From schoolteacher to mortgage banking maven

by Heather Turner30 Jun 2016
Susan McHan, like most, had no plans of becoming a mortgage banker. With eyes originally set on becoming a teacher, McHan received training in secondary education before she was scouted to join a mortgage company.
 
Flash forward to 2016, and McHan now runs Opes Advisors, a California-based firm that marries wealth management, real estate investments and mortgage services under one roof.
 
Despite altering her plan to become a teacher, McHan feels her background in education is helpful in business. “Funnily enough, I think my training in education helps me to this day. One of the things you’re taught in education is to always give people reasons and I think this helps me be a better leader,” said McHan.
 
Many of the philosophies McHan applies at Opes Advisors may be traced back to her training in education, particularly her focus on the client.
 
“I think one of the most important lessons I learned while studying education was not to focus solely on the end result,” she said. “If, for example, you focus solely on, ‘I want these students to get A’s and B’s,’ then the students miss out on many of the benefits of learning. Similarly, in mortgages, if you focus solely on the loan, you might miss something important about the client. At Opes Advisors we focus on the clients to ensure they get loans they can truly afford, while living the lifestyle they want and securing the financial future they need.”
 
McHan takes a holistic view of her clients’ financial health which seems at odds with much of the world of mortgages, while conceding that many in the mortgage industry think they’re merely selling a product; she insists that Opes Advisors are in the mortgage and advice business.
 
“I think in order to be successful, it’s essential to focus on the customer. We help our clients make the most important financial decisions of their lives and that’s a responsibility that we take very seriously.  You could say that, on a day-to-day basis, we educate clients about their financial future,” said McHan.
 
Next week: Susan McHan discusses the importance of financial planning and its impact on mortgage lending
 

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