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Bay Equity sets the bar for a new kind of mortgage lender with Surface devices

Written By published July 6, 2017

Bay Equity embraces digital transformation with Microsoft Surface, Skype and Office 365.

When brothers Brett, Casey and Jon McGovern decided to set up a full-service retail mortgage lending company in California’s San Francisco Bay Area in 2007, they couldn’t have picked a more inopportune time. Just a month after the McGovern brothers capitalized their business, the impending 2007-2008 global financial crisis hit full swing and was swiftly considered as the worst financial crash since the Great Depression of the 1930s. During this time of crisis, Bay Equity embraced digital transformation and invested in Surface Pro devices which helped them attract and retain great talent and enabled them to provide exceptional service to their clients.

Today, Bay Equity’s employees are completely powered by Surface Pro.

The company has rolled out more than 1,200 of the devices, alongside services such as Microsoft Skype for Business, and Microsoft Office 365 to facilitate quick and seamless communication and collaboration. Standardizing on Surface Pro devices has meant slashing redundant PCs and non-Windows tablets from the company’s device inventory, resulting in a saving of about $1.37 million.

Bay Equity’s employees are completely powered by Surface Pro.

Unlike many other mortgage lenders who were closing their doors, Bay Equity Home Loans’ founders remained dedicated to their dream of creating a family-oriented mortgage lending company that would provide high-quality customer services and lasting partnerships. “While everyone was running away from mortgage financing, we ran towards it,” co-founder and CEO Brett McGovern recalls. Bay Equity funded its first loan just one month after opening, and its rapid growth was recognized by San Francisco Business Times on its list of the Top 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in the San Francisco Bay Area in both 2011 and 2012. Fast forward to 2017, and the company now has operations centers and retail branches in more than 130 locations across states on both the east and west coasts of the US.

“The most talented people in our industry expect to have the best tools to allow them to execute at the highest level possible,” Brett says. “People see us as forward thinking and as having made the right investments in our company, which in turn is going to provide them a platform to be successful – and that’s what Surface represents for us.”]

Choosing the right device went deeper than just hardware specs and software packages- it had to make the right impression on the employees using the device, and reflect the ethos of Bay Equity to their customers. “We provide a premium service, and having a premium device is important,” CIO Phil Mikolaj said.

 “A lot of companies offer an appealing vision, but if their technology is difficult to work with, loan officers hesitate to join them. They don’t want to struggle to use the tools. That isn’t a problem for us; rather than being a barrier to recruiting, our technology attracts excellent people.”

One of these impressed end-users is seasoned mortgage banker, Kathryn Pedersen. Kathryn has spent fifteen years helping families find the perfect home, and she knows how much thought and consideration goes into a purchasing decision.

“Having a device that I can put in front of the client, and not have that division of them versus me, is great because we can work on something together as a team.”

She loves using Surface Pen to provide an intuitive writing experience on features like Sticky Notes and OneNote, helping her meetings with customer flow naturally, while making sure she never misses a thing. The security of her clients’ data is of the utmost importance.

“Security is really important, and Windows Hello is a feature that I can log in quickly using facial recognition. My kids tried to break into my Surface and neither one of them were successful, even though my daughter looks a lot like me.”

Kathryn credits Surface with helping her better balance her work life with her family life, and enabling her to make time for own family, too.

And Kathryn’s not the only one with more hours in her day. Surface is saving the Bay Equity’s IT department time integrating and supporting devices while their employees are saving time on training because of the familiar Windows ecosystem.

“We’ve gone from deploying PCs and laptops over a course of days to deploying Surface Pro devices in hours,” shares Phil Mikolaj.  

Surface has proved so popular in fact, that the firm has replaced all of its previous desktop and laptops with over 1,200 Surface devices across the business, consolidating the number of devices they need and helping them foster a digitally enabled, totally mobile culture of workers.

“When I realized that I could dock it on my desk, I got rid of my PC, my iPad, and my laptop and only carried a Surface Pro from that point forward,” Phil says. “I cannot believe how it’s changing my efficiency as an individual employee.”

And with the introduction of the new Surface Pro’s upcoming LTE functionality, companies like Bay Equity will be able to work even more flexibly and productively, accelerating their path to full digital transformation.

Read more on how Surface gives financial professionals the tools they need to transform the way they work. For financial services companies like Bay Equity, security is a priority. Their businesses are built on clients’ data and trust. This whitepaper explores why cloud-based control of your devices, information, and users is so important.