Blending a passion for service and an inclination for finance, Mark Bechtold, a senior residential lender at Wintrust Mortgage, entered the industry after graduating from the University of Kansas. As a 21-year-old, he was green but ambitious — confident it was the right decision. Two decades later, he is happy to have proven himself right.
“I decided to become a loan officer to work with people on what, for many, will be the most important and emotional financial transaction of their lives,” he says, adding that the work is “very rewarding.”
Bechtold specializes in construction lending, specifically one-time close loan products used to finance construction projects for clients hoping to build a new home, tear down an existing home and build new, or rehab an existing home.
However, despite his expertise in this specialty and his genuine interest in the custom homebuilding process, Bechtold says he’s not in the business of saying no to a client. “I love people and collaboration, so I never turn away a client applying for a mortgage. I work very hard to find a solution for each client’s needs.”
“The documentation requirements for obtaining a mortgage loan are robust,” he says, which is why his strategy is proactive, starting from the initial conversation. Bechtold says that from the get-go, he provides his clients with a detailed list of what documentation will be needed, and it helps avoid the burden of having to return to the client with additional information requests.
As a senior lender, Bechtold has evolved into more than just a loan officer; he’s also a mentor. “I have hired and trained dozens of new loan officers,” he says. From his clients to his officers, he’s using his knowledge and experience to help change the face of the industry and improve the overall process.