His work as a trader at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange instilled the competitive drive that Dean Vlamis would parlay into a 21-year career in mortgage lending.
Vlamis, who is a senior vice president at Guaranteed Rate, says that by 2000, his job as a trader was about to be replaced by technology, and he needed to reinvent himself. “Chicago’s trading floors were transitioning to computerized trading, and I knew my days were numbered,” Vlamis recalls. “I was always driven and liked the idea of the immediate reward of doing well from trading. That drive and competitiveness has helped me in real estate.”
That determination means his clients are informed through every step of the mortgage-lending process, Vlamis says. “I can adjust to my clients’ needs and help them through the process, but most importantly, I know my product and the guidelines inside out,” he notes.
His dedication has earned him the title of Top 200 producer by Scotsman Guide Magazine (based on volume) for the last 13 years running. Vlamis says his greatest accomplishment, though, is achieving $260 million in volume while under pandemic lockdown and “still maintaining a high level of service, without actually seeing anyone in person.”
Whether it’s reinventing himself or pivoting to meet clients’ needs during the pandemic, Vlamis navigates change the same way he does with potential roadblocks in the mortgage lending business. He says his edge over the competition comes from his being empathic toward his clients. Whether it’s a $100,000 loan or a $1 million loan, Vlamis approaches every deal with the same high level of service — and that’s good for business, he says.
“I look at my business as a reflection on me, not on how much I can make,” he explains, noting that he encourages clients to ask questions and ensures they are aware of all the costs of transaction up front. “My clients know that I have their best interest in mind, and that goes a long way.”
Vlamis’ greatest hobby aside from writing and guitar is his family — his wife Neena, who owns her own mortgage company, his three kids, Michael, Kosta and Eleni, and his two dogs, Zorba and Bindhi. “I absolutely love nothing more than being with them,” he says.
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.