Former banker Tony Lucio, Vice President of Residential Lending at Blueleaf Lending, is known for his friendly, engaging manner – and that very quality is what led a friend to suggest he move into a position as a loan officer. Now partners at their office in Naperville, Tony Lucio and friend Aaron Kowalski are just a few of the people thankful that Lucio made the jump – despite changing in the middle of the 2008 financial crisis some 15 years ago.
“My wife initially thought I was crazy going from a salary position to a 100 percent commission job,” Lucio says. “But I was driven because I really wanted to be in control of how much income I generate.” Beyond that, Lucio immediately felt drawn to the idea of serving a widely diverse client base, whether first-time buyers, self-employed, or retired individuals. By 2018, Lucio had achieved recognition as the Illinois Mortgage Bankers Association’s Best Mortgage Loan Officer in large banks, and clients were lauding his full-coverage, no-surprises style of walking them through the loan process.
“My clients often thank me for making this a painless process,” he says. “I have an encyclopedic knowledge of guidelines that helps me give them very fast answers and guidance.” With a results-focused approach and a remarkably friendly personality, Lucio beautifully maintains a balance between left brain and right brain. “I make it a point to be very accessible to my clients.”
Having opened Blueleaf’s new Naperville office last year and now enjoying a business that is largely driven by referrals from past clients, Realtors, and financial advisors, Lucio continues with the best practices that helped him grow his business early on, setting clear expectations and giving buyers exact lists of all the documentation needed.
“I get down to the nitty-gritty and close difficult deals that many lenders would take a pass on,” he says.