"When I stopped working on weekends, people said I would lose business"
In the world of mortgages, it’s easy to see people as numbers, and deals as purely financial. But for Jen Guidry (pictured), the profession goes way deeper than that.
“I love people,” she told MPA. “I’ve never looked at anyone as a dollar sign or a paycheck.”
As the mortgage area manager for Guardian Mortgage – as well as an acclaimed author and TV host, what Guidry doesn’t know about mortgage probably isn’t worth knowing.
“I love problem solving,” she said. “That’s the natural part of this role. And I have people asking me all the time what my secret is – it’s just work. I work hard and when I do, I’m laser-focused.”
However, in a market such as the one we find ourselves in now – and in a sector already known for its 24/7 approach to work – Guidry is equally as passionate about her work-life balance. Something she said needs to be intentional.
“When I stopped working on weekends, when I stopped working after 5.30pm, people said I would lose business,” she told MPA. “They said I was crazy and that this isn’t how real estate works. And I said, ‘just watch me’. Enjoying my life and my family is of the upmost importance. And I protect it fiercely.”
And Guidry’s not alone. Recently there’s been a global industry push towards improving wellbeing and mental health for professionals, with the Mortgage Industry Mental Health Charter’s 2023 report confirming a 36% year-on-year rise in overall wellbeing. However, 16% of brokers admitted that their current mental health was poor, with 15% adding that they were disillusioned with the profession and considering future options.
For Guidry, this only reaffirms her personal commitment to personal time – meaning she works extra hard in those strictly contained hours.
“I work, I work with a laser focus,” she told MPA. “There’s no messing around. I’m here, I’m present and I’m focused on one thing at a time.”
Guidry has channeled that competitive edge beyond her day job, leading to a role on TV commercials and eventually landing a hosting job on Financing the American Dream – something that goes beyond garnering publicity.
“It’s not a direct impact on my origination,” she said. “It’s always been more about getting your name out there.”
This media exposure goes hand in hand with Guidry’s venture into writing, which adds another layer to her already versatile career. Facing a serious health challenge, she turned to writing, which not only served as a therapeutic outlet but also as a way to leave a legacy.
“I started writing because I thought I was going to die, and what I found out is that I can write and that my message can help inspire a lot of people,” Guidry said. “The first book won an international book award for the Best General Religion Book last year. And then this book that I just released became an Amazon number one best seller. This is just for me – it’s the other side of me. I rise at 4.30am every morning and write. I’m very regimented in the mornings so that when I’m working I don’t have to think about anything else. It’s a beautiful thing. I’m not flustered, I’m not stressed out, I’ve worked out, I’ve prayed, I’ve read and I’ve written.”