Each issue, Mortgage Women Magazine plans to highlight a Millennial on the rise in our industry. So if you know one, let us know about it too!
This month, we feature a vibrant 27-year-old who is demonstrating that Millennials can make it in our industry.
Recently, HousingWire named Nicole Allison, a loan consultant, as one of its 2016 Rising Stars.
The 2016 Rising Stars represent the best young leaders in the mortgage industry — in lending, servicing, investing and real estate. Nicole’s award is based on her recent performance as a leader in the industry and her great potential to continue to lead in the future.
Mortgage Women Magazine sat down with Nicole to talk about her experiences in the mortgage industry, balancing her clients with her young family, and her road to success.
Q: How did you enter the mortgage industry?
A: I took my first job with a mortgage company while studying law at John Marshall Law School in Atlanta. I worked part-time in the company’s post-closing department. When I proved to a number of the officers there that I really enjoyed handling closings and post closings, and that I was really good at it, I transitioned to a set-up and quality control position.
Before too long, I decided that this was the type of work I loved and left law school to build a career in the mortgage industry. As an Assistant Loan Consultant, I supported four or five of the company’s largest producers and handled the whole gamut of loans – and a wide variety of clients.
Now, after five years, it is still such a thrill to me to help homeowners achieve the American Dream.
I am detail oriented and appreciate the level of detail needed to get each loan closed. I like independence and I like hard work. I have been working since I was fourteen, taking care of the horses and stables where I worked to ride – and even though this business is very different, I love it.
The sky is the limit – but you have to be focused, self-motivated and very disciplined.
Q: Has your age played a role in your success?
A: The numbers tell the story: Since I was named Rookie of the Year in 2011, I have increased my sales by an average of 23% year over year. Currently, I do about $4.5 – $5M per month, in particular because my team and I focus on the customer – and the rest falls in place.
I have found that age does not matter much to my clients. It’s about trust and competence. My clients know me, and essentially trust me with their paycheck. I am in the top 5% for customer service satisfaction, and 97.2% of my clients say they would refer me to friends and family members. They know they are in good hands, and a substantial part of our business comes from referrals.
Clients are naturally drawn to Type A women who are highly motivated, like the team I work with. We’re led by Area Sales Manager Gina Spearman and are supported by Senior Processor Michelle Munoz and Lane Cohen, who is our Production Assistant and Junior Loan Consultant. Clients recognize our dedication and our commitment to helping them, even in challenging situations.
Q: Tell us about the women who inspire you.
A: I have been blessed to be close to the best female veterans in the industry. My mentor is Gina Spearman. She was the one who guided me into sales. She taught me by doing, and gave me the tools and answers I needed to provide my clients with the best possible solutions for their lending needs. After working a number of accounts together, she felt confident in my abilities and let me soar. She continues to be a great role model and cheerleader every day.
Even though my mom, Kelly Allison, is Caliber Home Loans’ Regional Vice President for the Southeast Region, we have always kept family and business separated. Above all, she is my inspiration and my finest example of how professional women create their own success. She is dynamic, focused, outgoing and an incredible leader – and she conducts herself with grace and humor and the utmost integrity.
Growing up, we never talked about the business. Mom did, however, always encourage my passions. She made a lot of gutsy moves during the Great Recession and did not buy into the negative. Instead, she focused on the positive, and we experienced continued growth. She knew we had an amazing team and a great platform in place. We have now grown to more than 130 people in the Southeast Region.
Q: What is the best part of your job?
A: There are a number of things about this job that jump out. As a young mom (Nicole and her husband Cory have an almost two-year old son, Corbin), I love the flexibility this work gives me. I am my own boss. I am not stuck behind a desk or tied to an office. Being in sales like this is great for women my age. We can make our own schedule – which really helps me balance our family life and my career. Cory and I are good at juggling our time with our son, and even though some days start early and end late, we always enjoy good quality time together.
My job is fast-paced and never boring, and I love the ability we have to help and service many different clients. We do 98% purchase business and love working with REALTORS® and builders alike. You must know that I always get a charge out of working for the underdog. If clients are turned down by others but I know I can help, I do my very best to supply the vehicles and timely answers they need.
Since my husband is a Veteran (U.S. 101st Airborne Division), I am drawn to working with Veterans and have originated many VA loans. We volunteer with the Wounded Warrior Project.
Q: Your advice to young women entering the mortgage industry?
A: You create your own success. Work hard, be positive, be helpful, and remember, if you do not take care of the customer, someone else will.
Georgia-born Nicole Allison, Loan Consultant with Caliber Home Loans, Inc. – Southeast Region, lives with her family in Marietta, Georgia. A competitive horseback rider since she was 8, she also enjoys gardening, hiking, cooking – and especially spending time with family and friends. She can be reached at nicole.allison@CaliberHomeLoans.com; NMLS#867319 / State Lic#33889