As a 2020 Women With Vision Award Winner Ashley Miller is constantly sought after for advice on how women can thrive in the broker channel. After 12 years in the mortgage industry and returning to the wholesale channel in 2018, Ashley has prided herself in being a champion for broker success across the country.
What interested you in starting a career in the mortgage industry?
The real estate and mortgage industry always fascinated me due to the complexities of the transactions and I would often ask myself why the “American Dream” was such a confusing process. I dove in to learn more about how it all worked and realized it was a dream that was too scary for many to embark on. I wanted to soften the barrier between mortgage professionals and consumers to help families feel more comfortable in taking the plunge to make the largest purchase of their life.
What’s unique about your business?
Communication! In our loan process, we take an educational approach when explaining loan options, any fees associated with the transaction and the loan process itself, to our clients. Our pre-approval process is very comprehensive, and we want every single client to understand the process from all angles. It is simply not just a transaction, this is a relationship we value.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve faced in your career?
The biggest risk I took was taking a leap to join a new brokerage that had been in existence for less than a year. I was so used to working for well established corporate companies and all of the questions of “what if this company fails, what if we don’t get enough business, what if I fail THEM?” crossed my mind when joining. They believed in me, and I believed in them, and through many transparent conversations, the fears were eased. It was not an option for any of us to fail, so we formed a 1, 3, 5-year plan and started working on developing systems, teams and aligning ourselves with the right staff to continue cultivating the growth we wanted in order to succeed. After year one, we more than doubled our production! I knew then, we were not ever going to fail.
What is your business philosophy?
Create and nurture positive employee and customer relationships. Culture, environment, and energy equals success.
What are the biggest challenges facing mortgage brokers and what’s your advice for overcoming them?
You are not in competition with anyone but yourself. In our industry, we are exposed to so many different levels of producers and it is easy to compare your business and get wrapped up in who is doing what, but there are many ways to deliver something great. Write down your short term and long term goals, how you plan to get there and work your business plan — not someone else’s.
How do you see the mortgage industry evolving in the future?
Technology has been advancing rapidly, but I see the mortgage industry fully embracing all aspects of tech and consolidating the loan process without sacrificing the customer’s experience. The mortgage industry will be able to increase capacity, improve time-to-close and help to increase cash flow for institutions which in turn, allow us to provide more improved resources for our clients.
If you could go back to your first day in the industry, what advice would you give yourself?
You do not need to bend over backward to please everyone or do business with everyone. Honor yourself, your boundaries, and your business model.