A Bank of Oklahoma Mortgage Group official said Wednesday that he expects the company’s Wichita operations to double in employees and office space over the next six months.
Matt Wendling said his plans include increasing the Wichita office’s lending officer corps to 14 from seven and to expand its more than 5,000 square feet of office space at 8110 E. 32nd St. North by adding 10 more offices.
The growth is being driven in part by an improving residential real estate market in Wichita. It’s also influenced by Wendling’s promotion to regional manager for southern Kansas and Missouri. With that promotion, Wendling said the Wichita office will become more regional in its scope, including adding mortgage underwriting and closing here. That work is currently done at BOK Mortgage’s Kansas City office.
“This will actually allow me to have a full-service shop” in Wichita, he said. “What we look like today is going to look a lot different in the next six months.”
With the promotion, Wendling will have oversight of the company’s branch offices in Springfield and Lebanon, Mo., which together comprise five employees. That’s in addition to Wichita, which has 12 employees, and one loan officer in its Salina branch.
Wendling said he has also begun recruiting for a Wichita branch manager, the position he held until his promotion.
He said he expects to add other staff members as well to support the underwriting and closing work here but didn’t yet have an exact number of how many employees that would require.
Growing housing sales in the Wichita area are prompting the addition of loan officers, as is the hard work of his seven current loan officers, who have “done a great job of penetrating niches in the market,” he said.
Total homes sold in the Wichita area through May were 3,386, an 11 percent increase from the 3,041 homes sold in the first five months of 2012, according to the South Central Kansas Multiple Listing Service.