Today, we’re excited to share our new brand identity and redesigned website.
At Valon, we hope to be a partner you can trust with your home and your future. We used this vision to build our new brand identity from the ground up. We hope you’ll enjoy it.
It should be obvious that when you join a company you are implicitly making a very large bet on the founders. Whether it be an early stage company or even a late stage one, venture companies are based on the premise that the founders have the ability to perform magic and suspend disbelief. Accordingly, they’re given a significant amount of control over the company, far more than what is allowed and typical. Instead of giving investors the ability to affirmatively decide on certain actions, the venture capital construct relies on what is called protective provisions or “blocking rights”. Combined with softer dynamics like the natural cheerleading that occurs or straight up founder’s shares having 20x voting rights type constructs, venture company founders more often than not very much have “control”. So, unsurprisingly, if you decide to join a company you must get to a point where you trust the founders.
So now that you hopefully have a general sense of how to value the company (notice I didn’t say your shares), let’s talk about what you’re actually getting. In most cases, companies will offer you options (ISOs or NSOs) or some equity instrument that vests over a time horizon. So, depending on the stage of the company, you probably want to determine what percentage of the company you own (earlier stage companies) or what the dollar value of your shares if a liquidation event were to occur (later stage companies).
We like to be as transparent as possible when I’m trying to convince a candidate to join our team. After all, we’re asking for one of their most valuable resources, namely, time and opportunity. When I started this company with my friends, we strived to build a place that, unlike any of the places that we’ve worked at, offered clear transparency and definable upside. Since then, we’ve realized that it’s one of the core tenets of the company. So, in an effort to convince prospective employees to come work with us but also, just be a generally helpful resourceful for people out there, we’ve decided to start a “gotcha” series highlighting all of the things we think you should watch out for when considering a startup opportunity.
Mortgage servicing is a big job that comes with a fair share of risks. Lenders who do their own mortgage servicing must be diligent about the details. They must stay up to date on ever-changing regulations. They’re responsible for dodging massive fines when it comes to compliance. And there’s not much to be gained for all that hard work.
In the mortgaging industry, the borrower should be the utmost priority. Good service is about more than avoiding negative experiences. It’s about more than forbearances during COVID-19. It's more than pleasant and knowledgeable customer service. It’s about building the mortgaging experience around the borrower. Providing open communication between the servicer and payment system. Giving clear and prompt answers to inquiries. Convenience.
All financial institutions servicers want their borrowers to have a pleasant experience working with them.
Especially in the age of COVID-19 and remote work, that means adapting to the times. The borrowers of today won’t be impressed with a mortgage experience from 20 years ago. People want access to everything at their fingertips.
Escrow compliance is a high risk, low reward venture. Keeping up with evolving regulations takes time and effort. And after all of that work getting up to speed? Another change in regulations could come along that sends you back to square one.
Listen to the podcast episode
The subtitle for this podcast should be All You Wanted to Know About Mortgage Servicing But Were Afraid to Ask. Most mortgages are passed off to third party servicers for two reasons. The servicers know the government regs and how to comply and they also are skilled at cutting costs. Most see mortgage servicing as commoditized and the only difference between companies is price. Enter Valon (formerly Peach Street), which puts a focus on consumer experience, customer experience, and technology.
Why do mortgages matter?
At a high level, mortgages are one of the key levers in the real estate market and integral to the homeownership dream for Americans. Whenever the majority of Americans look to buy a home, they go through the mortgage application process and continue to interact with their mortgage servicer until they payoff their loan. It’s also the largest piece of debt and obligation that the majority of consumers take out in their lifetime. So at a minimum, you can say that one of the biggest decisions a consumer makes in his or her life is taking out a mortgage and thus, is core to the American Dream.