Before opening FirstTrust Home Loans, Inc., our CEO and founder, Glenn Strong, started out as a young logger. With a wife and a new baby at home, he knew working seven days a week was unsustainable. His desire to provide for his family and still have time to spend with them motivated him to pursue something different.
Growing up, Glenn always knew he wanted to help his family and community grow and work together. He enjoyed the local, small town vibe and longed to expand on his influence and support within the community.
While at dinner one night, a close friend mentioned that he thought Glenn would be a good mortgage loan officer and suggested he give it a try. Knowing nothing about mortgages, he stepped head-first into a new career with a national mortgage company as a loan originator. He worked hard the first couple of years learning as much as he could and building relationships with the people around him. Little did he know, some of those relationships and people would still be with him today as members of the FirstTrust team. He became loan officer of the region and a well-respected originator throughout central Arkansas.
During this time, Glenn learned a lot about the mortgage industry and what he thought needed to be different in order to set himself, and a potential company, apart. His first priority was to find a way to provide his customers with the best home loan experience possible.
“I wanted to be able to offer the easiest home loan process available, but at the best price, too. I wanted to be small enough that we can shake hands and look people in the eyes, but big enough that we can compete with the big guys. And we’ve done that,” said Strong.
In 2003, Glenn opened First Arkansas Financial in Sheridan, AR. With nothing but the knowledge he learned over the past two years and five co-workers from his old job who were ready to support him, Glenn began a fully functioning, independent brokerage company.
Since its humble beginning, FirstTrust Home Loans Inc. has grown to around 100 employees and is now licensed in eight states with offices located in Arkansas, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Missouri. As the company’s footprint grew outside of Arkansas, the need for a name change to more accurately reflect the company’s vision also grew. This led to the re-branding of First Arkansas Financial to FirstTrust Home Loans, Inc.
As the mortgage process evolved and technology improved, Glenn recognized that in order to continue providing customers with quality service, he needed to be able to provide a convenient, user-friendly solution to handle applications, information and document delivery. With the help of his team, they implemented the MortgageStrong mobile app. The mobile app allows customers to apply for their loan, scan documents, track their loan progress, communicate with their realtors, loan officers and so much more, all from their phones. It also has a companion website with even greater functionality for borrowers and partners.
FirstTrust was established and continues to grow by placing daily emphasis on its core values: building relationships, staying involved in the community, being flexible and fast, maintaining transparency and trustworthiness with our clients and co-workers and treating everyone like family. Our mission is to be a local mortgage company that customers can trust. Our family of dedicated mortgage professionals make it their priority to go beyond customer expectations and provide a personal, quality experience for their clients and partners.
FirstTrust is more than just an independent mortgage bank– we are a family. Not only does Glenn make sure every customer feels important, but he also constantly reminds his team members that they are family, too.
“A lot of companies use the word ‘culture’. We live it. We take time to have outings and adventures with our staff; and at those events, it’s not about mortgages. It’s about us getting together, letting our hair down, talking about kids, talking about family, and just learning about each other,” says Strong.
Throughout all locations, FirstTrust continues its commitment to support the local communities. We strive to participate in and support all local events, fundraisers, schools, and organizations. With this commitment, came the launch of FirstTrust For Kids, a fundraising program aimed to give back to children all across the nation, particularly in the communities we serve. There is nothing more important to our family-oriented team than serving those around us.
At FirstTrust, we firmly believe that a mortgage doesn’t have to be complicated. From application to underwriting to closing, we do every step of the mortgage process in-house, which allows us to provide our customers with a smooth, stress-free home loan experience.
We’ve been helping people finance their home for over 17 years and are dedicated to providing the best mortgage experience possible. That’s why we believe...“FirstTrust is for you.”