"I am determined to leave our industry better than when I arrived"
Laura Brandao, the president and only woman partner of American Financial Resources, does not measure career longevity by years but rather by her fundamental desire to give back to the mortgage industry. In MPA’s inaugural Housing Industry Icons special report, Brandao talked about her 20-plus years in the industry she loves and her mission to leave it better off than when she arrived.
“I am determined to leave our industry better than when I arrived,” she said. “This fuels my dedication to a number of organizations and initiatives beyond my work as president of AFR.”
Brandao joined AFR in 2007 as the director of operations, a role that enabled her to build a wholesale channel from scratch. She has also shared her voice and vision as a speaker, mentor, and organizer for numerous organizations, including Forbes NY Business Council, Women Empowering Women, and AIME Women’s Affinity Group.
“AFR has already established itself as a leading specialty lender, and I will continue to develop programming to help brokers enter the niche space and become experts,” Brandao said. “I want to continue to empower them to expand their offerings and become comfortable and confident in a large variety of programs, so they can expand their outreach to help realtors and a wider range of borrowers in their communities.”
Read more: Transforming the Industry Landscape
If you want to stick around in this business, Brandao advised that “you need to continually assess the needs of the housing market and respond.”
“You can’t shy away from new product development or integrating technology. Spend time actively listening to your clients and work to meet or even anticipate their needs as the landscape shifts. Adapt to the changing market or be left behind,” she said.