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Meet Lisa Alley of Summit Lending

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Alley.

Lisa, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started in the Mortgage Business as a Loan Processor for a large company when I was 19 years old (which was 22 years ago now). At 22 years old, I decided I wanted to try to do it on my own! I had a partner and we started working out of my apartment. Within 6 months we were turning a profit and able to secure a small office. From that point on there was no turning back for me, I knew that working for myself was the only way for me!

I went through a few different incarnations over the years with business partners and locations till finally in 2005 at 28 years old, I decided to go it alone with no partners. I rented a small office space, survived the Financial Meltdown of our industry and as a company we just got stronger. Today we are a thriving female owned mortgage company, which I am proud of in a male-dominated industry.

Has it been a smooth road?
It’s never a smooth road. I would say the biggest obstacles of my career have included partnering with two different individuals over the years, and those partnerships not turning out as expected. I can be a bit of a workaholic and when someone does not share the work ethic, its time to move on. Today my brother works with me (and is my right hand) and its great because as a family, he always has my back, and as a former Marine, he shares a similar work ethic.

The other large obstacle I faced (or anyone that was in my industry from 2008 – 2012) was the Financial Crisis of that time. It originated from it our industry and at that time, we were hit hard. I always say that those that survived that time are in it for the long haul as a LOT of people exited our industry during that time.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Summit Lending story. Tell us more about the business.
We are a Mortgage Banker. We provide home loans to individuals who are looking to buy or refinance homes in California. I think that one of the biggest things that set up apart is that its female owned (which as I mentioned is rare in this industry). Another important aspect is that we are family owned and operated. As I said, my brother works very closely with me, my sister works here as well. Its a smaller shop and everyone is like family.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Currently, our industry is in another precarious moment. Due to the fallout over the financial crisis, we had been experiencing very low-interest rates for many years, which meant we were very busy. Currently, as the economy is strengthening, rates are increasing which means that there are fewer loans to go around right now.

I feel that a lot of people will be exiting this industry again and to make it, you will really need to set yourself apart from other mortgage brokers. The route that we are taking here at Summit is to invest in technology. Of the recent conferences I have attended, millennials are the next large group to start buying homes and you need to have the most cutting edge technology available in the industry to thrive in this next market

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