Jeff Schneller with Corby Mortgage

Integrity, Trust, Diligence: One Mortgage at a Time

“Success isn't merely about numbers,” shares Jeff Schneller, COO of Corby Mortgage. For Jeff and the team at Corby Mortgage, success is much more about earning the respect and trust of REALTORS® and their clients. 

Jeff, who has more than two decades’ experience under his belt, is a driving force behind Corby Mortgage’s mission: to help people prepare to buy homes, not just preapprove borrowers. He accomplishes his mission by providing a complement of mortgage products that include conventional, government, and portfolio loans.

This unwavering commitment to helping clients succeed has set him apart in the industry.

Armed with a degree in marketing, as there is no "mortgage" major in college, from St. Mary's University of Minnesota, he initially embarked on a career in home improvement and telecommunication sales. However, it was a brief stint in accounting prior to his work in sales that ignited his passion for numbers and finance. Despite his success, he found he was always left yearning for something more focused on providing genuine assistance. 

Then in 1999, the opportunity Jeff was seeking came knocking after a college friend introduced him to Bob Corby, who had just started a mortgage company. This serendipitous meeting marked the beginning of Jeff's remarkable twenty-three-year career with Corby Mortgage.

Of the work they do, Jeff always smiles in agreement whenever Bob says, “Yes, we are mortgage brokers, not rocket surgeons, but what we do matters to so many people. Our job is to set realistic expectations for buyers and agents and then deliver. Period!” The two always recognized that the stakes are high for everyone involved in a real estate transaction and that everyone puts their trust in their lender.

In an industry where ego and greed can take center stage, Jeff and his team remain refreshingly ego-free. Their guiding principles—integrity, trust, diligence—aren't mere words: “They are the principles on what we built our business,” says Jeff.

Jeff and his team know that they are the first line of defense in protecting real estate agents from showing properties to unqualified buyers and shielding sellers from unnecessary disruptions. When Corby Mortgage issues a pre-approval to a buyer, others involved can rest assured that the buyer is prepared and qualified. He says, “We look at every sales agreement as the start of a new job and not just another deal.”

“We close our loans on time and set the right expectations from day one,” shares Jeff. “Our team can close as fast as everyone [involved] can work together to provide us with everything we need to close.” 

Jeff understands that timing is often everything in real estate. While he can underwrite a loan within days, he knows the importance of collaboration among all parties involved—sellers, appraisers, title companies, insurance providers, and others. It’s their collective efforts, working in sync, that ensure deadlines are met.

The Corby team’s combined experience and ability to adapt to industry changes, a core strength, is one of the reasons why Jeff and his team are successful and considered a reliable resource for any borrower.

Throughout Jeff's twenty-three-year career, the mortgage industry has witnessed seismic transformations. Submitting a loan to a bank for approval years ago often meant multiple visits to a client’s home or office and communicating via fax. Rush deals required driving to the bank and personally delivering conditions, as email was not an option.

“I remember when we all sat around the fax machine waiting for rate sheets and every meeting was in-person,” reminisces Jeff.  Coming home from a “sign-up” at 11:00 p.m. was just part of the job. We met our clients at their homes, after work.”

It is undeniable how the digital age has ushered in a new era of convenience, with everything from applications to communication taking place online. The evolution now extends to every aspect of real estate transactions. Jeff still misses the time when everyone involved gathered at closings, but the pandemic dramatically altered that practice.

However, one thing never changes: one of the most rewarding aspects of Jeff's work is successfully closing challenging deals. The sense of accomplishment that comes from hard work and dedication is something he treasures. For him, when real estate agents and clients express their gratitude or seek guidance, it reaffirms the significance of his mission.

But “teamwork makes the dream work,” as they say, and Jeff couldn’t agree more. Together with VP Ryan Sweeney; Operations Manager Susan Castronovo, who brings her credit-trained underwriting expertise; Claudia Rodrigues, processor, who boasts nearly two decades of experience with Corby Mortgage; and Chris Mlyniec, who handles marketing and support; Jeff and his team ensure seamless transactions, industry-leading rates, and exceptional communication.

Beyond the world of mortgages, Jeff's heart lies with his family. He and his wife, Molly, who are both originally from the South Side of Chicago, have been happily married for twelve years and have two active sons, Jack (10) and Marty (8). Their cherished moments are often spent at their cottage in Indiana, where boating, swimming, and hosting family gatherings are the order of the day. 

When he's not working or spending time with his family, Jeff seeks solace on the golf course. Golf isn't just a sport for him, rather, it's a sanctuary where he can momentarily disconnect from the demands of everyday life.

When looking back on his career, Jeff is proud to be Bob Corby’s partner and of his twenty-three-year tenure with Corby Mortgage. Not many loan officers can call their job a home for that long. With Jeff’s expertise, he can hang his hat with any mortgage he chooses, but knows the mortgage industry is not about the bank, but about the loan officer and his team. “I have the best,” states Jeff. It is Corby Mortgage’s dedication to serving clients, setting realistic expectations, and meeting deadlines with precision that makes them a trusted partner for real estate professionals in Chicago and beyond. 

Jeff is happy that he can continue to have a genuine and positive impact in the lives of his clients and REALTOR® partners, one mortgage at a time.