Cindy Koutsovitis SVP of Mortgage Lending, Guaranteed Rate

Where did you grow up?
Lincolnwood, Ill.

What was your most interesting job before going into lending?
I worked in retail, or more commonly known as a retail therapist – there were so many stories.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed?
In the summer, I pack light and head off to the beach. In the winter, a spa day always does the trick.

If you could meet any well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why?
Without a doubt, Leonardo da Vinci. After a trip to Rome and a very knowledgeable tour guide, [I think] his work is a legacy to our civilization.

Where is Chicago’s best-kept secret?
I don’t know how secret this is, but Chicago is the No. 1 place to be in the summer.

What do you love most about the industry?
No two days are the same. I have met people in every industry, and I find it fascinating that I get the opportunity to meet so many people with different backgrounds.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
I wouldn’t say there are any major difficulties in mortgage lending if you’ve built an experienced team around you, but just like oil is to a car, there is a daily intake required to stay-up-to-date on mortgage lending guidelines and law.

What are you binge-watching/reading/listening to lately?
I’ve been heavily invested in reading “The Art of Selling Your Business” by John Warrillow. What could be a better way to achieve my goals and exceed my customers’ expectations than by learning about simple hacks and tips to add more value to a business you own?

What’s your favorite meal in Chicago?
Very cliché if you live in Chicago, but pizza, of course. Shout out to Barnaby’s Pizza for providing one of the best!

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago?
Helmut Jahn’s James R. Thompson Center design. I can’t think of a more iconic building in Chicago.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on the job?
The Sandwich King used to make sandwiches for us at Guaranteed Rate before he was given the title “Sandwich King,” how cool and what an inspiration!

What’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?
I can be incredibly shy (when not talking about mortgages). I was asked recently to speak at my brother’s wedding and had 10 minutes to put something together – to say I wasn’t prepared was an understatement. My speech did go well, so maybe I’m changing.

What’s your favorite vacation spot and why?
Greece. Do a Google image search on Greece – what you see is what you get (and then some).

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the lending industry?
Be a sponge. Be the biggest sponge there ever was.

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