Owner Spotlight: Leann Scarlett
Hi, I’m Leann Scarlett, proud owner of Universal Mortgage Solutions.
I look forward to sharing my story. I hope that you will enjoy getting to know me better.
I was born in Red Deer and raised in Innisfail, Alberta. I finished High School in Innisfail.
I started working in my local credit union as a student 34 years ago. Upon graduation, they officially hired me. I enjoyed working for the Credit Union, I loved the people I worked with and the people I served. Going to work was not a challenge I loved my job. I worked in many different departments, taking many different courses to round out my knowledge. I worked my way up to branch manager in downtown Red Deer. In 2000 I started looking at different career options to put my knowledge to work in a different environment. I began this business because as I wanted to use my extensive banking knowledge to guide my customers through the sometimes difficult decision making process regarding their finances. In my opinion, the banking world was changing, it was becoming less about the customer and more about the company’s profits, It was time to make a change, I decided to start my own business. Mortgage brokering made sense. I believe that if you offer clients solutions that fit their needs, they will be satisfied and your company will grow. It’s a win:win.
To give you a sense of how a typical day in my business life is I start my day reading emails: new rates from lenders; new policies; and customer emails. I review the files I have on the go and follow up with the lenders, as needed. When I have some extra time, I work on marketing pieces (and of course the dreaded company accounting). I meet new and existing clients starting at 10:30AM and will meet them until 8PM or 9PM. It is a priority to accommodate their schedules, that is a benefit of working with me as your mortgage broker my hours are flexible. I take time daily to contact my past clients to see if there is anything changing in their financial world they need to discuss or give them tips on how to pay off their mortgages or debts quicker.I also make time to meet lenders to review their policies and products (we live in an ever changing world of regulations). In 2017 is seems that the most important part of my day is being up to date on all the policy changes that are being introduced by our government and the lenders. This enables me to educate my clients on their financing options to better inform them of their decisions. I will work until the job is done. That can be 7 hours in the Winter and Summer all the way up to 14 hours during the busy season, which is the Fall and Spring.
The most rewarding part of my work is helping people achieve their dreams. It is a wonderful feeling to tell someone that they will be able to buy their first home! Their reaction stays with me for a long time. It is equally rewarding to help someone going through an unexpected financial challenge. My business is not all about the first time homebuyer, I work tirelessly with past customers restructuring their mortgages whether it be part way through a term or at renewal time to assist them realigning their payments to help with financial pressures. When I am able to restructure a clients existing mortgage, giving them some much needed payment relief, they feel a renewed hope for a a more relaxed and financial secure future.
The three most important skills I offer are knowledge, empathy, and punctuality. Having been in the financial services industry for over 30 years, I have seen many financial storms and have built a large base of knowledge on how to survive them. Letting clients know they are not the only ones going through difficult financial situations and giving them solid solutions to help their unique circumstances gives them comfort. Being on time is key in this industry. Whether it be to meetings, conferences or simply being on the ball and aware of the deadlines we face on live real estate transactions is key in this business and of course Empathy … really listening to where people have been where they want to go, listening to their hopes and dreams, offering a plan to help them get there … Rewarding.
I attribute my success in part to the Credit Union System I was with for 18 years. They taught me many things about customer service and really listening to what customers are saying. I am proud to have spent 18 years with a great grassroots organization.
As I was a working mom, building a career and business, my most satisfying moments were being able to work around my children's activities. I would schedule my breaks so I could go on their field trips, volunteer as a lunch supervisor, and get them to their activities (Hockey, Figure Skating, BMX etc.). I would say the best moment was seeing the look on their faces when they their opened High School Diplomas.
My parents and grandfather were hardworking and taught me about loyalty to the business you work for and giving 100% effort while you are there. My Dad called in sick only once. He believed, “If you are able to get out of bed, you are able to get your boots on.” I believe in the same I am loyal to my customers giving them 100% of my knowledge and time, I am loyal to the lenders I deal with honoring them by knowing the products they offer to send them the clients they are looking for.
Helping others is very important to me. My outside work consists of being involved in the community and serving on different boards. I have been part of the Leads Executive Association for the past 15 years. It is a group of businesses in and around Red Deer working together to grow our local economy. I also belong to "Dress For Success - Central Alberta" which offers professional attire (interview appropriate) for underprivileged women returning to or rerouting their careers. I also recently re-joined Rotary Club International - Red Deer East.
In my spare time I enjoy plunking on my ukulele strings. I began singing and playing the Ukulele in Maui and it has been a growing love and will take my lifetime to perfect it. As I was sitting one cold winter night thinking how to fill my time now that I wasn't sitting in a cold arena cheering on my son in Red Deer Minor hockey, I decided to start a Ukulele circle where people can join together to play this wonderful instrument. If interested in joining you can go to the closed Facebook page to join, "Red Deer Ukulele Circle." We meet on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.
My core values are, speak the truth, do unto others as you would like them to do unto you, and be genuine. You are no else, just be yourself. Be great at being YOU.
I have enjoyed sharing my story about the things which matter to me and how they influence the way I do business.
If you, or someone you know could benefit from our expertise in mortgaging , I invite you to get in touch.