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TOM Talk Episode Seven – Employee Interview with Aaron Bunn

We are so excited for TOM Talk Episode Seven! Our President, Michael Kuentz interviews our Head of Secondary & Capital Markets – Aaron Bunn. Watch below – transcript added for ADA. We hope you’ll share these videos with your friends and tune in to learn more about our company and employees!

Transcript (Speakers: Michael Kuentz – President, Aaron Bunn – Head of Secondary & Capital Markets)


Aaron Bunn: Man, probably the biggest thing that motivates me is just this company. And one of the biggest things that I love the most is knowing that I’m not just adding to a bottom line. I mean it, and I know it might be cliche, but you really don’t understand how much of this company is helping and reaching other people because of that bottom line.

Words on screen; TOM TALK – Let’s talk with… Aaron Bunn

Michael Kuentz: Hey, TOM family. Welcome to another edition of TOM talk. And we’re very blessed today to be joined by one of our leaders in the company. Aaron Bunn. Aaron is going to tell us all about what he does within the company. But he’s going to tell us certainly a lot about him as an individual. And I kind of think of Aaron as the wizard. You know, and Wizard of Oz because he’s the guy behind the curtain that is probably talking to every single person in the company, but you never get to see him. So, now you get to see his face. Here’s Aaron Bunn. Aaron. Welcome.

Aaron Bunn: Thank you so much. I’m so excited to talk with you and get through this together.

Michael Kuentz: You got it. Well, so tell us, what do you do here at Trinity Oaks Mortgage?

Aaron Bunn: Oh, man, what do I not do? Now I’m the Head of Secondary and Capital Markets. So, and in normal people’s terms, I sell all of our loans to our investors. It’s very, very fun. It’s very exciting. But it also very stressful at times. As we know that that kinda, that role and responsibility adds a little bit of pressure, especially towards the end of each month. But, really what I love about it. It’s just the challenge. It never stops changing. The challenge is great. It’s, I’ve always been a mathematician. Math has always been my favorite and easiest subject. So, working with the market and the numbers and, and hedging, our pipeline is something that when I first got into it and it was first presented to me as an option I naturally gravitated towards it. I got super excited, but it’s one of those things that it keeps me on my toes day in, day out. The market keeps me on my toes. As we know, the market can change in a blink of an eye. So that is something that’s really exciting to me. I enjoy the challenge, but when it comes to pressure, the severity of the role is really just controlling our cash and our margins and preserving the value of each one of our loans. So we can hit our goals, our profitability goals. Month in – month out, quarter in – quarter out, and obviously the end of the year. So, there is a lot of pressure, but I’m very, very humbled and grateful to have the opportunity to be entrusted with it as well. So, thank you for that.

Michael Kuentz: Absolutely. Well, you know it’s like it’s its own additional part of the business, the secondary market, and everybody understands the loan side or for the most part, anyways, you know, there’s loan officers and there’s real estate agents and there’s borrowers and there’s processing and underwriting. But, but when that loan is funded, it takes on a whole new, a whole new angle.

Aaron Bunn: Oh it does.

Michael Kuentz: And that’s an important one. Yeah, for sure.

Aaron Bunn: Yeah. It’s like a whole second side that nobody really sees from the origination and operations side of it. Operation gets a glimpse from helping us clear conditions to get them purchased. But yeah, it’s a, it’s a whole nother manufacturing per se process on the back end to get these things off of our lines so we can fund more loans.

Michael Kuentz:  That’s great. That’s great. So tell me, how long have you been with the company? Cause I’ve heard, you know, back when the company started, it was like a few tables, so I believe you were one of the originals.

Aaron Bunn: Yeah. So looking back at our old Christmas. I was looking back at photos of my phone and I came across one of the ones from our very first Christmas party. I think it was the second one that we had. So we opened the doors may of 2016 and I didn’t start until August. But yeah, this August 29th will be five years with the company, and I started out as a, we were so small, I started out as a Lock Desk coordinator/Post-Closing coordinator. And then once, obviously we grew to where those departments had to be separated. I was kind of that’s when I was presented with which route do you want to go? And when I didn’t know, a secondary was, all I knew was lock desk. Lock stuff with our investors didn’t know this whole second side of it. I actually turned it down twice. I said I wanted to go to post-closing cause that’s what I had the most experience in. So, I am so grateful that he did not let me go that route because they knew I would one be not really that anybody, he knew that my talent, so it wouldn’t be yeah. So he said your potential is in secondary. I trust you there. I know what your talents are. I need you there. And so I took a shot in the dark and James Hinton came on board and he was really my mentor who got me into secondary. And I think that’s about two and a half, almost three years now. Yeah, that I’ve been in secondary. So, I still dabble in post-closing quite a bit, but just to help out and train and give those pushes at the end of the month. But. Yeah, it has been something that has been very, very exciting to learn.

Michael Kuentz: Well, it’s been fun too. First of all, speaking of somebody, you mentioned James Hinton, I kind of call him the father of mortgage and James, if you listened to this out there, we thank you for all that you’ve done for Trinity Oaks. But he is, he, as they say, he’s forgotten more about mortgage than I’ll ever learn. But I can, I can attribute you know, James’ mentoring of you it’s paid off in spades because you have, you’ve really grown into quite , quite a leader in the company. We lean on you pretty heavily every day, so we appreciate you very much. Yeah. So, so yeah, that’s a work side for a second, but tell us something about you that most people familiar with you may not know.

Aaron Bunn: Oh man, there’s quite a bit, but I would have to say one of my biggest hobbies and things that a lot of people who don’t really know my personal life is playing the guitar. I’ve got this daily reminder, that’s my therapy per se. I’ve got my guitar hanging there and I just sit here and play it and I sing it. And that is something that gets me through. I mean, yeah, I’m definitely guilty as everybody else can probably attest to, to turning your volume up very high and everybody’s in American Idol in their vehicle. I’m pretty sure that both of my neighbors on each side of me can attest that I’m the same way inside my apartment. So, poor things. There’s actually a cool little fun fact. There have actually been some times where the woman who lives right behind my back actually. She’s saying she has a very, very renounced gospel voice. She has started singing on a couple of occasions. I’ve been singing and playing in here and she starts singing the harmony to the songs that she knows. So it’s, it’s just, it’s really cool. Music is one of those things that just brings everybody together. I know you’re familiar with it and it’s a way to really be able to communicate to people through song. And it’s really helped me through. It’s always been the backbone of my life, through all of my ups and downs.

Michael Kuentz: Yeah, I miss our days of being in the office a hundred percent of the time when I had my guitar up there and you and I stress relief together.

Aaron Bunn: Well, I’m looking forward to being in a hotel lobby with you, with a guitar. Maybe I get to relive one of those old stories.

Michael Kuentz: You’ve heard that story. Well, so you know, you’ve learned a lot, you’ve come a long way in your career as an individual contributor as a leader. What motivates you to get up every morning and go to work?

Aaron Bunn: Man, probably the biggest thing that motivates me is just this company in a whole, one of the biggest things that I love the most is knowing that I’m not just adding to a bottom line. I mean it, and I know it might be cliche, but you really don’t understand how much of this company is helping and reaching other people because of that bottom line. And I actually got the pleasure of knowing that at the leadership, I’m sorry, the president’s club trip in Florida to know that number was just outstanding and it was so funny. I was talking to Heather about it and we had a really deep conversation and she said, I just don’t. I can’t believe it. She was like the fact that you have somebody not just from John Houston and the executive team, but it filters down to all the executives and every employee that’s, there is totally on board. Totally understands. It, it brings a whole new meaning because as somebody who has been on that opposite side that has needed that type of help. And to be able to reach people I have just a greater sense of, of gratefulness and admiration for John and this company and everybody that’s a part of it.

Michael Kuentz: Yeah, it’s you know, I’m, I’m constantly reminded because I live in the world of, we need to do our job and execute, but John is such a great reminder to me in my leadership growth. Is that remember, it’s not just about the. You know, the giving to the kingdom. It’s the reaching people too. And you know, we did a great job as a company last year, we’re going to continue to do more. God wants us to be amazing stewards of this gift of being able to guide this ship. I mean, he ultimately guides us, but he gives us the capabilities and the abilities, and we want to reach more people. We’ve got some pretty fun goals as a company over the next three years and the number we’re going to reach, and I’m excited about what, what doors God’s going to continue to open. So, let me ask you kind of a question that I think we’d all try to answer to ourselves sometimes, but if you could go back and talk to your old 16-year-old self, what advice would you give to your 16-year-old self? And what, what would that be?

Aaron Bunn: Man always be kind, always be caring. I would say to always look at the glass half full because I’ve been the negative Nancy before, but through everything that I’ve been through from age 16 to today which I won’t give that number away. But, one of the biggest things is what I always fall back on in terms of what I try to teach my boys what I try to teach people that I’m in contact with. And what I try to teach people who work for me and with me is to always choose love. I mean, quick, quick, the story back when I worked in the financial industry, we would have customers come in all the time that would get so angry and take it out on them. And then it would affect the rest of their day. That’d be talking about that customer all day long. And I finally just got to the point where I’d tell people, just choose love. You love people. It’s one of the greatest commandments. We are called to love people as God has loved us. And I mean, that’s, if you don’t choose love your, your day is going to be ruined. There’s so much joy. There’s so much wasted emotion. The joy that’s stolen from it. I spent a lot of years. It took me a long time to learn that. But I’ll tell you it has helped me not lose moments, not ruin my joy and let it be stolen. So, I’d say be kind, be caring, be positive and always choose love.

Michael Kuentz: Well, Aaron you know, you’re a constant reminder that you’re always telling those stories. You’re, you’re, you’re you live our core values. I appreciate you so much. And you’ve done amazing things. You’re going to continue to do amazing things for our company. I see. I see a lot of runway ahead for you and it’s been a pleasure getting to talk to you today for TOM Talk. And group, I hope you get to know Aaron like I’ve had the pleasure of knowing him and certainly world out there meet Aaron. We love him here at Trinity Oaks Mortgage. Aaron, Thank you, buddy. Appreciate you.

Aaron Bunn: Michael. Thank you seriously for everything you’ve done for me and continue to do for this company. It’s much appreciated.

Michael Kuentz: Take care guys.

Aaron Bunn: Bye.

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