"If you treat people right, and take care of them, you can have a very successful career"

Allyson Kreycik, of Guaranteed Rate, on how her career has been defined by change and adaptation

"If you treat people right, and take care of them, you can have a very successful career"

In a landscape where mortgage lending is as complex as it is competitive, Allyson Kreycik (pictured) stands out. As the SVP of mortgage lending at Guaranteed Rate, she said that her foray into the sector was happened upon almost by chance.

“I met my husband and he took a job in the Boston area,” she explained, recounting her early days with Wells Fargo Bank during a period of expansion. A move to Boston meant leaving the familiar behind, as Wells Fargo had no presence there. But it was the mortgage sector that offered her a new path.

Starting as an assistant to a top producer, she quickly grasped the industry’s potential. “There’s a lot of opportunity in this industry,” she said, “and if you treat people right and take care of them, you can have a very successful career.”

The steep cost of living in Boston and New England meant that mortgages were more than a financial product; they were essential for most residents. Kreycik didn’t see this as a hurdle but as a chance to excel in a field where she had little initial knowledge. Her strategy? Cold calling developers and builders, laying the foundation for a business that would thrive on new construction.

“I was at Wells Fargo for several years and then my husband and I actually wanted to team up and work together,” she said. “We left during the financial housing crash and went to Countrywide Home Loans – we were there throughout the acquisition by Bank of America. And for the past 12 years I’ve been with Guaranteed Rate.”

Kreycik’s approach to the new construction sector is deeply relational and informed.

“The Boston builder and developer network is quite small; they know each other, and they know me,” she said. With a consistent portfolio of active new construction projects, her focus remains unwavering.

“I know condo guidelines inside and out,” she said. “I know how to structure loans with presale requirements and master associations and budgets. There’s a lot of legal stuff you have to know when you really want to go after this segment of the business.”

And despite her success, Kreycik is not one to rest on her laurels. She maintains strong ties with past clients and is always on the lookout for new opportunities.

“Builders finish a project and they move on to the next,” she said. “It’s a tough segment of the industry to break into as a new originator because there’s so many technicalities that you need to know. You also need to work for a company that is going to support it. I have month rate locks which aren’t real popular right now, but they sure are when people are closing at rates in the fives and sixes from locking in a year ago.”

And Kreycik knows that she’s rather fortunate in working for a company that really supports her in this endeavour. Because, as she tells Mortgage Professional America, a lot of them simply don’t have the appetite for it.

“They don’t want have to have loans on their books for 12 months before they can close them out,” she explained. “I would say learn the Fannie and Freddie guidelines – know what you can and can’t do. Because if you walk into a meeting with the builder who’s been doing it for a long time and you don’t know what you’re talking about, you know they’ll chew you up and spit you out real fast.”