In the mid-1990s, Barry Stoltze’s roommate gave him some fatherly advice: If you want to have a lucrative career, get back into mortgage lending. More than two decades later, it remains advice well taken. “After just a year originating in my early 20s, I left mortgage lending to work for an international airline so that I could see the world,” recalls Stoltze, vice president of residential lending and producing sales manager with Blueleaf Lending.
While his previous career allowed him to build skills he’d use later in lending, it was the Second City and ImprovOlympic courses he took for fun that proved to be instrumental in honing his abilities to listen, connect and be in the moment, all key to helping him pivot when the market throws a curveball. “When the COVID-19 outbreak hit, I stayed focused on work and got the message out about low rates to my database,” he says. “March and April of this year were the two biggest months of my career, with more than $21 million in closed loan volume.”
Over the past three years, Stoltze has had the privilege of representing Blueleaf Lending and its parent company, Midwest Community Bank, at the semiannual Lenders One conferences. “I’ve met, befriended and reconnected with industry professionals from coast to coast,” he says.
Knowing that mortgage lending can be confusing to even seasoned borrowers, he keeps the process simple and concise by breaking down the numbers for clients before closing, so they know exactly what to expect. “Over the last 20 years, I’ve learned not only my company’s strengths but also how to differentiate us from the competition,” he says. “I focus on who we are and what we can offer: great rates, great service and a simple process.”
A longtime Chicago Marathon and North Shore Half Marathon participant, Stoltze also volunteers with his family at a soup kitchen and supports several local charities.