Kerry Cole is the true definition of a leader who has successfully climbed the corporate ladder ever since joining the mortgage industry as a processor over 20 years ago. As the first female Chief Wholesale Officer at Equity Prime Mortgage, Cole has seen firsthand what it means to be a leader during times of great shifts in technology and consumer expectations.
What interested you in starting a career in the mortgage industry?
When I started in the mortgage industry, I had no idea that I would be starting a career that has lasted 20+ years. I accepted an entry-level position as a mortgage processor in 1999. I quickly found that I had a passion for helping others achieve homeownership and helping families save Money.
What’s the career highlight you’re most proud of?
I am very proud of being promoted to Chief Wholesale Officer in July 2020. It means a lot to me to be the first woman to be promoted to Chief level here at EPM. That humbles me, and I also take it as a very serious responsibility as I know this helps pave the way for other women in Leadership.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve faced in your career?
I was a big risk when I moved from being a Mortgage Loan Originator to start the wholesale division here at EPM. I was a successful MLO and had zero experience in wholesale. I was encouraged by leadership to take the chance and give wholesale a shot. Fortunately, many of my skills made me a successful MLO transferred to being a successful account executive. I had a plan that I executed, building the division up one broker at a time. Before I took on my role of CWO, I had built up my broker base to over 300 broker partners. This has been a very rewarding risk that I took as I have been able to help more families than I could have in my prior Role.
What is your business philosophy?
You get what you put into it. The harder you work, the more rewards you will receive. You have to bring it every day and give it your all. You have to show up each and every day!
How do you handle obstacles?
I lean into them. Obstacles present the biggest opportunity for growth and forward progress. Over the years, our broker partners have given us feedback about obstacles and have helped us get better.
What are the biggest challenges facing mortgage brokers & what’s your advice for overcoming them?
With many lenders’ choices to work with, one of the biggest challenges that brokers face is finding out which lenders to partner with. My advice would be to find a lender that you can build a relationship and partner with.
If you could go back to your first day in the industry, what advice would you give yourself?
If I could go back to day one in the industry, I would tell myself not to sweat the “small stuff” and know what the “small stuff” is.
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