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What’s In A Company Name? (A Lot It Turns Out)

What's In A Company Name? (A Lot It Turns Out)JVM LENDING’S NAME

About 15 years ago during my loan officer days, I was affiliated with a brokerage with an extraordinarily sweet deal that I never would have abandoned but for one reason.

I was tipped off that the broker of record was experiencing severe financial and emotional issues that were putting the entire brokerage in extreme peril.

So, to save my personal book of business and because I could never get a similar deal at another firm, I needed to set up shop on my own as quickly as humanly possible.

We immediately filed paperwork with the state and had to come up with a name on the spot – which we did by voting on the best sounding acronym in the office – and my initials, “JV,” won, and we became “JVM Lending” (the “M” stands for “Mortgage”).

AND … NOBODY has ever liked that name (as well you’d expect from a name we came up with in 10 minutes).

NAMING CONSULTANT – FOR A NEW NAME

In 2018, at the insistence of our newly hired VP of Sales and Marketing (who really disliked our name 😊), we hired one of the most prominent corporate naming consultants in the country to help us come up with a new name.

He was a Harvard MBA and a professor at Stanford – who happened to be a close friend of Heejin’s – so he decided to help little ol’ JVM out – for a steeply reduced fee of $25,000.

And this is where we found out there is far more to a name than meets the eye. He studied our website for hours; closely analyzed the demographics of our clients; and quizzed all of us for hours about our core values and the images we wanted to convey.

He then took all the info back to his office so he and his cohorts could brainstorm – before returning with a list of ten proposed names.

NAMES DON’T MATTER FOR MANY BROKERAGES

Names don’t really matter for many real estate firms and lenders because it is the agents and loan officers themselves garnering the business under their personal names.

But – at JVM – ALL of our business comes in through the company name and we “brand” none of our personalities. So, our name is extremely important.

NAMES TO AVOID

Here is a short article on names to avoid. The list includes geographical names (limit growth); unusual spellings; alphabet names (like JVM); and names/domains that someone else owns or uses already (duh).

I also think companies should avoid names that will date them, like the infamous iMortgage from the early 2000s. It sounded cool then.

I suspect some of the one-word names like Oscar, Hippo, and Uber may sound dated in the future too – but we’ll see.

Apparently, “Facebook” is now a name to avoid as well, as they recently become Meta, as most people know (and it is what prompted this blog).

I can only imagine what Facebook spent on their new name, and it was no doubt well into the millions.

NAMES OUR CONSULTANT GAVE US

Here are some of the names that our famous naming consultant suggested for us: Bingo Mortgage; Brighter Lending; Convo Home Loans; Done & Done Mortgage; GoodSense Lending; Groove Home Loans; HighGear Lending; and YellowBrick Lending.

Some we liked, some we hated, but there was one we loved!

We didn’t change our name at the time, however, because we didn’t want to lose our SEO or our local branding.

But, we are now going to slowly but surely change our name over the course of 2022 in a way that will keep us from losing either.

I am not going to reveal our new name now because there is so much behind it that it will require another blog in and of itself – along with our grand announcement (coming in early 2022). But, rest assured, our current name will be retired by the end of 2022.

Anyway – if you want to really grow your business, you probably should spend more than ten minutes coming up with a name.

Just ask Jerry Yang (Yahoo’s founder), as Yahoo used to be called “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web.” Nike used to be “Blue Ribbon Sports;” Sony used to be “Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo;” Pepsi used to be “Brad’s Drink;” and Google used to be “BackRub.” And someday, “_______” will have been called “JVM.” (stay tuned)

Jay Voorhees
Founder/Broker | JVM Lending
(855) 855-4491 | DRE# 1197176, NMLS# 310167

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