How did you get involved in the mortgage industry?
I started first in real estate sales by becoming a licensed real estate agent while I was finishing my degree in business. I loved real estate and learned firsthand how important mortgage lenders and support are to the process for buyers. When 2008 hit, I needed something more consistent and stable as the housing market slowed. I started at a bank as a teller and tried out a few different roles as many of us do. I landed happily at Clear Lake Bank & Trust, had the opportunity to get into mortgage lending where I found my long term career.
What is the biggest challenge or opportunity you have seen in the mortgage industry?
The biggest opportunity by far in this industry is the responsibility to educate homebuyers about their options and how to prepare to buy a home. A home purchase is a huge life commitment, especially for the first time. Millennials, in particular, want to know all of the ins and outs, so taking the time to educate goes a long way in making the homebuying process less stressful for them or any buyer. I have found the biggest challenge to be the fluctuation of inventory in our markets. Right now, during purchase season, we have several buyers looking for homes, but not always an acceptable amount to choose from. We’re also facing challenges in a rising rate environment, and it is important to help borrowers understand this as they shop for homes.
What advice would you give people just entering the industry?
My best advice is to get a solid mentor. Mentorship from someone who has been in the industry for a long time and isn’t afraid to tell you the downsides to the job path you’ve chosen is important. You want to be able to navigate thru those challenges, be a continuous learner and strive to better yourself and your skills. Mortgage lending is a constantly changing industry, so you’ve got to be able to adapt and adjust as quickly as it does. Having someone to give you guidance and encouragement can make a difference.
Do you have a quick tip for saving time, generating leads tracking information, etc. you would like to share?
My relationship with our local realtors is very important to me. Realtors put the product on the market, they are the first link in the chain for us lenders. They recognize ready buyers in our market and refer them to me so I can assist in making the purchase a success. Working efficiently with them benefits everyone involved in the transaction.
When you are not at work, what do you like to do most?
When I am not at the office, I love spending time with my girls who are 8 and 18 months. Golfing, even though I am not very good at it, is also something I enjoy pursuing during the summer. I am an active member of our local Jaycees and enjoy being involved in my community.
What is a quote or a guiding principle you live by?
Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.