What was your first job in the realty industry? More than 20 years ago I started as a loan officer at Capital Mortgage in 1994. I chose a career in the mortgage industry because I wanted to be self-employed, but did not have the capital to establish my own startup company. I knew I had a gift for selling, and found that the real estate industry was a space where women could do as well as, and more often, better than their male peers. I joined Walpole-based Mortgage Master, one of the Country’s largest privately-owned mortgage companies, in 2007, and have been offering borrowers some of the lowest industry pricing and the best customer service for the last 20 years.
Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Boston, Mass., where I still reside today. I just love everything about the city of Boston and its people.
Growing up, what did you want to be? Growing up I had dreams of being a doctor. Yes, a very different career from where I ended up. However, being a loan officer does has some similarities to being a doctor. As a loan officer, you are also a diagnostician and a caretaker. You have to take care of people, both emotionally and financially. You have to take the time to look at their financial profile, figure out what’s wrong, and find a way to find a solution to live a better life. And just like a doctor, I do recommend a mortgage checkup once a year.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? At times, the mortgage industry can be very stressful. So when I am feeling over extended, I make the time to enjoy a long walk with my husband to clear my mind and rebalance myself.
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Growing up I had dreams of being a doctor. Yes, a very different career from where I ended up. However, being a loan officer does has some similarities to being a doctor. As a loan officer, you are also a diagnostician and a caretaker. You have to take care of people, both emotionally and financially. You have to take the time to look at their financial profile, figure out what’s wrong, and find a way to find a solution to live a better life. And just like a doctor, I do recommend a mortgage checkup once a year.
Where is your favorite place to hang out? Cape Cod has always held a special place in my heart. From a very young age, my family spent summers on the Cape. Some of my favorite childhood memories come from those years. I always enjoy driving down and look forward to crossing over that bridge to get to our home in Falmouth.
What do you love most about the industry? The absolute best part of my job is helping my clients, friends and family get into the homes of their dreams. One of my favorite definitions of the word “home” is, “the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered.” There is nothing better or more special than knowing I was a part of that important milestone and moment of someone’s life when they finally find their home.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I don’t really know if one thing specifically distinguishes my brand in the mortgage marketplace. However, I do know that I come to work every day with an upbeat attitude, ready to win. Small wins, big wins, battles and victories are all expected in any job across every industry. I firmly believe that a positive attitude and hard work are simple attributes that guarantee success. I also have made it a point to always answer the phone or call people back promptly. If you need me, I am here. If you are working, I am working. That has helped me develop and strengthen relationships across my business, and stay in touch with my clients and partners that need me.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Having a potential borrower denied for a mortgage is the most difficult aspect of my job. Luckily, this doesn’t happen often, especially at Mortgage Master. But when it does, I share the disappointment. The responsibility of approving or denying someone’s dreams of homeownership is a heavy one and I take it very seriously. It is one of the most significant and emotional transactions most people will ever make. If a potential borrowers does get denied I do not walk away. I stay in touch and help that individual along the way until they are ready and able to move forward and own a home.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I network just about everywhere I go. It is an important part of my job and I network on a daily basis. I am a member at Labaret in South Boston, so it could be at the golf course, however, it could also be at a work or fund raising event, or even the grocery store. In addition, I regularly hold networking events to catch up with new and old colleagues as well as many of the real estate agents that are in my network.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? My family has been the greatest accomplishment thus far in my life. I have a very large family, consisting of five brothers and sisters. Family has been an extremely important part of my life. My husband of 20 years and my two daughters are so supportive of me, both personally and professionally.
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? I have a passion for cooking and have been collecting cook books for years. My husband recently gave me one titled “Jerusalem: A Cook Book,” written by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. Ottolenghi (born in the Jewish west side) and Tamimi (born on the Arab east side) are owners of several restaurants in London, and partnered up to offer 100+ unique cross-cultural recipes in this best-seller cook book.
What is your favorite restaurant? My favorite restaurant would have to be Meyers and Chang, serving Chinese, Taiwanese, Thai and Vietnamese dishes. I love the whole menu and the modern atmosphere is the icing on the cake.
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Atlanta? Where do I begin? My favorite part about Boston is the flavors and feel of the different neighborhoods. From the red bricks, to the bumpy sidewalks, I love walking through a different neighborhood and admiring the architecture of the buildings – both old and new.
What kind of car do you drive? I don’t have a car! Living in the South End of Boston, I am able to walk everywhere. But I will admit that my husband has a Mercedes.
Smartphone or paper? I would say that I am transitioning because I still use both. I used to always use a desk calendar, but now I find it beneficial to use my phone calendar and Outlook Calendar. The best part is that I am able to share my calendar with my team. This keeps everyone in the loop about my appointments and meetings.
What is your favorite city after Atlanta? New York. I worked in New York prior to coming to Boston. As many would agree, I loved the pace and the energy of the city.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Answer the phone and don’t be afraid to pick it up and dial. Make sure to handle the deals on fire first and prioritize your clients accordingly. Take full mortgage applications and get as much information up front as possible. This will assist in identifying any issues quickly and I believe is a guaranteed recipe for success.
What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? Zillow and Trulia are both great apps. I use them to get a gauge of what properties are going for in neighborhoods, and to make sure when I am preapproving someone that the values are attainable for what they can afford.
Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? I recently made strides this year on the social media front and joined Facebook! I haven’t made my way to Twitter yet, but I am getting ready and I am open to suggestions.
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