Feb. 1

Rex Duffin, vice president of Sun American Mortgage Co., uses his 1967 Piper Cherokee to help grow the business, which is based in Mesa, AZ, and has a footprint in California, Utah and New Mexico, saying his aircraft allows him to have personal contact with his clients – and gain a competitive edge.

“Dealing with seniors, our reverse mortgage business works so much better face-to-face, and it separates us from our competitors,” said Duffin. “We don’t use call centers, like many of our competitors use. We like old-fashioned, face-to-face contact.” 

Business aviation, he said, allows him to speak in person to customers, many of whom find the mortgage process to be complex and confusing, and also differentiates Sun American from other mortgage companies. Duffin has been using the Cherokee to meet borrowers and expand the business since 2007.

Duffin said his customers are often impressed he would make the effort to fly in to meet with them, and often meet him at the airport and drive him to their homes, where he educates them on the mortgage process. Other times, he meets prospective clients at the airport restaurant for breakfast.    

Even during the economic downturn of 2008 and 2009, Duffin continued to find business aviation beneficial, saying, “I kept flying. It just made business sense to do it.”

Duffin added the time savings gained by flying far outweigh any additional cost, such as fuel. Arizona alone is home to 58 publicly owned airports, and the ability to easily reach small, sometimes remote, airports is a great benefit to using the airplane.

“Nothing beats meeting a borrower in person,” said Duffin. “The airplane makes that an efficient option.”

Learn more about Sun American Mortgage Company.