Jonathan Harris: Mortgage Brokerage Offering a Variety of Mortgage Loan Products to Clients in DC, MD and VA

February 26, 2022

We are a Mortgage Brokerage offering a variety of mortgage loan products to clients in DC, MD and VA. Our mission is offer the most competitive line of mortgage loan products. We specialize in offering loan solutions that our competitors can not offer.

Tell us about yourself?

Jonathan Harris, originally from Mt. Vernon, New York, has lived in the Baltimore Washington Metropolitan Area since 1986. He is a loving husband and father of 4.

He attended Bowie State University for both Undergraduate and Graduate studies, graduating with a BA in Business Administration in 1991 and a MA in Administrative Management / Finance in 1994.

After obtaining years of valuable managerial experience, working in financial services for companies such as Banc One and American General Finances, Inc., Mr. Harris founded 1st Step Financial Services, Inc. in 1997, a Mortgage Brokerage, currently based out of Ellicott City, MD. Mr. Harris has worked as a Licensed Realtor since 2003 and has worked as an active Real Estate Investor since 1994.

In June 2020 he became Co-Owner of EXIT Realty National Harbor and in January 2021 he became Co-Owner of the EXIT Deluxe Realty Franchise in Bethesda, MD.

His years of experience in financial services and real estate, has proven to be a successful mix. As a result, Mr. Harris has received numerous awards and accolades and he is held in high regard among his peers within the local business community.

With 17+ years of Accounting experience, he was approved to sit for his CPA Certification in 2013 after meeting all requirements for candidacy. His philanthropic work, for the past 20+ years, has been mostly in the areas of finance and accounting through Community Service Initiative, Inc., a non-profit organization that he founded in 2007 with his Wife, Dedra Harris, that promotes financial literacy in the non-profit sector..

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Constantly look to enhance and strategically grow your business. If you are not constantly growing, your competition will surely steal your market share over time.

What problem does your business solve?

Creative Home Loan Solutions for all borrowers. We make home ownership a reality for all and we offer business opportunities for those that wish to thrive in this booming industry.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

I worked in the financial services field since 1997 and was very successful at it. The time I spent closing loans for companies such as Bank one and American Financial Services, Inc. inspired me to start my own company and work independently. My goal was to streamline the mortgage process so that other Mortgage Originators, like myself, could maximize their earnings and help more customers.

What is your magic sauce?

We offer full service mortgage processing to our Mortgage Originators. They are only required to provide us with viable Loan Applicants and our Administrative Team essentially handles the rest, thus “You take the 1st Step, We’ll handle the rest”. With minimal responsibility, out Mortgage Originators earn competitive compensation. For this reason, we are very popular with Real Estate Agents, who commonly obtain their Mortgage Licenses to receive dual compensation on their purchase transactions.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

Our goal, beginning in 2022 is mass expansion, by increasing our branch network through franchise arrangements with our aspiring Mortgage Originators.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Competition from big banks and credit unions has always posed a challenge, but as we raise our brand awareness and perfect our craft, we have carved out a pretty loan client base for ourselves.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

Contact me, Jonathan Harris, at [email protected] or (240) 731-6515

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