Do women enjoy a level playing field in the mortgage industry?

In this Women of Influence Diversity & Inclusion Power Panel, Cindy Nassar, chief operating officer at PCV Murcor, Dianne Walker, VP processing at Network Capital, and Natalie Verrette, president/chief operating officer at Champions Funding, join MPA TV to assess the landscape for women in the mortgage industry. Is it truly a level playing field? And what about other aspects of DE&I - has the mortgage industry addressed its wider issues? Discover their thoughts now. 

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Chris: [00:00:28] Hello and thank you for joining today's Power Panel. Today, our theme is Women of Influence. And really what we're going to be doing here is going to be taking a deep dive of how we are doing in the mortgage industry internally and what we can improve externally for our borrowing clients. We have a great panel with us today. Natalie Verrette, President and CEO at Champions Funding. Cindy Nasser, CEO of PCV Murcor and Diane Walker, VP, VP of Processing with Network Capital. Thank you for joining us today.

All: [00:01:01] Thank you. 

Chris: [00:01:03] Perfect. Well, yeah. Yeah, to get us started. You know, I just love to learn more of how you got started in the mortgage industry. I know everyone kind of has a different point of where they started, where they are right now. You know, Natalie, can you tell us a little bit more about your journey of where you are now and kind of how you got started. 

Natalie: [00:01:21] It's a long journey. I've been in the business, gosh, I'm 42. So I started on 17, 20 plus years. I'm not really that fantastic, a quick math, but I started off as a junior receptionist because I wasn't qualified at the time at 17 to be a full time employee. And then from there I just was a learner. And so I started and moved up from being a receptionist, your processor, processor, underwriter, and sought out different avenues of how much I can gain access to knowledge. And from there, when I was processing a loan, probably 19 years old, I had a couple with four children living in a two bedroom apartment that were in the middle of our nine month process of transaction because we had to rehabilitate their credit and use facsimiles with HUD, all that good stuff, right? But they were living in a two bedroom apartment and they were going through a divorce because of the stress of it. And we finally closed their loan because we were able to get their credit to where it needed to be. And I'll never forget the day that they came in with their four kids crying and think to me, I get goose bumps every time I tell a story. But they came in and thanked me and said, Thank you for saving our family and putting us in a better place. You've changed the path of our lives for our children. And that was the moment that I decided I'm not smart enough to be a doctor and I don't have enough patience to go to school for 20 something years. But I can make a difference. And that's what really determined for me to stay in mortgage and do my best to impact folks lives. And so from there it progressed and I moved into sales because the money looked good. And then I move back into operations. And I got a call from Evan Stone, who we've worked with for years. He's a good friend of mine for almost 20 years now, and he said, Hey, you got another go in your kid? And I said, Yeah, let's do it. And here we are. 

Chris: [00:03:10] So awesome. 

Natalie: [00:03:11] Cliffnote story. 

Chris: [00:03:13] Well, great. And Cindy, how about yourself? 

Cindy: [00:03:16] So I just celebrated my 15th year at PCV Murcor where a service provider to the mortgage industry, we do appraisal management. And I actually started through Bank of America in the call center industry, went from BMA to direct TV to Yahoo. And I got recruited out of Yahoo! To be the director of Ops for PCV 15 years ago. And then from there just learned a lot. I didn't have a clue as to what an appraisal was or anything about the mortgage industry when I started. And now I know more than I care to know about the appraisal industry 15 years later and just worked my way up and got to be CEO six years ago. So it's been a fun ride. It's really fascinating industry and we really protect the industry by making sure that values are correct and that everyone is is giving a fair shot on both sides of the transaction. 

Chris: [00:04:24] Right. Okay. And then, Diane, how about yourself? 

Diane: [00:04:28] Well, I've been in the industry forever. I'm old, older. So I started a 1990 small broker shop where I pretty much learned all aspects of the industry, just everything, escrow ops, all of it, and just kind of went from there. I contract processed for a while, got into managing and leading teams and processing, just kind of stuck with me. I never wanted to be an underwriter. I never really wanted to do other things. Just processing was just it was just exciting to me and that's just what I wanted to do and ended up leading teams and you know, I've processed it at the big companies and ended up at network capital. Just absolutely love the company, love the owners and VP of the department where, you know, at one point we had about 175 people under me where I was running the disclosure team and appraisal team. And my big forte is, is managing and leading and just trying to make the best atmosphere. And I just I love what I do. And mortgage has just been where where I've I've been able to do it. 

Chris: [00:05:40] Well, great. So it sounds like the group has been in the mortgage industry for more than 15 years for for everyone. So kind of taking a look back to how things were 15 years ago, how things were even five years ago and even today. How do you think the landscape is for women in the mortgage industry? I mean, really getting to a leadership role. I mean, how has it evolved over the last couple of years? How are we today and what steps really need to be done moving forward? Cindy, I'll go ahead and start with you on that question. 

Cindy: [00:06:13] The industry that I'm involved in, the appraisal industry is 96% male and white. So I walked in and was kind of overwhelmed by that. And that's really the appraisers that are out in the field. And we have a lot of appraisers that are on staff. I fortunately work for an owner that is very much into diversity and inclusion. We have 43% of our staff are women and 67% are in one way or another, part of a minority or diverse group. So as an organization, we are really diverse. As an industry. There's still a lot of work that needs to be done to get some more women and minorities into the profession. So obviously being a service provider, I've walked into a lot of mortgage operations and I do see that there are more women in the mid-level management range, really big in ops. That seems to be where women really play. A key role is is in the operation. But when you look at the business development teams and some of the sea levels and higher execs, you don't see as many women in those levels. But I have seen over the last probably 5 to 7 years that that's starting to shift a little bit. But I don't think nearly as quickly as everyone would like. But there's definitely been a shift in the last few years that I've seen. 

Chris: [00:07:48] And then obviously, Cindy, you were talking more on the appraisal side, Natalie, kind of more on the lending side and the funding side. Are you seeing similar things or. 

Natalie: [00:07:57] I mean, I would echo what Cindy has stated. If you if I were to take myself back to, for lack of a better word, it's a cliché. It's a good old boys club. Right. And so you look at, as she said, from, you know, CEOs and executive seats, primarily it was male and Caucasian. Right. So I would say that. Our industry has always empowered women in the sense that we've given them a vehicle to be able to achieve financial goals because as processors, you know, your income is unlimited because you bonus out and you make some really good money. And I spent a lot of time in the processing realm and make sure that we empower our processors right and as underwriters as well. But you don't see as many women in retail sales. You would see them in wholesales account executives because they're visiting offices. So there is always been an underlying tone and understanding that was a ceiling for women that has is beginning to start to be lifted. But champions, we're looking to break through it and just crush it. So if you look at our leadership team, I myself was the president and chief operating officer. I'm obviously a female. And then we have our senior Vice President of operations, female senior Vice President of customer Relations. Female One of our co-founders is Patty Avila from Numeric and Funding. Female Right. Christine All of our executives, with the exception of Evan, our CEO and two others, are female led. And it's not that we are looking for to infuse that. We are women here are raw. It's who's the most qualified individual for each seat. Right. And what's happened in the past, it's not by qualification in the mortgage industry. It's who do you know? Who are you friends with? Who are you related to? Right. And who's going to keep my secrets? So that's why I say the good old boys club. It almost felt like a fraternity. And for me in this industry, I've always said, I don't care. I don't care if you think that I'm a woman and you think that I'm not qualified, I'm going to prove it and I'm going to speak up when I need to speak up. And that's what's guided me to be able to get to where I am. And for champions, we're trying to empower our teammates to do the same thing. I don't think that there are as aggressive leaders within this organization as there should be that are empowering the best candidate for the position they're employing. Rather, it's even if they're underqualified, they'll still put them in the seat over a woman or someone of different ethnicity or race than they would of a Caucasian male simply because of the networking. And it's a shame, but it's changing and it's evolving. And as long as we have some progress year over year and day over day, that's all that we can do. And we're trying to scream it as loud as we can from the rooftops that it should be the most qualified individual, because there's plenty of people that are in those middle level positions that should be executive leaders. 

Chris: [00:10:51] And you had mentioned that it's changing, it's slowly lifting. Diane, any any feedback that you want to chime in on how we can even speed up and further change the cycle?

Diane: [00:11:02] I mean, I couldn't agree more with the ladies as far as I see a lot of middle management and ops being ran by by women. I mean, that's pretty much how our company is ran. Whereas on the sales side, it's more men are mostly on that side. So there's definitely a lot of work to be done on that. You know, it has gotten better, but for the strong women that are out there, there's just a lot more that we can be doing. 

Chris: [00:11:32] Perfect. And then again, as I mentioned earlier, you guys have been in the mortgage industry for north of 15 years. I'm sure you've learned a lot from year one to year five, year ten. Diane, I'll actually keep with you. What advice would you have to folks that are just starting, you know, things that you've learned over the way? I mean, what would what advice would you share with people that are just getting into getting into the industry and just really how to progress as quickly as possible? 

Diane: [00:12:01] I mean, I think just like anything, educate yourself, learning, listening and just being confident and going for that job and, you know, sharing your ideas. A lot of women maybe step back in a corporate environment and they don't want to share their ideas. They're afraid of failure, they're afraid of embarrassment or what have you. And just stay strong to what you believe in and have that confidence. You know, and unfortunately, sometimes our worst enemies maybe might be other women. They might feel inferior from you or what have you. And it's just important just to stay who you are. And and I think that's any industry. But I feel like with the mortgage industry, I mean, we can pretty much we can do it all, you know. So I think the sky's the limit. And I see a lot of young, young women coming up that I'm just trying to empower and lead and by example, that's a lot of it. And so it's it's it's pretty exciting. I mean, it's, it's I think it's it'll be it'll get better. 

Chris: [00:13:03] And then, Cindy, any advice you would share? 

Cindy: [00:13:06] Yeah. So to what Natalie said earlier, one thing is to always be assertive and if necessary, aggressive, but really more assertive. And letting your work product show who you are and demonstrate your ability and let that shine for you. And to what Diane said, don't be intimidated. Right? I oftentimes walk into a room full of men. And for a lot of women, that can be very intimidating. But I walk in there and I'm I know what I'm talking about. I know my craft. And oftentimes you have to assert yourself for people to pay attention and they're going to feed off whatever energy you bring into the room. Right. So if you walk in feeling confident, if you walk in feeling like you know what you're talking about, that they're going to feed off of that energy. So how you represent yourself, I think, is very critical, even though on the inside you might be shaking or you might not feel so confident inside, which is just human nature. You don't you don't let that show on the outside. So one of my favorite sayings is, you know, you fake it till you make it, but you can't fake your knowledge. So I think to me, oftentimes I felt like I need to know more than the people in the room because that time I'm going to get their attention and be very confident in what I'm telling them. And that seems to have worked really well. And I think finding common ground, I think oftentimes people think men and women are too different. And, you know, yes, there are differences, but there's also things that we have in common that we can talk about. And just with anybody, once you find that commonality, then you can you can bridge it and create a connection that way. So I just and always be authentically yourself regardless man or woman, just be authentically yourself no matter what. 

Chris: [00:15:03] Okay. And then, Natalie, any advice that you give to our listeners?

Natalie: [00:15:06] I agree with everything that my fellow companions have stated in regards to all that. So be a learner. And I think that when people hear that, they think I have to know everything and anything about this topic. And in order to be a learner, but in order to be a good leader, you have to be the learner. Right. And so for me, I've always looked at people around me. I hear them and I listen to understand versus listening to respond. So when you are in a room as as Cindy just stated and you walk in and it's a room full of males and you're intimidated and you're shaking your boots, you really just need to listen to understand them and understand what topic and subject matter is being discussed. And from there, don't be your own worst enemy. Right. A lot of us will preface and I've said this before. Never say you're sorry unless you've actually hurt somebody with intent. Right. Or you've physically damaged them because I've seen it and I am a victim of this. I have to tell myself to stop doing this every day of what our ideas come to surface in our mind, our inner monologue. We immediately come out and verbally say, I'm sorry, but no, it's I have a suggestion. This is my proposal. Here's the data analytics. I have to support it, and this is what I've done to prove that this works right? So it's safe for all of those young females or anyone who's entering into any industry, especially in the mortgage industry. Yeah. Know your stuff. Clearly you have to know your stuff, but you are going to be your own advocate. A lot of us. It's part of our nature and women. We've always most of us, I should say, will say someone will notice I'm going to do all the work and then someone will offer. No, you've got to take it. You go. Go out and take it. You want that position, you ask for it, you apply for it. You prove your point of why. Right. And so use that when you say I'm going to prove it. Yeah, go ahead. Someone will notice. No, they won't. And if they do, until you ask, they're not going to give it to you. So when we say be assertive or be aggressive, yeah, sure. But take it. Believe in yourself that this could be somebody who's an executive vice president. You're like, I could never do that job. I don't know what they do, why they didn't know when they started either. It's trial and error. Accept the fact that you're going to make a mistake. Own it and say, yeah, I'm going to make mistakes all the time. But I tried. I gave it my best. I learned from it because if you're any leader who's telling you that they are 100% successful in everything they do is full of crap, because if they're doing something really well, there's other things that are going on the wayside, right? And so what I always tell folks that come to me for mentorship is believe in yourself. If you don't believe in you, no one else will. So take that first step, make sure you're a learner, and then from there, go out on that ledge. Because if you don't take the risk on yourself, no one else is going to take the risk for you. 

Chris: [00:18:03] So we've been obviously talking a lot about gender so far, but want to include diversity as well because that has also been a challenge within the mortgage industry of how do we make outside of gender just how do we just get more minorities, how do we get more diversity inclusion within appraisal brokerages, lending institutions? Cindy, I'll kick this one over to you. I mean, what do you think can be done to just further, you know, just make changes from where we were five, ten years ago just to just be a more diverse lending and mortgage and housing group. 

Cindy: [00:18:41] So this is a big topic in the industry, but specifically in the appraisal industry now. First thing is we need to be intentional. We need to be intentional about bringing diverse and minority groups into the industry. And right now, the way that the system is set up, the barrier to entry is too big. So the traditional model to become an appraiser is normally it's your dad or your uncle or some family member that's an appraiser that then says, Hey, you should become an appraiser, and then they become your supervisor and they train you. And that's how they get exposed to that career. It's not something they talk about in college. It's not something that they talk about in high school. Like, Here's your career path, you should do this. And the way that it's set up now, based on the supervisory model, is really it's just your family member that's going to want to supervise you. They don't want to supervise anybody else. So when 96% of the appraisers now are male and white and they're training their family, all that's going to continue. It's going to perpetuate that. Right. So there's been things that have been done at the federal level to change the requirements on how somebody can become an appraiser. And they are now marketing to colleges and schools and partnering with the schools to introduce this career to the students, specifically underserved communities. But then now the states have to adopt, adopt it. And that's where 33 states have adopted this new path. The rest of them have not. So until 100% get on board, you're still going to see this issue in some areas. So there is some work being done. There's a lot more that has to be done. And then the way that appraisals are done now are firmly founded in redlining, simply because of how banks used to give credit. And there were actual red line communities. Right. And so as appraising has gone on over the years, they are praising within a very small market area. Appraisers didn't create redlining. That wasn't they didn't do that. Right. This was something that's been systemic for years and years and years. And while banks don't currently redlined in the way that they did before, the programs that they have in place when it comes to appraising properties just perpetuates that redlining. And that's another thing that they're looking at is how do we change this approach so that minorities can come in to these different areas and they can qualify for the loan and get credit extended to them? So there is a lot that's going on in the industry and I think that now people are being intentional about it and most are accepting that there is a problem and that something needs to be done. So we've got a long way to go. But the good news is, is we started down the path. 

Chris: [00:21:47] Okay. Diane, anything that you want to add?

Diane: [00:21:49] I think from from our perspective at network capital, we strive for diversity in our organization. And we actually we embody that across all of our team members in California, Florida and New York. 

Chris: [00:22:02] Okay. And then, Natalie, I know that you mentioned Patty Ravello, who she's been instrumental to Hispanic homeownership, but just an internal trying to make changes. I mean, what what have you and the team over at Champion have been trying to do to make it a more diverse workforce as well? 

Natalie: [00:22:20] Well, I think that taking a step back to peel back the layers of this onion really is that we have a generational gap period in the mortgage industry because of what happened in 2006, seven and eight. So we have millennials and down that look at the mortgage industry as if it's played like you're in mortgage, you're not a good human. Right. So let's start there. And we're trying to bridge that gap by bringing in younger talent to better understand the mortgage industry, to change it. Right. And a lot of folks and I've worked at different organizations, we're like, oh, let's go to job fairs at colleges, let's go and recruit through the traditional outlets to recruit talent and for or through hearsay. A lot of people get into this industry because, as Cindy was saying, mom, dad, cousin, friend, whatever, right? For us, it's more of a champions. We're seeking out the best talent, meaning if you are willing to work hard and you have the right attitude or ambitious to me and to us, that equals talent. So for we have, instead of going to job fairs, we're going out and recruiting at things of like, let's go look at orphanages that are like in Orange County, right where we have young females who were born, raised, not born and raised in these facilities and are now single mothers trying to figure out how am I going to make my way through this life and empower my child or my children to have a better future? That's talent you can bring in who's hungry, who's willing to work, who says yes before no? So that's part of it. The other part of it is Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA. Talk to kids that if you really think about the populations, if you go to a university, many of these kids don't have a vehicle to get there, meaning financial means. And so where do you want to seek them out? You want to seek them out in their environment and show them the path of you can bring back into your community and grow. So YMCA clubs, boys and girls clubs, local churches, you go there and you seek them out. And that's our what we are striving for, of serving the underserved internally and externally, which goes in line with our product type of also serving the underserved. Because as the redlining, as we said, is systemic. Right. When you look at and I'm not trying to throw shade on anyone in this mortgage industry, but the traditional guideline boxes by default are denying these folks who are hard working individuals who deserve and earn the right to have a home or cash out equity on their home. And they simply can't because they don't fit into the mold. Right. But they're more qualified than others who do. So for us, we are very ambitious and we take it extremely seriously and have intent and passion towards ensuring we diversify our team members, as well as diversify the product mix enough so that all are eligible to apply and to get mortgages and fulfill the homeownership dream that all Americans. 

Chris: [00:25:24] And we've obviously been talking a lot internally staffing within the mortgage industry. Unfortunately, when mortgage makes national news, it's usually a little bit of a black eye where race discrimination can be front and center, which that continues to be an ongoing challenge of just an unlevel playing field. But then just challenges of more minority homeownership. Diane, I'll start with you. I mean, what do you think that we need to do as a group to more level the playing field for our borrowing clients and just make it so that it's really the same kind of advantages and perks and not fair treatment towards one group or unfair to the other. I mean, what do you think needs to be done from the lending side to really make an impact on the consumer side? 

Diane: [00:26:12] You know, our marketing perspective is we market across the country through so many different marketing avenues to get to get the message across that homeownership is important and it's available. We work with people every single day to find the best solution for them. I think the mortgage industry has changed and it's evolved over the years and companies like ours that we work to accommodate all. And working across the country with clients, it's our mission to just to help people live better and and do what we can. And that's kind of what we do on a day to day basis, regardless. 

Chris: [00:26:47] Anything you want to chime in on when it's kind of more thinking external than internal? 

Cindy: [00:26:52] Yeah, well, I think they're they're tied, right. People want to do business with people that look like them or are like them. And I think that that's where New Americans done a really great job in being in the communities where are largely Hispanic and they're being solicited and marketed by Hispanics. Right. And I think that they got to see people in the industry that look like them just to build more trust. So I think they're interconnected that as soon as the inside starts to look differently than the outside will start to look different and being again intentional about marketing to those communities. Right. Because if we're not there, right. If mortgage companies aren't in these neighborhoods or aren't marketing to these individuals, then it's not going to change. And I think that new Americans pave the way for that and has a really great model for it. And now it just needs to extend to some of the other minority groups out there. 

Chris: [00:27:51] Okay. And then Natalie. Yeah. What are what are your thoughts? And just kind of what the Champions team has been doing as well. 

Natalie: [00:27:57] I agree. It starts from within. Right. And so it should look and feel unilaterally the same. And so it's unfortunate like when you look at just the basic application to apply for a mortgage, right? So government monitoring was put into place in order to prevent redlining, right? Are you Hispanic or are you African-American or black or you white? Right. So but what's happened is it's done the inverse of what the actual intent of it was. Right. And so for our champions, we're a CDA lender. So for us to incentivize people and to show them the barrier of entry is actually not as significant as you think it is. They get a improvement in their price for their mortgage. And so even easier for them to qualify, right? Because they get a lower interest rate if they are of a minority group. So that's a piece of it. Right. It's a very complex situation in earnest to how do you market to them. But at the same time, when they show up at the door, how do you qualify it? Right. So for us, we've we use common sense underwriting. If you use common sense application of what really mitigates your propensity to pay as a borrower, it's do you have reserves? Do you have enough equity in your property? Right. And is it a good condition and you have a propensity, your credit that you pay timely, right. For first time homebuyers. They may not have a ton of credit debt, but if they have a gift or a down payment, they should qualify. They should be able to get into a house. So it starts from the inside and then goes out. Right. And yes, it should be of it's sad to say that it is that way, but it's true within a Hispanic community, if there's a Hispanic person soliciting them to bring in a mortgage, they're more inclined to listen. Right. But we really need to break past that even further and change that. Right. Because really the only deterrent for them is there. We have folks who don't Mark. They say, I wish not to choose because they're scared of being declined for a mortgage simply because of something that's completely out of their control. They didn't choose to be born a certain race, color or sex. Right. So we're attacking this this imbalance within our country from different directions of internally with how we staff internally, with how we mitigate risk from a credit risk perspective of extending mortgages out to borrowers, how we market to them, but also how we educate them. Right. When you do buy a house, if you were to, this is how you manage your finances, because a lot of these kids have never been taught that or a lot of minorities come here and they don't understand the way that things work or they do, but they haven't been educated on the way that it needs to be done. So it looks right to fit in the boxes, so to speak. Right. And so for us, we again are hiring diverse team members within our staff. We're marketing in different ways that are a little bit less traditional in regards to whom we market, to how we market to them. The language that's used isn't super sophisticated enough to be a rocket science or a mortgage specialist to understand what you need in order to qualify for this mortgage or where we are, how to get to us, right? So the barrier of entry needs to be lowered significantly in order for all folks to be able to qualify for mortgages and to understand, hey, I can actually buy a house and my mortgage is going to cost less. And what I'm paying in rent and I own it, it's an asset. Because if you really think about and look at our economy and where we are as a country and where we've been, regardless of what your feelings are, the current health of it. At the end of the day, the best vehicle for investment is real estate. If you can wait it out for the cycle, right? Some of it used to be a seven year cycle and now it's it's changed and it's constantly changing because of all the dynamics. But at the end of the day, if you can sit it out and wait for the cycle to. Come around. You're not going to get that type of return anywhere else. And that's something that's not being shared out there, because in their minds, it's like, I can never even own a house. Why would I even think about investing in homes? So we're trying to tackle the challenge from different directions of education, how we market, how we staff, how we mitigate risk for how we extend credit so that we can come full circle. And then partnering with folks who are as Patty Ravello or with other folks, YMCA, local ministers and pastors, wherever we can get ourselves into position where we can communicate, educate and extend further out what mortgage is about and how to get into a mortgage or how to get into the industry. We're doing the best that we can. There's more work to be done, but you've got to start somewhere. 

Chris: [00:32:35] And for mortgage professionals that are either new to the industry, they're not in any level of leadership. They may not work for a larger organization, but they want to make an impact, whether it's external in their community, whether it's internal and really make change in. Cindy, I'll start with you. What would you advise of how to get started? I mean, are there certain groups that people could look to or what would be a good way for more again, junior members into the mortgage industry to really get involved with making change. Cindy, I'll start with you.

Cindy: [00:33:08] So I think us as leaders need to go out there and make that change right into what Natalie said market to these underserved communities and some of these organizations. And I'll give you an example. I was a foster child and growing up in Pasadena, I would drive by all of these craftsman style homes. And in my head I was like, I'll never be able to buy a house. I'll never be able to live in one of these houses or live where I want to live. Right. And so when I bought my house 13 years ago, it still really hasn't registered in my mind that I was able to buy a house because that little girl made herself believe that could never happen. And it took somebody else showing me and teaching me and saying, Yeah, this is possible. This is how you do it. I had friends that taught me about money management and credit. Like one of my best friends said, the best thing you can do is protect your credit. If you have good credit, the possibilities are endless, right? So I think that going out and educating. These individuals and giving them hope and that there is opportunity and showing them. I have a lot of people that have come to me and that have known me since I was ten, eight years old and are blown away by what I was able to achieve. But I wouldn't have been able to do it without having that mentorship and being shown that it was possible. And you have to give people hope. And the only way that you're going to introduce people to this industry is that the people that are in the industry have to be out there showing them and teaching them about the industry. So it's really up to us, right? We have to be the change that we want to see in the world. And I think that that's how we do it. 

Chris: [00:35:03] Absolutely. Diane, anything that you'd like to add of just folks that are really looking to make an impact internally and externally in their community? 

Diane: [00:35:11] I agree. Getting out in the neighborhoods. I mean, I have stories just to even our bankers, some of our bankers coming in and, you know, they're like a year ago and now I'm successful and I've got this career and, you know, there's some really good stories out there, but but that wouldn't have been possible unless, you know, our CEO and our CEO went out and they they recruited and they went out to these neighborhoods and they you know, they got these you got the interest. And, you know, so I really do feel like that's very important.

Chris: [00:35:47] Natalie, anything you'd like to chime in on for more junior mortgage professionals that may not be in a larger, larger organization of really how they can make an impact from day one and kind of further their career and make change. 

Natalie: [00:36:01] Be the change. Right, because the reality of it is one of the something that is not allowed to be said at champions funding is, well, that's the way it's always been done. Why are you doing this? Because that's the way it's the way we've always done it. Be a shape changer. It starts with you. Right. So we have to look at generationally, this has continued to cascade down and is because someone's like, well, it's not my business. Someone else, someone else will say something. Someone else will change it, right? No. Be the person who says something and you may lose your job over it. Go get another one. Right. Make the change. Don't be that underwriter or that junior underwriter that's looking and saying, Oh, and hearing these things happening, report them or say something. Just speak up. Because really, when you call people out, they're not as brave about this stuff. If someone's actually confronting them and saying, Really, are you going to do that? You're going to appraise this property for that value and you have all these columns and it should be this, or you're going to not allow this borrower to buy a home when this one is. That's lateral. But the only difference is the ethnicity is approved. Right. So be the change. So I'll take you back. When I started in this industry, when I was a junior receptionist, there was Hispanic borrowers coming in with a brown paper bag and leaving it at the front desk. And telling me give it to the broker of record. Right. And it would happen regularly at least three times a week. So finally I was like, you know what? What the heck is in these things? I open it and there was cash. So I went in and I confronted him. I said, Hey, I know this is probably none of my business, but I keep giving this to you. Like, Are you laundering money or are you selling drugs? What are you doing is like, Oh, I'm making tax returns for them, but I'm charging them like five grand per, per person on the returns. And so I said, what? You're taking advantage of these people and they can just do an FHA loan or they could do a USDA or whatever. Right. And he said, well, you know, when all everybody else does that, and I quit. And then I reported them because I had nowhere to go. I didn't have a job and I barely had enough gas to get my young rear end home that night. Right. I didn't know how I was going to do anything else, but I was the had to be the change. We have to, as human beings, stand up for each other and make that impact and that difference. If it doesn't start with you, then who does it start with? Right. And so that's how I would tell them if you're a setup person or you're a receptionist or you, wherever level you're in, do the right thing, be a good person. And remember these borrowers, these communities that could be your mother, your sister, your brother, any one of your family or a close friend. Like, would you want them to be treated in that way? If you don't, then do the right thing. 

Chris: [00:38:41] Well, again, thank you all for joining us today. Great conversation. Great topic. Great things for all of us to learn from, whether you've been in the mortgage industry for a year, five years, everything in between 20 years. So yeah. Appreciate all the feedback from our panelists and for our listeners out there. Yeah. We greatly appreciate you joining as well.