For Brian Jessen, going into mortgage lending was not something he had planned. Jessen, senior vice president of residential lending with Guaranteed Rate Inc., intended to become an investment banker until the stock market crashed in 1987 and brought down his job opportunities with it.
“I ended up in a rotational training program at Midwestern Bank, selecting a career in private banking and mortgage lending to help people, rather than large corporations,” recounts Jessen. He now originates loans and runs a lending branch in Deerfield with a team of sales assistants, processing teammates and closing members. He’s worked in lending for a total of 31 years.
“The biggest compliment is when referral partners and clients refer family members, friends and co-workers to me,” says Jessen. His experience working for his father’s architectural practice during high school and college gave him a lasting competitive edge. “I understand the details and steps for homebuilding and home renovations projects, to advise clients more thoroughly than most mortgage professionals,” he remarks. In addition, his background in finance and economics informs his precise understanding of the economy and how it may affect his client’s housing, mortgage financing and employment situations.
Jessen knows that sometimes the best advice is not even to get a mortgage loan; maybe the person should pay cash, borrow from a retirement plan, borrow against their investment assets or perhaps wait awhile to become adequately prepared, he says. In that case, Jessen and his team help them address any credit issues, create a plan to save money for a down payment and make sure they understand that the cost of owning a home goes beyond a mortgage and includes repairs, maintenance, real estate taxes and insurance. “To become a trusted advisor, you must always have your clients’ best interests in mind,” he notes.
Outside of work, Jessen enjoys biking, golfing, mentoring young professionals, reading and volunteering in the community.
Guaranteed Rate, Inc. is a private corporation organized under the laws of the state of Delaware. It has no affiliation with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture or any other government agency.