When Nicole Rueth set a goal to close $140 million in 2019, she thought it was lofty. However, her team rose to the challenge and ended up finishing the year with almost $182 million in loans under their belt. That’s up from $113 million in 2018.
“We know our strengths and weaknesses and marry those to excel in our client support and service, as well as our realtor education,” said Rueth. “Each person is put into a role where they can accomplish great things, which allowed us to practically double our volume without growing the size of our team.”
Success didn’t come overnight for Rueth. She’s been in the mortgage lending world for almost 20 years, but for the first half of her career, she was in change management, where she reengineered mortgage companies to scale for growth. When she switched to sales, Rueth said she did what pretty much everyone else did; she beat the streets, she networked, and she counted her transactions. Somewhere along the way, a lightbulb clicked on. Her background in consulting trained her to reframe and rebuild each situation to be most efficient and taking advantage of this experience would really boost her business. For Rueth, it was about proving worth beyond the transaction to the clients she served.
This lightbulb led to Rueth taking a more educational approach to origination. She started doing videos, larger scale webinars and viewing her business as a way to help change people’s lives. Her love of teaching combined with her personal experience with real estate investing turned her business into something greater than simply closing loans.
“I am committed to the fact that other people success does not threaten mine,” she said. “The more people I can help get to financial stability and multi-generational wealth, the better we all are. That’s part of the game that I love the most.”
Rueth built her team on a united belief in the power of real estate investing as a strategy. They offer classes to realtors, and more recently to the general public, on capitalizing on real estate as an investment and building a lifestyle that will support homeowners through retirement and beyond.
Last year, Rueth expanded her classroom to include consumer-based classes. On a monthly basis, she reaches out to clients through realtors to help make real estate investing approachable to the average Joe.
“This is not about commercial holdings. It’s about investing in a home that if you keep well always be rented because tenants just want a safe place to live. It’s about providing a safe space for people who can’t purchase their own home.”
A big focus throughout 2019 and into 2020 for Rueth is taking care of the team that worked tirelessly to reach this level of success. The Rueth team kicks off every year with an annual retreat to identify weaknesses in the systems, reevaluate processes, break down the loan process and review the client experience and the realtor experience as a team. The retreat is also about strengthening the bond.
“Sales and operations are often pitted against each other or play the blame game, but we approach everything unified, working together for clients and realtors,” said Rueth.
As the world grapples with finding new ways to work during the coronavirus outbreak, Rueth says it’s pushed her team to get creative and go beyond their comfort zone. She continues to teach classes, but via online video conferencing instead of in-person. There’s also a more intense need to stay on top of market trends, and keep partners informed.
“This year has trained us to continue to focus on real estate as a long game. It's so easy to get caught up in the short-term turmoil, but we were strong in the housing market going into this, and we will be strong coming out,” she said.
Educating clients and realtors continues to be a priority for Rueth. In time of struggle, opportunities arise, and Rueth says she is positioned to help others take advantage of these opportunities to continue to build strength and financial wealth.