Matt Gouge ventured into the mortgage industry in 2013. He had got his first mortgage in 2006 and had recognized at the time that despite having a degree in finance and marketing, he found the paperwork confusing. Matt set out to make mortgages easier to understand for the average person while building his own knowledge. He realized that the best way to disseminate mortgage knowledge at scale was via video.
“I started creating YouTube videos in 2014. It was a way for me to educate myself through the process. If I got the same question two or three times, I could take the question, find out the answer, research a little bit, make sure I understood it well enough to regurgitate it on video. When I did that, it was reinforcing the mortgage knowledge with myself but I also had something I could share.”
Matt The Mortgage Guy (MTMG)
Initially, Matt’s content contained typical mortgage industry jargon.
“When I first started doing mortgage, I was talking fancy in mortgage-speak. And my wife was like, ‘Who are you talking to? Why would you use those words? Talk to the person like they are my grandma’. The average person doesn’t understand mortgages. Even the word ‘mortgage’, sometimes you gotta say ‘home loan’. There’s a huge need for simplifying things. I could go out there and try to impress with all the fancy jargon but it doesn’t do anybody any good.”
The name of the business was meant to make it relatable to the average person.
“Initially I was like, ‘Matt the Mortgage Professional’. And my wife was like, ‘People just want a guy they can trust. So don’t make it fancy. Make it casual’. So from the start, it’s been Matt the Mortgage Guy. I’ve gotten more positive feedback on YouTube when wearing a hoodie versus when wearing a suit and tie. People want someone they can relate to.”
MTMG has grown from a one-person operation to a team of 5-6 fulltime employees.
“Over time, I have added a production manager who handles things through contact to close, a loan officer who creates scenarios, talks to clients, talks to real estate agents, and an office manager who manages my calendar, schedule and the ordering of promotional items. It keeps growing. I’ve got my team in California but also rely on some of the resources from UMortgage where they are working a chunk of their day whether it’s marketing, lead intake, administrative stuff and tons of different things I’m leaning on UMortgage for.”
He gets ideas for his videos from questions he receives in the course of the day-to-day operations of the mortgage business.
“If you get the question more than once or twice in your day-to-day operations, rest assured there are thousands of people across the country that have that same question. Like if I get that question three times in one week, it means people across the world and not just in the United States, are curious about that, are researching that and want answers on it.”
Matt points to the speed the industry changes as making it imperative for him to create and update content.
“If you looked up a mortgage or real estate question and got an answer that’s online from 2018, things have changed drastically. You can search and find a video put up 5-6 days ago, that’s more relevant for the question you are seeking.”
His satisfaction comes from seeing his audience using his advice to secure a mortgage even when they do not work with him as their broker.
“It’s immensely satisfying to have people tell me and my team, ‘Thank you so much for doing a great job of making this not so stressful’. The goal is always to make it a smooth and easy process. People are not excited about getting a mortgage. The home is the exciting part. The mortgage stands between you and the house because most people are not buying cash. So If we can make that a smooth and easy experience, we’re winning. The way to do that is through education. Some people are going to choose to work with us and some aren’t. But at the end of the day, it’s going to have a net positive impact on consumers as a whole.”
MTMG Partnership with UMortgage
Starting in September 2021, MTMG entered into a partnership with UMortgage.
“We aligned in a lot of ways in trying to serve consumers at a high level. Partnering with UMortgage, I’m able to serve people nationwide, plug in to great resources and an even bigger team than I’ve already created here to do the same stuff I’ve been doing just at a grander scale. You know, educating consumers, serving consumers, educating referral partners and adding value to their business, adding value to the consumer, and to the consumer experience.”
He looks at the MTMG-UMortgage partnership as well as the content he creates as a long-term project.
“We’re all aligned in that I’m not trying to figure out how to close the most loans in January or in February. I’m trying to figure out how to add massive value to partners I work with and to the end consumer. All the stuff we do translates to more business in 2025, 2027, 2030, and over the next couple of decades, 10-15 billion dollars’ worth of closed loans and the thousands of consumers we’re going to be able to help. That’s the goal. Never about closing x number of deals next month. We are not looking at tomorrow, or next day, or next week but the next 10 years, next 20 years.”
In this partnership, Matt has creative freedom.
“I’ve got creative freedom. I’m making most of the content tailored to what I’m seeing, what I’m hearing, the questions that are being asked. So it’s an ever changing thing. As far as what content is being delivered, sometimes we’ll meet and chat about it. But for the most part, I’m in the business all day every day. Talking to real estate agents, my staff, financial advisors, CPAs, investor clients and first-time home buyers. So it comes really naturally.”
UMortgage does tweak the content for different channels and audiences.
“UMortgage is doing a great job of tailoring that content to specific social channels. You know, the way people want to consume it on Facebook is different from YouTube.”
Insights as a Mortgage Content Creator
Matt considers the fact that he is a player in the mortgage industry as making his content valuable.
“I feel like there’s people on YouTube just talking about stuff and they’re not necessarily living it. I’m closing loans everyday. Me getting in front of the camera and talking about it is just the side thing. But by working on this every day, I feel like the content I’m putting out is relevant. It’s real life example from a real life business that is operating.”
It’s difficult to be a content creator in the mortgage space unless one is driven by the satisfaction of teaching, helping and serving people, he says.
“Mortgage is a great business to be in. Anybody doing it at a high level is not living paycheck to paycheck. So the content creation part and all that, I’m not trying to live off of YouTube income. The people that are doing it, at least in my real estate mortgage space, are doing it because they are passionate about it. If I look at revenue from my business versus what is going on YouTube, it’s so small. But there’s stuff that’s measurable but that’s not monetary. Like everytime somebody tells me, ‘Thank you so much. I watched your stuff and it was so helpful. I just closed last week’.”
Matt still sees a large gap in financial education yet it’s a prerequisite for financial success.
“I think financial education is super important and not focused on enough. You cannot go to someone who has not had a financial education, who is at age 27 or 32, with a credit score of 540, not taught anything about money and you give him a handout to buy a house. You’ve already failed them. They are going to foreclose on that house. But if you start with someone in sixth grade, give them financial education on how to manage debt and credit cards, how to manage a budget, how they can have a 700 credit score, by the time that person reaches the age when they’re going to buy a house, they have a chance to win.”
Matt expects to see rapid growth in the MTMG business.
“We just passed $100 million in closed loans this year. So that’s probably 250-260 families we will have the pleasure of serving this year. But we’re going to do that times two next year, times five in 2023, and we’re going to eventually be able to serve thousands of families per year.”
Matt Gouge is Branch Manager of Matt The Mortgage Guy Powered by UMortgage, a content creator channel focused on educating consumers on mortgages and personal finance. An experienced mortgage professional, he spent five years in direct lending before becoming an independent mortgage broker. Matt has a bachelor of science degree from CSU-Sacramento. He lives in Sacramento, CA.