Vice President of Mortgage Lending
PERL Mortgage, Inc.
When Dustin Schaff started his career in lending more than 13 years ago, it was a calculated decision. He knew he could help people reach their aspirations of homeownership, and he decided to act. “I found a way to succeed through connecting with people and understanding not only their financial concerns, but how to overcome them,” he says. It is an approach, he says, that has carried him from his role as a loan officer with Ameriquest to where he is today – vice president of mortgage lending at PERL Mortgage and the recipient of numerous industry accolades, including three consecutive Five Star Awards (2014, 2015, 2016) from Chicago magazine and an appearance on the cover of Top Agent magazine in February.
“I get to help people every day,” Schaff says. “That inspires me.” The PERL VP has made a career of helping people, which is why he prefers working with first-time buyers, though he is experienced in handling all types of buyers. Schaff sees their difficulty negotiating the mortgage process as an opportunity for education. “First-time buyers can easily be led astray,” he says. “I help them become savvy buyers, which further alleviates the worry and anxiety common to the process.”
Schaff is aided by a team of professionals whose business strategy is predicated on three fundamental goals: make sure the client can comfortably afford their mortgage while saving for retirement; maintain clear and consistent communication throughout the process; and close on time. Having a shared mindset helps Schaff’s team at PERL stay focused and aligned in their efforts. It also reflects the overall approach Schaff takes with his team, which is “lead, don’t manage.” Through his example, Schaff reinforces habits of time management, service, communication, and a dedication to clients, as well as Realtor partnerships – habits that helped him close more than $56 million in 2015.
When he’s not in the office, Schaff is likely parceling his time between spending time with his wife, Basia, who he says stands behind him in every action he takes both professionally and personally. “She is my rock,” he says. “The industry can be demanding, but she always supports me with a smile on her face.” When he is not with Basia or working, he may be lounging around with his miniature pinscher Giselle, or at a track racing his car or motorcycle; Schaff laughingly calls this “happy place.”
Thanks to The Residences at New City for letting us use their beautiful location for our photo shoots.