Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
My clientele ranges from 1st time home-buyer to the recently retired. However, I do have a passion for educating the younger generation and leading them into their first home. From the first time we meet to discuss their needs, through the accepted offer and then to the magical words: “Clear to Close”… there is true fulfillment in all of these moments. Watching their eyes light up with pride and knowing that they understand every part of the transaction is WHY I continue to do this. It’s a true blessing.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
When helping a client with a new home purchase or refinance pre-approval, I always ask the clients what THEIR goals are. I am here to offer them options, but those options must lead them to their goals. It's their loan and their monthly payment, so it should be a decision that is right for them, and not just what I think they should do. I always offer to give them multiple loan options, and we sit down and go through them and have a discussion on which option best fits their needs. This way the client truly understands the loan they are taking out and the reasons why.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
Working with first time home buyers is a great honor to me. Seeing their excitement and learning who they are is something I never take for granted. When we sit down for the first time, I always start with discussing what needs and wants they have. Clients always have goals, and it's my job to make sure they meet those goals. We will then go on to discuss what is a comfortable monthly payment, instead of a "purchase price."� I do this because as excited as the clients are about their new home purchase, I also want them to be able to have a life outside of their home. It's so important for their first home to be a true blessing, and not a burden. By advising them on what is comfortable for them monthly, it will then determine what they can spend overall. With this advice comes their normal day-to-day and month-to-month expenses they may not have had prior, such as utility bills and that unexpected water heater replacement. These things are all part of home ownership, and the more prepared the clients are, the more successful they will be!
What can borrowers do to ensure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
To ensure a smooth underwriting process, the best thing the clients can do is listen to the advice of their VP on what paperwork is needed. If the clients give us exactly what we ask for, then we rarely run into issues. Such as, if we need a certain asset or liability to be explained, it's for a logical reason. Sometimes, clients take it personally, however we are never looking to burden the client. It's important to "think like an underwriter" during this process. They approve loans which lend hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time. What may seem very common sense to us, may not always to them. We promise that this is only to protect the client and the lender to ensure that all loans have great servicing for years to come.
Are you active in any local associations or community groups, and at what level? What goals and/or success have you helped these groups achieve?
I have been very active over the last 15 years with the Brown County Home Builders Association, even taking away their coveted “LEAP” award in 2015 for Leadership & Enthusiasm in Association Programs. I have served on their Board of Directors as well as served as Chairman of their Fundraising Committee and have sat as a member of the Women In Building committee. Within this Association, we have raised tens of thousands of dollars for many area charities (Sting Cancer, Habitat for Humanity, Cancer, Inc, etc) as well as the PAC (Political Action Campaign). Through the years, I have also been an active member of the NE Wisconsin Realtors Association, serving on various committees within the Association. In 2004-2006 I served on the Board of Directors for the WI Mortgage Brokers Association. I have also helped Brown County’s Habitat for Humanity projects in helping to build homes for local families. With every one of these associations or projects, my main goal is always to raise as many funds as possible to give back to our area. Making sure our community is the best it can be, is always TOP OF MIND ?
Are you active in any fundraising organizations? What goals and/or success have you helped them achieve?
Over the last 15 years I have devoted a lot of time to our industry and our community. During these years, I have spent a lot of time volunteering within the Brown County Home Builders Association and even taking away their coveted LEAP award in 2015 for Leadership & Enthusiasm in Association Programs. I have also served on their Board of Directors as well as held the Chairman title of their Fundraising Committee. Adding to that, I have also been a member of the Women In Building committee. Within this Association, we have raised tens of thousands of dollars for many area charities (Sting Cancer, Habitat for Humanity, Cancer, Inc, etc) as well as the PAC (Political Action Campaign). Through the years, I have also been an active member of the NE Wisconsin Realtors Association, serving on various committees within the Association. In 2004-2006 I served on the Board of Directors for the WI Mortgage Brokers Association. I have also helped Brown County's Habitat for Humanity projects in helping to build homes for local families. With every one of these associations or projects, my main goal is always to raise as many funds as possible to give back to our area. Making sure our community is the best it can be is always TOP OF MIND!!
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
The unique character I bring to this industry is that I am honest in educating my clients. I am transparent. I know that sounds funny, but I give the information to my clients, my colleagues and my referral partners exactly the way it is. That's hard to say in a sales environment, however, I have found that it helps me stand out. There are no false hopes, and no undelivered promises to anyone. Some think that being overly honest can have a negative connotation, however, if you present it right, it's more refreshing than anything. People don't want to be "sold"�, they want the truth. As a VP of Mortgage Lending, it's up to me to truly understand the industry as a whole so that I give my clients all the education they need. This means making sure the research is done before the clients get here. By doing this, I can pass on my knowledge to them and then the loan sells itself. Since my clients are well educated, they leave the closing table happy & confident. Not because I did the work for them, but because they made these decisions for themselves. My referral partners love it because they know that their clients are in good hands and that that their loan is going to close.