While it can be difficult to rise above the competition in the real estate business, Dan Pagano says there are two choices: Eliminate it or align with it. “I didn’t rise above my competition, I play in a space where they simply aren’t,” he says. “When you can’t get the specialty product anywhere else—you get it from me. As an example, I am federally chartered and can lend in all 50 states.” Pagano’s niche approach doesn’t stop there, he is also the leading lender at Wintrust in construction permanent business and rehab loans.
The Chicago mortgage broker also aligns with friends in the industry, creating connections and supporting business his peers can’t do as an additional lending resource. “I am very grateful for the relationships I have in the industry,” Pagano says. “I’m also glad to be at a point where I can choose who I work with—I want to align myself with kind, good-hearted and gracious referral partners, and do.”
Pagano additionally serves as a branch manager for Wintrust Mortgage, mentoring and guiding loan officers within his team and organization. “As a branch manager, it is always a balance between support and personal production,” Pagano says. “My goal is to always support my team and model the way to success for those who are looking to grow.”
In 2022, Pagano was given Scotsman Guide’s Top Originator award, in addition to earning multiple Wintrust Mortgage Presidents Club awards. He says the key to his success is his ability to foster multiple streams in which to drive business: “Most lenders strictly rely on Realtor referrals—I have 11 more lanes.”
Pagano has recently formed his own networking group called R.E.A.L., which stands for Refer, Educate, Align and Learn. The group connects seasoned professionals in the real estate sphere who are respected in their field.