As the CEO and founder of AdvantageFirst Lending (AFL), Kurt Cymerint brings over 15 years of finance experience and a sincere affinity for both his clients and his staff. As the leader of a thriving firm, he focuses on fostering growth while staying true to the company’s culture and mission of putting the customer first. When he founded the company in 2014 in Rancho Santa Margarita, based in Southern California, it was a small business, with just four employees for the first four years. In January of 2018, Kurt decided it was time to think bigger, and in just three years since then, the company has grown to 120 employees by 2021. To date, AdvantageFirst Lending has provided some $2.5 billion in loans for tens of thousands of clients across the U.S., many of whom have been with Kurt and his team since AFL’s founding thanks to their high-quality, personalized service. With the extraordinary demand for refinancing as a result of historically low refinancing rates, his Kurt’s personal attention to not only his clients, but to his staff, has remained steadfast, ensuring that no employees were laid off during the COVID pandemic. As the company’s growth continues at a lightning-fast pace with funding Close to $860 million in 2020—double of what 2019 was—AFL is expanding to continue to provide high-quality personalized service for its swelling customer base.
AdvantageFirst Lending specializes in both purchase and refinancing loans, including Jumbo, Conventional, FHA, VA, and Reverse Mortgages. However, it is the personalized attention and dedication to each and every client that sets them apart. Clients are contacted regularly with updates, and Kurt and his team even make sure to contact them in their preferred way, whether that’s email, text, or phone call. “We genuinely care about the client and treat every single one of them like family,” Kurt says. And it pays off: about 20% of their new clients come from referrals.
Kurt started his career in 2005 with Solstice Capital, where he was the top producer in both units and loan volume in the company. He was recruited by LoanDepot in 2009, where he built one of the top-performing sales teams before moving on to Home Financing, Inc., in 2012. By 2014, he was ready to set out on his own and founded AdvantageFirst Lending, using his years of experience to craft his own platform while keeping the needs of his clients at the front and center. After seeing friends and family struggle with maintaining communication with brokers he realized he could provide better, more attentive service. “I thought, ‘I’m going to do this on my own to provide the level of customer service that I know is required and should be given to each and every person,’” he recalls. “This is the biggest transaction in people’s lives—they’re buying a home. At a high-volume loan warehouse, customers are just a nameless, faceless number on the sales column. I knew there was a better way. I wanted to put the client first, form long-term relationships with them and their families, and work closely with them to ensure that they were taken care of.”
For Kurt, the greatest part of his work is twofold. First, there’s the enjoyment of providing clients with service they can’t get anywhere else, but there’s also the opportunity to teach his employees the ins and outs of success, something Kurt is excited to pass on to the next generation of originators and brokers. “I like seeing it click for them and then watching dozens of employees achieve the same level of success that I did early on, and that allows us to serve hundreds of thousands more clients in the way we believe they should be served.”
Founder & CEO — Advantage First Lending