18 Mar, 2021
Voices of Delmar
A Q&A with Some of the Inspiring Women of Delmar
To mark Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating the unique voices of women everywhere including some of our own inspiring women of Delmar.
Lisa McLaughlin, Amanda Baker, Jordyn Finke and Jenna Gripp are loan officers at Delmar Mortgage’s St. Louis headquarters. We set down to chat with each of them and invited them to Delmar’s Marketing Studio for a lively photoshoot.
Left to right, back row: Jenna Gripp, Lisa McLaughlin
Left to right, front row: Amanda Baker, Jordyn Finke
After encouragement from her brother, Lisa jumped from the financial advising industry to the mortgage industry in 1999 and didn’t look back. She can be found guiding clients at Delmar Mortgage Headquarters or at her own office in Troy, MO.
Amanda worked as a real estate agent for many years before being recruited into lending. She uses her passion and experience in real estate and finance to educate both her clients and real estate agents alike.
Jordyn began her career at Delmar Mortgage as The Heideman Group’s Client Liaison and Marketing Coordinator. After obtaining her loan originator license, she transitioned to Production Manager and works as her team’s main point of contact for all clients.
Jenna has extensive experience in the real estate industry, as well as an academic background in mathematics. Last year, Delmar Mortgage happily welcomed her as one of the newest loan officers at The Heideman Group.
What is the best piece of business advice you were given when you just started out?
Bad news doesn’t get better with age so deliver it quickly. I’ve lived by that advice ever since! It’s never easy to tell a client they are unable to buy or refinance at that time, but the last thing you want to do is get your client’s hopes us.
Nobody in your office wants to buy a home from you! You have to get out of your work environment and connect with people and your community.
Be strong. Home loans can be complicated. When clients know they can rely on me and my expertise, the process becomes much simpler for them — and often even stress free.
Embrace who you are. You will see and do things differently than other people. Stay true to yourself and allow your unique perspective to be part of your success.
Name a woman you look up to.
I’ll name two: Maya Angelou (whom I never met) and Marsha Russo (a very good friend). Both of these ladies embody passion, purpose, positivity, compassion and strength. On days that are so busy that I feel like I can’t think straight, both have, in one way or another, reminded me I can.
This may sound strange, but my daughter. She’s just five, but she’s at that age where she is just living. There is no way to be around her and not be happy.
What do you think people should know about your profession?
Every little detail in a transaction is important! Sometimes I’ll joke that you’ve got to be willing to saw off your arm and mail it to us if someone asks. One tiny detail can trigger a total halt to the process.
Loan officers are in the financial services industry. Serving is what we do. My goal isn’t to simply sell loans. I want to provide a great customer experience.
I’d like people to know that the mortgage industry has changed so much and is highly regulated with strong consumer protections in place. These policies help to attract originators who have the borrower’s best interest in mind.
Like so many other mortgage advisors, I strategize the best loan scenario for each client and ensure that the new loan we are putting them in meets all of their needs. If a loan scenario does not make sense for a borrower, I will explain why rather than moving forward and not accomplishing all of their goals.
What drew you to Delmar Mortgage?
I went through Delmar for my first home purchase. At the time, I was already working in the industry, and the transaction went so much more smoothly than I was used to. When I had the opportunity to join The Heideman Group at Delmar, I didn’t hesitate. I didn’t get the job I applied for, but I must have impressed [Robert Heideman] because he gave me a different position!
The family atmosphere at Delmar! Just like Jenna, I work for The Heideman Group. My team truly feels like family, and work-life balance is a priority. I don’t think there is a better mortgage company to work for.
Meeting Matt, Henry and Todd was such a breath of fresh air! Everything they and the company stands for was exactly what I was looking for in an employer. My husband and I made the move over to Delmar five years ago and have felt at home ever since.
The community and culture stood out to me. In some of my past jobs, everyone was competing against each other, and I never felt like I was part of a single unit. But at Delmar, all of the loan officers are collaborative and willing to share advice. I can feel how much everyone wants each other to succeed and be successful.
How do you define success?
To me, success is having work-life balance and not allowing one side to take over for any length of time.
Success, to me, is a feeling. It’s the confidence of knowing you did your very best to help someone. I can carry that confidence even if I’m disappointed with an outcome. For example, calling my client to explain in detail why a loan has been denied helps put that person in a better position for the future. And it allows me to know I did my very best for my client.
Success is a series of many, many, smaller accomplishments that, altogether, create a life you can be proud of. In our line of work, any given transaction can be a building block of success. And I know a transaction is successful when my client has the right mortgage and closes with a better understanding of the mortgage process. Given that, the more people I help, the more successful I am.
What were your strategies or tactics to handle the challenges of 2020?
Everyone’s life changed during the pandemic. Some people had more time on their hands, but many of my clients had more demands and much less time. I made sure I was always available — well after the end of the standard workday. And I focused on communication and explaining processes (such as e-signing) that many borrowers were unfamiliar with.
2020 made me realize the importance of communication and transparency. I had so many upfront conversations about the many loan process changes. I set proper expectations from the very first communication.
I was fortunate. I was healthy, my kids were healthy and I had all the necessary tools to continue helping my clients.
The pandemic did highlight how so much of life is out of our control. So I focused on my mindset, which I could control. Mindfulness and healthy rituals became a must. In the morning, I don’t check my emails for the first 20 minutes of my day. I take time to stop and reflect and hug my kids. I swear by it. I’ve come to learn that the first 20 minutes of the day will set the tone for your day.
When faced with self-doubt or adversity, how do you motivate yourself to overcome it?
I put my hair up, put on some classic rock and get to work!
What’s your favorite quote?
‘What we know matters, but who we are matters more.” -Brené Brown
What’s the best way to recharge after a stressful day?
Listen to music…loudly. Or go for a brisk walk while listening to music…loudly!
What’s the motto you live by?
My daughter and I have the same motto: “You’ve got this, girl!” I tell her that every morning when I drop her off at school. And she says the same right back to me. “You’ve got this, girl!”
In the Studio
Behind the Scenes
Author: Lauren Richards Rosenfarb, Director of Marketing