When Michael and Tawnee Partin first met and became school sweethearts off the beaten path at Union High School in Modoc, Indiana, they didn’t know they would be in business more than a decade later. together.
A lot happened between the Partins’ meeting and then launching Parker Mortgage in 2011, including Michael dropped out of Ball University and Townie graduated from Ball State three years later with two degrees.
“In short, this is our dynamic,” Michael said.
Michael originally wanted to study Architectural Historical Conservation, and Tawney received a degree in Personal Finance and the Humanities. Towney was then hired as a loan officer by a mortgage company in the midst of the refinancing boom, and Michael joined the company as a loan officer.
Having achieved success in the industry, Michael became a corporate trainer and Tawney became an underwriter. They got married in October 2002.
“We got married in October and had a fantastic Christmas, and then on January 4th we came back from Christmas (holidays) and they fired everyone with their paycheck,” Michael said.
So Michael started his own mortgage brokerage company. After a mistake in buying data and a big loss of money, the company went out of business. Tawney returned to working with mortgages, and Michael was constantly changing jobs. Then came the 2008 financial crash.
“The company I worked for closed in January and Michael’s company closed in March,” Towney said. “The two of us have crashed six companies in five years.”
The couple discovered Dave Ramsey’s University of the Financial World, and, finding no one to offer it, they began presenting it in a church they didn’t attend. They offered the 13-week course 15 times and helped 200 families complete it.
In debt of about $ 250,000, the couple climbed out of the hole. Towney went to work at American Funds, and Michael became a recruiter for the branch of the organization that eventually led to Parker Mortgage. Instead of hiring someone to run the branch, Michael ran the branch from a rented office. Thawne then decided to join.
“I’ve always wanted us to work together,” Tawney said. “But the difference between working together and jointly owning a company is huge. It’s more like parenting. ”
Towne joined Michael’s affiliate in 2011. The affiliate, Parker Mortgage, was named after Parker, an Old English Shepherd Dog of the couple.
“We haven’t looked back since then,” Tawney said.
During the first year of operation, the Parties took only one day off – Thanksgiving. The following year, they took breaks for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The couple approach doing business differently from Michael’s first business. Rather than focusing on the home buyer as a customer, Parker Mortgage focuses on the person who refers the home buyer to a mortgage company, such as realtors.
“I started this branch and accidentally developed it faster and better than we thought or planned, and it became kind of profitable,” said Michael. “Why transfer this to someone else? I feel like I’m good at it. Let’s just see what it will look like if I do it. “
Michael said he and Townie were a good team. Michael said he lived in a world of ideas and philosophy, while Tawney lived in a world of performance.
“We’re polar opposites, so as long as we maintain mutual respect for each other’s talents, we can do really fun things,” Michael said, noting that he and his wife created a work environment that works best for the company.
The interior of Parker Mortgage, 960 Logan St., Suite 200 features a Pac-Man car, vibrant colors, exposed bricks, an office mascot named Millie, an old English shepherd dog, and a fully stocked bourbon bar with 650 bottles of bourbon.
Parker Mortgage has grown to 36 people, Towney said.
“On the team, you all choose to be there, you have common goals, and everyone on the team has to fulfill their role for the whole team to succeed and win the game,” Tawney said.
Why Bourbon Bar?
Michael Partin has 650 bottles of bourbon – for demonstration and for drinking – at Parker Mortgage in downtown Noblesville. This was not always his intention.
“We were sitting in our (rented) office at The Mill, and it dawned on me that I was the boss and could put a bottle of bourbon on my desk,” Michael said. “It turned into four or five, and I did tastings with people in the office, so then there were 30 of them. Then some realtors started asking us if we would do bourbon tastings with them.”
So the Parker Mortgage team acquired the class for Michael to become a licensed bourbon manager.
“It became ‘Let’s have tastings here,’ so when we built this office, we built a bourbon bar in it specifically to give people love and tastings for our customers,” Michael said.
The hobby grew so big that Michael founded the Noblesville Bourbon Club on Facebook, with nearly 600 members.