Looking back on my career made me realize that my solid foundation for success and my achievements are based on everything I encountered and learned along the way. As I reflect and prepare for the future, it’s important to remember where it all started.
In 2001, I set out to begin a career in mortgage banking and landed a position with AmSouth Bank as a loan officer (LO). Given my age and professional experience to date, landing this job was like winning the lottery. Although I had no sales experience at the time, I was very familiar with loan origination and title, as I had worked for Stewart Title since my freshman year of high school. My dad and uncle were also loan officers and veterans in the business. I guess you could say that I was groomed from an early age to work in this industry.
As a new professional entering the complex financial services industry, I was pleased to find that the team at AmSouth was diverse. There were twelve loan originators in the Tampa mortgage branch, and seven of them were women. Among them were some of the most respected, accomplished LOs in the Tampa Bay area. Seeing that these women had already made a name for themselves and were pioneering the path for up-and-coming talent gave me the encouragement I needed to learn and earn my early success.
There were many challenges to overcome as the new kid on the block. Financial services, mortgage and capital markets are complex. There is so much to learn, and it takes time, experience and persistence to win the trust of agents and homebuilders, whose own compensation depends on the quality of their business partners. The client you hope to serve is also their client. I built these relationships one transaction at a time, earning the next referral by adeptly handling the current one and going the extra mile to deliver the best solution to the client and prevent service disruptions.
In 2004, as the market shifted and subprime lenders became new household names, I decided to make the move from mortgage banking to the largest subprime lender at the time, Ameriquest Mortgage. Ameriquest was a refinance shop, so there was less pressure to bring in your own leads through personal referral sources. Here, I was the only female on a sales team of 55 LOs and our sales quotas were seemingly unattainable. This was another level of challenge for me to become a top producer, which I achieved by being the first to arrive and the last to leave, working 12-hour days for five years.
People say, ‘everything happens for a reason’ and I’m a firm believer of that. After spending several more years on the origination side, I was looking for something new, a change. So, nine years ago, I started at NTC with a focus on the capital markets and secondary market space working with the large banks and lenders I used to work for.
I applied my same principles of hard work and earning trust in this new company. In year one, I was promoted to manage the largest collateral review and remediation project NTC had sold to date. My experience and knowledge in loan origination made me the perfect candidate for the job. In preparation for their exit from the servicing space, one of the nation’s top lenders hired NTC to perfect their entire loan portfolio—close to 400,000 assets. The project lasted just over three years, and we successfully remediated 98% of their portfolio, thus ensuring best execution when the loans went to market. The work not only afforded NTC massive exposure, but it also allowed us to expand our product offering and go on to become the leading provider in collateral due diligence for whole loan sales. It just goes to show that when given the opportunity by a company that truly supports you and believes in your abilities, you can accomplish great things!
Today, as an AVP of Business Development for NTC, I manage some of our largest clients and am responsible for 20% of the company’s annual revenue. I am truly fortunate to be part of an organization that supports the promotion of all people who work hard, cultivate trust, welcome challenges and support the team that supports them.
About the Author
Meaghan Hunter-Hanley is a dynamic professional with extensive experience in residential mortgage loan originations, servicing, and residential whole loan sale transaction management. With over 19 years’ experience in the residential mortgage lending, servicing and secondary/capital markets space, including ancillary experience in business development, leadership, and consulting. In 2018, she was awarded the title of “Inspiring Women in Business” by the Tampa Bay Metro Magazine. She was also nominated for HousingWire’ s Rising Star Award in 2015 and Women of Influence in 2017.