session very informative and it was interesting to hear about his story and his views on the current state of the economy.
1. My first take away was how much he stressed the importance of a personal, face-to-face relationship with customers. I'm by no means an expert on the mortgage industry, but it sounds like he is one of the few survivors of the financial crisis that operates his business as a mom and pop shop that customers can walk into. You could tell that he disapproved of the services provided by Mortgage giants such as Quicken Loans. It seems as though he has thrived over the years by creating face-to-face relationships with customers. I thought it was pretty cool how people can simply walk into his business and have a sit down conversation about the state of the housing industry and receive guidance on the spot.
2. My second take away was the absolute importance of adapting to the surrounding business environment. This is not only necessary to be able to better service customers, but, at times, survive in an extremely competitive industry. Hearing his stories about how his company survived the housing crisis really demonstrated the importance of morphing a business in order to survive turbulent periods. It is not enough to simply accept the status quo and expect to succeed in a competitive industry. You will fall behind competitors and cease to exist.
3. My third take away kind of builds off of my second point. And that is the fact that it is necessary to accept the fact that we will not exist in a growing and prosperous economy. Mr. Kuranda made it clear that he does not have a very positive outlook for 2019 and he expects an economic downturn of sorts. What was truly interesting was his relatively calm demeanor in regards to the future. He recognizes the fact that we will not always operate in an optimal economic setting and that what is most important is how companies position themselves for slowdowns and weather the storm throughout difficult periods. This mentality is very realistic and important to utilize when directing a company through turbulent market environments.
December 14, 2018
via Villanova Class Feedback
Living in the Strafford/Devon area, I pass Kuranda Mortgage every night I return home from night class. Many times at the stop light out front, I honestly looked in the window and became curious at how a small family mortgage company could exist after the era of the housing crisis and rise of mega-banks like Wells Fargo that dominate the market. It was to my surprise and genuine enjoyment that I learned we'd be hearing from Thomas Kuranda. Although I have a mortgage for my small condo, I know little to nothing about how the mortgage industry operates. Mr. Kuranda not only illuminated this for me, but also imparted more general business knowledge and advice to us all. I have the following major takeaways. There are more, but these are some of the first that come to mind:
1) The necessity of reinvention- Owning a small business is not for the faint of heart. But even for those who will never do so, reinvention is an essential aspect of both business and our personal lives. Just when you think you have something figured out and become complacent, life can throw you a curveball and have you scrambling for an answer. For Mr. Kuranda, the home loan crisis a decade ago almost put him out of business. Yet, he calmly studied the situation and took the necessary steps to survive and thrive again, even if it meant changing things drastically. He reduced the size and scope of his operations and became a mortgage broker to better align with where the industry was heading. Today, his company exists on a new plane and in a new form. He does not look backwards but, instead, ahead at the future. This was the most impactful lesson he shared, in my mind.
2) Know what you are and what you are not- In business and in our careers, you cannot be everything to all people. Mr. Kuranda knows he can't compete head-on with the large corporate players in the market, so he doesn't try to do so. He competes on an entirely different value proposition centered upon personal care, great service, and trust. It reminded me of my company, QVC, and it's efforts to distinguish itself in the market and to investors from the almighty Amazon. We cannot compete with Amazon on shipping time or selection. Instead, we are carving out a space for customers who like the thrill of discovery and seeing products demonstrated live. We don't try to compete on price or offer two-day shipping. We know what we are and what we are not, much like Kuranda Mortgage. Pick a few key attributes you are good at and focus on doing those as best as you can.
3) Do your homework- Mr. Kuranda does not have the luxury of huge staffing that his large scale competitors do. He cannot hire competitive analysts, economists, and high-priced consultants. He does not let this stop him from doing his own research on the industry and knowing it inside and out. By touching upon every area of the business, rather than specialize in one thing at a large company, Mr. Kuranda knows a great deal about many different aspects. He knows about the history of the industry, the major regulations governing mortgage companies, the state of the economy, and what other morgage companies are up to currently. In the age of the internet, the democratization of information has changed the world. There is information readily accessible that previously only could be found in large volumes of textbooks or in the heads of experts. Now, no matter what area of business we are in, there is opportunity to do research that can unlock untold opportunities. It is unfathomable, for example, the amount of information stored in something accessible like Wikipedia. It used to be mocked 10 years ago for being crowd-sourced. I believe for 90% of information we seek to research, it is relatively very reliable for a free tool. We have recreated the Library of Alexandria in digital form for all to enjoy and discover. The speed at which we must move in life and in business is quicker than any human had to deal with before. This makes the demands on us to be knowledgeable about our world and industry increase significantly.
November 5, 2018
Austin and his team do a wonderful job
As first time home buyers, my wife and I did not know what to expect and were somewhat intimidated by the home buying process. From the first phone call we had with Austin, he made us feel calm, comfortable and confident. Austin understands the home buying process from beginning to end and at any point along the way he was there to guide us or answer any questions. The realtors he referred us to were nothing short of amazing. When it comes time to purchase a rental or move to a new home, we certainly know who to turn to. Thank you Austin.
mbirmingham319 from Ardmore, PA
October 31, 2018
BETTER AND COST LESS THAN OTHER LENDERS WE TALKED TO.
We highly recommend Jon. He has clear expertise in the financing world and was comfortable explaining EVERYTHING before and during closing. He went to bat for us on a few items, so it was good to know that he had our backs. Jon also got us a lower interest rate and had fewer costs than the first lender we talked to -- I kept thinking, "where's the catch" because he cost less and was better, but there wasn't one. He was a total win-win to work with.
user9419699 from Malvern, PA
October 29, 2018
Great and so responsive!
My husband and I started working with Austin a month or so ago. We bought the house we were renting, so Austin was incredibly helpful for us since we didn't have a realtor and bought directly from the landlord. He answered every question, even in the evening, and didn't mind when things changed or new paperwork needed to happen. He was great - helpful, honest, clear, and thorough. He explained everything in detail and second and third times when I didn't understand. Found us a great rate! We were so lucky to work with him and so thankful to him and to Kuranda.
Rachel T. from Philadelphia, PA
August 14, 2018
Kuranda Mortgage, a great place to do business!
Jon is tremendous. He always has time for questions and guides you through the entire mortgage process. Jon is extremely knowledgeable, secured a great rate, and a pleasure to work with.
Mike Strenger from Royersford, PA
June 15, 2018
Good morning Austin! Thanks again for all your help in the refinancing. Everything went well yesterday with Andy during closing. He was great.
February 10, 2018
via Review: Mortgage Lending Service
Recently refinanced my home and they were excellent in terms of both services and creativity of ideas which benefited my situation.
They were awesome.
November 29, 2017
Thank you for checking and for the explanation you sent last night. It was a pleasure doing business with you. Your thoroughness and follow-up throughout the process were much appreciated.
June 6, 2017
Austin was phenomenal to work with from the moment we walked in the door, to the settlement date. As first-time home buyers, we had a lot of questions and he was always there to explain every step of the way. He was extremely flexible with our schedules and was always quick to reply.
There were many hurdles during the process, but Austin truly made us feel secure and important. I would highly recommend anyone to use Kuranda as this was an incredible experience!
April 20, 2017
I hope this note finds you and your team well and enjoying the week. I'm getting ready to head to the airport for a trip business, but want to draft a brief testimonial to the outstanding customer service, once again, demonstrated by you and your team. I have no doubt that our refi- was "a drop in the bucket", but I could not be more impressed with the attention to detail, especially you and "Mich". The closing went well on Monday and I think I funds are being wired tomorrow (if not a check cut Monday...I forget which option I chose). I will always recommend Kuranda Mortgage and am wondering if you have a preferred way to receive testimonials. Other businesses that I have worked with have been asking for Google reviews. Let me know which you prefer; it's the least I can do.
Thanks again for all your help. You guys just flat-out get it done! If only the Wildcats had done the same this year.
April 10, 2017
Thanks, Tom. Everything went great with the refi closing this afternoon!
Sent from my iPhone
April 4, 2017
Subject: RE: Villanova Guest Lecture - 2/21/2017
Hi Tom, I have been meaning to write to again thank you for a terrific guest speaking engagement back on March 21. It was really well received by the MBA students, lots of questions as well. The class really appreciates outside speakers discussing real world business situations; the successes, opportunities, and challenges. Well done again! I will stay in touch.
Justine and Austin, it was nice to meet you as well!
Michael A Bray
March 14, 2017
Thanks guys it was a pleasure working with you guys on my mortgage
Sent from my iPhone
January 28, 2017
Hope all's well with you and business...I apologize for imposing in your e-mail uninvited...I'm writing for a couple of reasons...one, my wife, Anita, and myself refinanced through your firm/Austin Duca...for a young man, I was impressed with his professionalism, character & confidence...THANK YOU for your help!...
...also, I'm guessing with the amount of people you've met over the years you won't remember meeting me at Nova game 'years ago' with Michael Touey...I recollect your Kuranda Mortgage banner was on 'press row'...nice to finally do business with you...my business partner, Bob Waks and my wife are looking/regularly for investment properties, refinancing current assets, etc. so I look forward to using you again...-Robert
January 10, 2017
Hi Thomas and Amy:
I think that our realtor, Jason Lewis, reached out to you today (or will do so soon) to let you know that we've reached an Agreement of Sale. I wanted to check in with you and see how I start the mortgage application process. This needs to be done by January 16th so I know time is of the essence.
Also, please note my changed email - I stupidly used two different email accounts to start the buying process and realized that I was likely to miss something important if I was continually switching between the two.
Finally, thank you SO MUCH for all of your help in generating the pre-approval letters this weekend - we couldn't have gotten to this point without you! :)
December 22, 2016
Hi Amy and Tom,
I wrote the following review. A little long. I'm happy to add or modify - please feel free to let me know.
Angie's List made me sign in/up. But it won't show me the review (maybe b/c I'm not a paid member?) Please let me know if I need to resubmit.
Have a great winter holiday.
Tom Kuranda and Amy demonstrated EXCEPTIONAL customer focus!
Not only did they get us a great rate to make the re-finance worthwhile, they stayed on top of everything so we closed before the lock period expired. Given that rates were about to jump up, that was critical. (tip to 1st time refinancers: if you're in an environment where rates might go up, it is essential to close before your lock period.....or you may end up losing upfront monies paid like for the appraisal).
We will be recommending Kuranda whole heartedly to our friends and family.
More details on what Kuranda did for us below.
GOT US A GREAT DEAL
Tom secured a fabulous rate and discount with a reputable lender.
When I contacted Tom, I was not sure what type of refinance (# of years, cash back)....or whether I even wanted to go through the trouble.
Tom's welcoming manner encouraged me to ask questions. He wasn't pushy - gave me time to think it over. With his candid, thorough explanations, I felt thoroughly educated and confident we had chosen the right re-finance terms for our situation.
RESPONSIVE, RESPONSIVE, CLEAR in COMMUNICATING with us
Even after we applied, I asked plenty of questions (as I wanted to make sure we weren't being taken advantage of by our lender). Tom said it was his job to address ANY concern I had.
I could communicate with Tom and Amy however it was convenient for me that day - phone, in person at their office, email, text....
THOROUGH in FOLLOW-UP
Our previous mortgage broker (for re-finance in 2010) hooked us up with a lender and then left us to follow up with the lender and title company.
Kuranda stayed WITH us the entire way.
We had a lot going on in our family life. Only because Kuranda/Amy helped us get outstanding items to the lender in time, we were able close before the lock period expired. The rates jumped up after the Presidential Election, so re-financing would no longer make sense financially. But we would have been out $500 already paid for the appraisal.
MADE IT CONVENIENT for us
Amy made the application easy to complete. They flexed to our schedule - they made their office available as we needed to close in the evening after my spouse left work.
August 19, 2016
I just wanted to tell you how proud I am of my grandsons - I just saw Jack's LinkedIn message and
I messaged him back as I did w/ Austin a few months back. That is phenomenal for someone Jack's age. You have made
two men in your life successful already in a short time. So I am very proud of you also.
August 18, 2016
Check has been received...thanks for everything...very smooth
August 18, 2016
thanks Tom! AJ has been wonderful
August 17, 2016
All done, thanks for your help as usual. Mom might be next, I will let you know.
August 10, 2016
Just wanted to thank you and your staff for your assistance in securing my loan. Always a pleasure dealing with your outfit. Not sure how many transactions I have done with your group but I never worry about the positive end result.
August 4, 2016
Good Morning Austin,
Everything at closing was perfect. Thank you for all of your help navigating us through this process. We greatly appreciated your time, your accessibility, your patience and all of your effort to ensure we made it through the process with the best possible option (and interest rate!) for us. We would absolutely highly recommend Kuranda. I will be sure to write a review.
Take care and thank you again.
Happy, proud, finally homeowners Mary and Scott J.
August 4, 2016
Thanks for getting in touch. I have looked over our financing options since you estimated the costs for a refi. At this point, since our rate is 3.0%, I think Lou and I are going to try being very aggressive with our prepayments and attempt to pay off our mortgage before the balloon pops 6 years from now.
Your help and advice have been very valuable. Even though we won't be getting a refi at this time, if you would like me to post a recommendation on your site or offer you a recommendation in some other way, please let me know. It's unusual in this day and age to have a real professional response. You have provided that.
Thank you again. I will recommend you to any friends/family who can use your services.
July 30, 2016
Good morning Tom,
I hope your weekend is off to a great start. Just a quick note to thank you and your team. I greatly appreciate the high level of client service that has been provided. Your team has been approachable, knowledgeable and responsive. I believe that the highest professional compliment that can be given in the service industry is a client referral. I would not hesitate to refer any of my clients to your organization.
Thank you once again for all of the help.
July 11, 2016
June 30, 2016
Good afternoon Tom and AJ,
It was a pleasure meeting with you earlier today (6/30). Just a quick note of thanks. I greatly appreciate the high level of service provided by your organization (i.e. responsive, flexible, approachable). If you should have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to reach-out.
Have a great holiday.
June 30, 2016
via handwritten note
Our thanks and gratitude to you and your staff for all your hard work to make our refinance possible. "Kuranda Mortgage" is the best!
Judy and Tom
June 30, 2016
I can live with an 1/8th. When last Friday happened I figured I missed a huge opportunity, but 2.75% for 15 years is a great place to be. Thanks again Tom, you have a first class organization.
June 29, 2016
Thank you for that explanation.
As I am happy with the rate of my mortgage and with my interaction with you, I am referring my brother in law to you. Is there anyone he should ask for specifically when he calls? He will be refinancing his existing mortgage.
June 28, 2016
We submitted a review. It was a pleasure working with the entire Kuranda team. Thank you again.
Brian and Allie
June 21, 2016
Settlement was a breeze and the entire process was even easier. Megan was a true professional and you are fortunate to have her.
June 14, 2016
You guys made it so easy for us Tom. I can't thank you enough
June 1, 2016
Thanks for checking.
I'm always looking for a worthwhile downward shift.
You all were a pleasure to deal with. Thanks again.
I will put your name out there to folks I know who are house hunting.
Have a good day.
May 31, 2016
I just completed my third transaction with Kuranda Mortgage and continue to be impressed with the level of customer service and quality rates provided. Mortgage brokers today are viewed largely as a commodity, seemly separated by only an interest rate. While true in many respects, that promise of a great rate is only part of the equation. In the end, it is execution that wins the day. Tom and his team provide a first rate experience, highly competitive rates, and execution at all levels.
May 31, 2016
Great! Thank you very much for everything, it's been a positive experience!
Sent from my iPhone
On May 31, 2016, at 9:09 AM, Thomas Kuranda
Make your first payment when it is due!
Kimber- thanks for your business. It was a pleasure to do your loan and get your business.
Thanks so much again.
May 12, 2016
from start to finish, tom and his staff were great to work with everything worked as committed and everything was well executed with little hassle material sent via email, or online, and costs were as presented
May 12, 2016
I loved working with Kuranda Mortgage. Tom / Megan were outstanding to deal with. In moments of need, Tom and Megan were there for me. Tom walked through all my options for my refinance. They made me feel extremely comfortable and were very friendly to deal with. I would go back to Kuranda for any mortgage needs.
May 12, 2016
via Email and Zillow
Hi Tom and Megan
I have never published an online review and certainly don't sign onto new websites for reviews -- but I made an exception for you!
I wish you continued success and if you have a prospect that needs to talk with your customer, I'm happy to help. Thanks again for everything...
Best regards, Larry
May 2, 2016
You can definitely have referrals from me! You and Megan have been great.., thx again
Sent from my iPhone
February 01, 2016
Dear Tom and Megan,
Just a quick note to say thank you for all your guidance and expert delivery of my new mortgages. As always, the transactions went seamlessly and without a lot of drama.
Keep up the great work and when I am in neighborhood I'll pop my head in and say hello.
All the best for 2016.
November 7, 2015
via Zillow (howard kaye51)
What I appreciated most about working with Tom is that he is a "straight-shooter". There is no guile or manipulation with him. Just clear, helpful information, quick responses to all queries, and great service. His whole team were great to work with.