Senior Vice President of Mortgage Lending/Branch Manager
After nearly three decades as a mortgage originator, Tom Lavallee knows what it takes to be successful in the industry. “Coming right out of college and into the mortgage industry 27 years ago, I have been a part of thousands of loan scenarios, real estate transactions and appraisals. That experience has allowed me to develop a sophisticated sense of know-how and insight,” he says. Working with a broad spectrum of clients that ranges from first-time buyers to downsizing retirees, Lavallee has firmly established himself as a leader in home financing. That fact was made evident in 2009 when the Scotsman Guide named him the No. 1 loan officer in the U.S.
A finance graduate of Northern Illinois University, Lavallee always knew that he wanted to pursue a career in the sector. Mortgage lending particularly resonated with him because he identified the characteristics necessary for industry success – people skills, problem solving talent and self-direction – within himself. “I knew that these were qualities that I possess, and I really enjoy working with people one-on-one, so lending was the ideal match for me both professionally and personally.” He willingly shares what he has learned over the years with his clients so that they, too, are highly knowledgeable about the lending process.
Lavallee attributes much of his success to the stellar team of professionals who support him. In fact, some of them have worked with him for more than 20 years. “I’m lucky to have the best team in the industry,” he expresses, adding that clients frequently praise them for their skill and talent. In addition, Lavallee makes himself readily available to his clients, whether a Realtor needing a pre- approval or an individual with refinancing questions. “I always pick up my phone,” he explains. The combination of what he and his team offer is the key reason that they can confidently assure clients that their financing will be in place to ensure a smooth closing. “My team and I make certain to answer any and all questions so that we fulfill our clients’ needs and wants.”
The fact that past clients refer their family and friends to him reaffirms Lavallee’s unparalleled delivery of service. He thanks Guaranteed Rate for the supportive culture that the company fosters to help its loan originators thrive. Its competitive spirit and dedicated people continuously motivate him. “I don’t think there’s a financing scenario that I haven’t seen over the years, but Guaranteed Rate creates an environment that allows me to service an enormously broad spectrum of mortgage transactions, and that’s something I appreciate.”