Amy Tierce joined Groundwork this past January, but it seems like she’s been here forever. From day one she was making connections, getting work done, and delving into all things community. She’s a wealth of mortgage and finance knowledge, and brings endless energy and enthusiasm to every project she’s faced with. Read on to get the scoop on how she balances her professional and personal life, and still finds time for volunteering and fun!
What’s your profession?
When people purchase a new home they typically need a mortgage to finance that purchase. My job is to help consumers navigate the complicated mortgage process and ultimately obtain financing and close on their new home. I also work with real estate investors and second home buyers. I am a residential loan officer or mortgage originator for an independent mortgage company located in Norwell, MA called Radius Financial Group.
In addition to helping people buy, I also help them save money by managing their mortgage and making sure that they are always in the best program at the best rate, through a refinance if appropriate.
Describe a typical work day for you.
I am generally on email and the phone all day long, following up with clients, connecting with new clients, obtaining their financial information and working with them to determine the best approach that will meet their needs and goals. I like to say that “it takes a village’ to close a loan. I have a big team at the home office and there are lots of moving parts to the process so there is a lot of orchestration that the loan officer does to insure a smooth process and great communication. I write a weekly blog post for my site, amyrates.com and I work on marketing plans and CRM management.
Some days I go on the road: I meet with realtors to build trust and gain referrals. I network. I teach educational programs for consumers and real estate agents. I attend and host events with various real estate boards and groups. I go to real estate open houses, and enjoy lots of business lunches. Essentially, I shake hands and kiss babies like I am running for office!
What’s the biggest challenge you face at your job?
The intricacy of the process can be frustrating for the consumer. So much of what we ask for seems unnecessary, redundant or even confusing. Since the financial crisis 10 years ago (brought on by unregulated mortgage practices) the mortgage application/approval process has become more intrusive and technology has made it more intrusive, but the truth is that this more involved almost forensic dive into the transaction is better for the borrower, the industry, and the economy. It’s just harder.
Do you have a morning routine?
I’m up early, usually at 6am. I check the news and the financial markets to see what may be impacting rates. I work out or walk. Then I hang with my husband– we have tea and watch a police procedural like CSI, or NCIS. I generally start my official workday at 10am.
What are your favorite productivity tips or hacks?
I read David Allen’s Getting Things Done years ago and I have attended a few of his programs (he is a productivity guru). He says in his book, “if you can get it done in 3 minutes or less just do it.” That is why I live on email, I respond, reply, forward and move. What I hear from my clients and referral partners is that they love how fast I am in responding. Many people feel like email is a burden, but I think it’s great. I can get so much done with greater efficiency. When I need a block of time I will put an out of office message that says I am unavailable for an hour… that way I can focus if I need to.
What do you listen to during the day?
Mostly my own self-talk. I watch folks work all day with headphones on… I think that might be generational (meaning that I am an old dog at 58) but perhaps I should try to listen to something during the day… I will give it a try and get back to you.
When I work at home it is usually to the TV on with CNBC on the financial markets.
How do you benefit from using a coworking space?
Having a coworking space is a life changer for me. My home office is over an hour away, my home is small and my husband is retired (and sick) so he’s home almost all the time and it is hard to work when I would much rather hang out with him. At Groundwork I feel compelled to work, and I just get it done. I am amazed at how productive I am when I am there. A lot of it has to do with how productive everyone else there appears to be. I LOVE the connections I am making at Groundwork, in fact, I have two loans in process due to people I have met through coworking!!! I just wish I was there more frequently. But I am sure that I will be as the weather turns.
What’s in your digital toolbox?
We have so many required digital tools: our CRM platform, our loan origination software, pricing system, our communication systems and consumer app, our web tools, our video production materials, social media tools, etc. I don’t have a favorite– I trust the company I work for, the tools and systems and approach they have provided, and I just work the system.
What inspires you?
Professionally, I LOVE helping people buy new homes. Although most of my career has been spent in high-income markets with mostly affluent borrowers there is nothing more gratifying than helping a first-time buyer get into their first home and I especially love working with women. There is no doubt that (responsible) homeownership can be a huge wealth builder and I love helping people launch on that journey.
Personally, I love engaging and investing in people. I have spent much of my career in leadership, mentoring and building successful mortgage professionals. Today I am a volunteer mentor with EforAll and I am looking forward to getting more engaged in the South Coast community as I am a new resident here.
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