When Doug Schukar launched DAS Acquisition Co./USA Mortgage, he built the lender’s foundation on four key principles that have helped it become the largest mortgage bank in metropolitan St. Louis.
The first was that knowledge is power ? smarter is better. The second was to plan your work, then work your plan. The next was to get the right people on the bus and the wrong ones off. The fourth was that anytime you find the person who fits your culture, hire that person and build around him or her.
With that philosophy, new age team-building techniques and information technology, and old-school pragmatism, Schukar took the company to a record-closing volume in 2008 that nearly doubled in 2009.
These astounding results were preceded by Schukar’s decision to add a title affiliate in 2003 and an appraisal company in 2004. With those additions, USA Mortgage was able to offer borrowers convenience, confidence and speed in securing mortgages because every step of the lending process could be controlled in-house.
While the mortgage industry is laden with risk tied to rapid fluctuations that can eat up profits when a mortgage provider bets wrong, Schukar does not gamble. Rather, he follows “best efforts” doctrine and purchases only the amount of funds that his licensed loan officers have already safely put in the sales pipeline.
USA Mortgage invests significantly in employee continuing education. As part of Schukar’s goal to make every employee an “A” player, more than $50,000 was spent in 2010. He also believes in promoting from within to fill supervisory ranks, rather than recruiting upper-level managers from competing companies. For instance, four former personal assistants of Schukar are now key managers.
He sums up this message to employees: “If you stand by me, I’ll stand by you.”
How to reach: DAS Acquisition Co. LLC, (314) 628-2000