Last week I was in New York with our CFO Bryan Sullivan at the Goldman Sachs consumer finance and real estate conference, and between meetings, we had a chance to connect with Bloomberg TV so he could explain how we became the nation’s number 2 nonbank lender and number 5 overall retail lender* (behind Wells, QuickenLoans, BofA, Chase) in just eight years. Full interview below. Many great insights on current state of lending, fintech, regulation.

One counterintuitive note is that millennials and other first time buyers engage with loan advisors (instead of self-serving online) at a higher rate because, even though they’re very tech savvy, they’re not yet financially savvy and really value professional advice.

The trick is that they start online to do their homework, then engage with humans for the advice, but still expect to run the actual loan process digitally. As such, they expect a company that can deliver all of this. Most U.S. lenders are retail, meaning they have pros on the ground in local markets, but don’t have digital expertise to connect with customers early, or easy-to-use technology to engage customers once connected. Many online startup lenders have emerged to try to capture these folks, but don’t have smart local advisors to round out the experience.

loanDepot started with a hybrid model that does both, and this is a big reason we’ve grown so quickly over the last eight years.

Shout to Bryan, and thanks to Julia at Bloomberg. Both total pros.

*Inside Mortgage Finance 2017 full-year rankings