Throughout the past 20 years in the industry Carrie Gusmus of Aslan Home Lending Corp has received accolades such as 2019 HousingWire Women of Influence and multiple celebrations as a 5 Star Mortgage Professional. In the last year she has become a highly respected partner of the wholesale community and has pursued an aggressive growth strategy aimed at continued focus on broker development.
What’s a career highlight you’re most proud of?
Starting Aslan is by far my greatest career highlight. Leaving the retail lending environment after over 18 years and joining the broker community took me from captive to collaborator. We’ve grown to 34 employees and affiliates in a year and plan on growing to 60 loan officers in 2021. I am so proud of our company, our origination team, and the broker community we are part of.
What’s unique about your business?
What makes Aslan different is our deliberately developmental culture. Every employee is important. Every employee has a personal plan, not just a professional plan. We celebrate the ideas and victories of our employees, implementing new ideas frequently that will improve our clients’ experience.
What are the advantages of working with an all female team?
Research shows that women are naturally more relational, collaborative, kind, and supportive. Characteristics that used to be thought of as weaknesses are actually what make our all female ownership incredibly strong. We think of ourselves as a pride and we work collaboratively with everyone cooperating to support the pride. Sometimes you are the hunter, sometimes you’re the caregiver, sometimes you’re the protector, but everyone is crucial. And if you mess with our pride, which we extend to all employees, clients, and partners, we just might have to eat you.
How have you used your position as part of an all female firm to better serve your clients?
First of all, we have men who work with Aslan. Every gender is important and no one should be diminished. Everyone benefits their clients through our all female ownership and leadership. The mortgage process is full of peril and stress. We are highly detailed naturally, are constantly looking at all options, and stay calm under pressure. Women have grown accustomed to working, being the primary parent, wife, meal maker, housekeeper, pet care provider, and many other roles simultaneously. We are better equipped to handle whatever the mortgage industry throws us and to represent our clients with grace through it all.
Do you find that female home buyers prefer to work with female brokers? If so, why?
There is a statistic that 91% of women don’t think advertisers understand them. We are women. We understand women. Women make or influence the decision 85% of the time on home buying. I believe that a female home buyer prefers a female broker in many cases because we understand. We even feel that the men in our company are better positioned to work with women because of the approach our entire company takes with female leadership.
Are there any trends you’ve noticed among female home buyers?
40% of women now outearn their husbands. The trend I notice is more women who are the breadwinners and more openly making the decisions about not just the house itself but the home financing as well. I’m also seeing more single women and single moms stepping out to make homeownership happen for themselves and their families. Women are feeling more empowered to make better decisions financially for their families.
If you could go back to your first day in the industry, what advice would you give yourself?
Focus on purchase first. Turn refinances away that aren’t financially prudent for the client even at the risk of your own paycheck. Give your all to everyone you encounter and set up professional systems day one. Make yourself a business, not a loan officer.
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