Well hello there! We’ve got a small business interview that’s sure to get your wheels turning. Shelley Malkin is the VP of Lending for CrossCountry Mortgage and she’s worked there for the last 22 years! When I tell you that she’s one of the most lovely people we’ve ever had the pleasure of interviewing, I mean it! She’s kind, compassionate and has the patience of a saint. She’s who you want on your home purchase or refi team. So, we’ve asked her a few questions about her process, what sets her apart from the competition and the 2022 real estate forecast, of course. Welcome, Shelley!
Shelley, please introduce yourself. Where do you live, what brought you to your current town?
Hi, I’m Shelley Malkin. I live in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago. I moved to Chicago for a job after graduating from The Ohio State University and working a few years in Columbus, Ohio. I have always loved Chicago for its beauty, neighborhoods, people, culture, and food.
I am Vice President of Lending at CrossCountry Mortgage. I started at PERL Mortgage in 1999, and PERL transitioned to CrossCountry Mortgage in March 2019. I have essentially been at the same company as a residential mortgage lender for 22 years.
What made you decide to go into lending?
The local real estate market is fascinating. After buying my first home in Chicago I was hooked. I switched from a healthcare administration career to mortgage lending because I love interacting directly with the clients, building relationships, and helping people achieve their homeownership goals. Sharing the excitement of purchasing or refinancing a home is one of the most rewarding parts of my job.
What is the process of lending from start to finish and what can clients expect?
The lending process involves technology as well as constant and thorough communication with my clients. We start with conversations about the details of your situation and the best loan options for you. We complete the pre-approval together so you are ready when you find the home you love. We have an online loan application which is a great addition to the process, and we gather documents, order an appraisal if required, send the loan to underwriting, work on any remaining steps for the final approval, and close. I provide updates along the way and explain the details and next steps.
I love educating clients on what to expect during the loan process from beginning to closing.
What makes your service unique with regards to other local lenders?
Of course, real estate is a 24/7 business, and I am available and responsive especially when buyers and their realtors need to put in the offer quickly in a multiple-offer situation. Whether helping with a purchase or refinance I get to know my clients and strategic partners who often become friends and family.
Excellent service is knowing your customers, answering the questions before they ask, paying attention to the details, and being straightforward and transparent so they feel comfortable.
When you call me, you get me, and I am your point of contact from pre-approval to closing. My hard-working, dedicated, loyal teammates are an integral part of the process, and we have been together for 22 years. Throughout the process we are communicating with the realtor and attorney teams many of whom we have known for years.
My goal is to make the process easy to navigate because people have busy lives and are inundated with emails and calls during a fast-moving process. I am truly an advocate who does not give up in getting the best outcome no matter what challenges we may encounter.
What has been the biggest stumbling block to date?
Since I started as a mortgage lender 22 years ago the mortgage industry has undergone sweeping changes. You need to adapt and embrace the changes to continue providing the service standards you have set.
What is most rewarding about this career?
Helping people achieve their homeownership and refinance goals and knowing them throughout many phases of their lives is such an honor. People put their trust in me, and working together to achieve these milestones is so rewarding.
What is your proudest moment in the lending industry?
There are many moments to feel proud of in this business of helping people purchase and refinance their home. I appreciate all of it, and the success of any transaction is truly a team effort!
What’s on the horizon for CrossCountry Mortgage?
We will be closely watching this hot housing market and potentially rising interest rates, and we will continue to incorporate the latest technology including completely remote closings so homebuyers and homeowners can close from anywhere.
Do you have any insight into the housing forecast for 2022?
Yes! According to MBS Highway here is some insight:
Housing will remain strong although not as strong as 2021.
Inventory will increase but remain tight.
Rents will continue to increase more than 5%, pushing many people to see the benefit in homeownership.
During the first part of the year interest rates are anticipated to increase along with inflation and approach 3.75%.
With the Federal Reserve action, softer stock market, and slowing economic conditions interest rates should head lower and approach 3% in the second part of the year.
How can our readers get in touch with you?
I’d love to hear from you, whether you just have a question or would like to get started on the loan process. Anyone can reach me at 773-413-6246 or by email at [email protected].