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  • Writer's pictureAlison Monette

Courtney - Roadmap to Mortgage Lending

What do you do for a living?

Mortgage Branch Manager – I run my own branch of Northern Mortgage

What does a day at your job look like?

All of my business is self-sourced through referrals, so my days are spent meeting face-to-face or over phone calls with real estate agents, divorce attorneys, financial planners or anyone else that may be able to connect me to potential referrals so I can help them learn about how the services I offer can benefit their clients. Once I have a client interested in buying a house, I work to secure a mortgage for them. If they aren't able to meet criteria immediately, I help them come up with a plan of action for them to get approved in the future (tips on how to increase their credit or save for a down payment).

What path did you take to get here?

Graduated high school-->

I wanted to become a teacher because I wanted to help people so I went to college and got my Bachelor's in Sociology with a Minor in Education from University of Southern Maine-->

Worked for 2 years in a school with students with emotional disorders–>

During the course of buying our family home I became friends with a realtor and she helped me realize I could help people in that way-->

Sold real estate for 5.5 years-->

My family relocated to a place where I didn’t know anybody so I was nervous to continue selling homes-->

I worked for a national business coaching company geared toward real estate agents and mortgage lenders for 5.5 years-->

Decided I wanted to change to the mortgage side of the business and now I have been doing this for 3 years

What are the Challenges of your job?

1. Not getting stuck in the weeds. I'm 100% commission, so if I don’t close anything I don’t get paid. Keeping the balance of working with current clients but also needing to get new business prospects to keep income coming in.

2. Work/life balance. I'm in a service industry and people have high expectations of service and getting what they need when they need it. Managing expectations can be challenging.

What are the blessings of your job?

1. I believe that clients getting financing are getting a better experience with me because I have their best interest at heart. I spend a lot of time counseling, it’s not lost on me that the mortgage process is a big deal. Being able to help someone through something so scary is a blessing.

2. Increased relationships with people in the community, which started out of necessity but now it feels like we're all a big family. I get to support other business people and it’s mutually beneficial.

3. I realized after working a 9-5 job that when you have kids and a family, it’s all about quality of time over quantity. I have flexibility in my schedule so my kids don’t care that I have evening work at times because I can be there during the day to bring cupcakes to school, or chaperone, or pick them up early. My kids like that I'm around more often.

4. Its’ very financially rewarding.

What 3 characteristics do you have to possess or develop to do your job well?

1. Integrity – you're talking to a lot of different people and if you're not telling the truth you will not have a good reputation and your business will fail.

2. You have to like people and not be afraid to talk to people you don’t know.

3. Passion - it doesn’t matter what fuels your passion, but it's important that you have it and apply it to your work.

What are 3 concrete things you’d tell someone on their journey to doing your job?

1. Shadow someone who’s doing the job well.

2. Take a DISC assessment – it will help identify what aspect of the industry will be a better fit for you. Just because you can do something doesn't mean it's a good fit for you. It helps to be sure the activities of the job are something that you want to do.

3. Take the licensing test – you have to pass to do this job.

F: Courtney McCarthy

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