Tommy Nelms, Partner

By Katie Agness

A full-service mortgage lender, United Lending strives to help their clients through one of the biggest financial decisions of their life. Committed to making the lending process as easy as possible, the team at United Lending team is one of the most knowledgeable and experienced in the Austin area.

“Ultimately, it boils down to communication. We strive to provide a hassle-free experience with over-the-top communication,” says David McMillan, partner for United Lending. “We over communicate to all parties involved so not only are there no surprises, but everyone knows what is going on before they have to pick up the phone and call.”

For McMillian and is co-partner Tommy Nelms, a focus on “people first” has enabled them to retain and develop their employees into a long-term team. “Our main priority is  isto create the best office environment with the best people in the industry,” Nelms says. “We have multiple people on our staff, both in production and operations, who have been with us for 20 years or more.”

In addition to supporting a top-notch operations team, McMillian and Nelms, who have a combined 50 years of experience, focus on production support and recruiting top talent for United Lending. Since joining forces 10 years ago, they have helped expand United Lending’s footprint to Houston and San Antonio.

“We are consistently one of the top five lenders in Austin on the Austin Business Journal’s Book of Lists. Recently, we even hit the No. 2 spot! By focusing on top talent, we’re able to let the growth take care of itself,” McMillan says.

It’s growth that led the United Lending team to develop a new partnership with Benchmark Mortgage. “Our individual team has been United Lending for more than 10 years. We value a strong partnership with corporate, back office and the warehouse-side of the business,” Nelms says. “So as we grew, it became obvious that we needed to find a partner that supported this growth”.

For them, that partner is Benchmark Mortgage, which funds more than $3 billion annually in almost every state. “We decided to join them for many reasons. But once again, the main reason was the people,” McMillan says. “Jim McMahan, one of the owners and an industry icon, and I have had a relationship from a previous company. It has been a great decision for us.”

While this new partnership took effect nearly three years ago, they are now officially rebranding under the Benchmark Mortgage name. “We didn’t want to do it right away because we have done a very good job branding United Lending in Austin over the years,” Nelms says. “It made sense to adopt their name as we grew into Houston and San Antonio, but now we will bring the three cities under the same name.”

Even with the name change, the Benchmark Mortgage team is still focused on quality customer service and dedicated employees. “We offer a vast array of mortgage products, and we work with all types of clients, from first-time home buyers to multi-million dollar homeowners and everything in between,” McMillan says.

Nelms adds, “When you work with Benchmark Mortgage, you can always expect to work with experience, knowledgeable people who want to make the lending process as easy and seamless as possible.

One of the biggest changes we’ve made in recent years is how we support originators teams with operational teams. We are getting great files to the processing depart, and then in turn to the underwriters. Quick closings, minimal conditions, approvals in less than two weeks, supporting the originators in such a way that they are not bogged down in paperwork but are able to work on the referral relationships and create new ones.  RL