A career in lending wasn’t always part of Robin Baran’s plans. A Realtor by trade, she changed careers after meeting a loan officer who worked for a lender that was creative in its approach to marketing.
“This was the early 2000’s and they were sponsoring fun events when literally everyone else was dropping off rate sheets and donuts,” she recalls. “I was intrigued and went to work for her. I saw lots of possibilities and potential.”
Baran, vice president of mortgage lending at Guaranteed Rate Affinity, brings more than a real estate sales background to lending. “My education was law enforcement, detective work and my work experience was sales promotion, marketing and advertising,” she explains, noting she had a young family when she became a Realtor and chose the occupation for its “flexible” hours. “All of these experiences have played into making me a unique and better loan officer today.”
Baran has learned to listen more, talk less and determine personality types. She knows that some clients require lots of details whereas others just want an over-the-top synopsis and to be shown where to sign the paperwork. “Earning their trust is huge…,” she says. “I need them to feel like I can put my 20+ years of experience to work for them, so they don’t need to google everything I say or feel like they have to be an expert in my field.”
She considers clients teammates and is available to them 24/7, especially when they have a question that would otherwise keep them up at night. She is also known for making a well-placed phone call, dropping off a gift card or delivering dinner when she knows a client has had a rough or disappointing day.
A member of the Professional Women’s Club of Chicago, GROW (Guaranteed Rate’s organization for women) and a former board member of Mortgage Girlfriends, she loves trying new hobbies and is a reading influencer—publishers send her pre-released books in exchange for honest reviews.
Guaranteed Rate, Inc. is a private corporation organized under the laws of the state of Delaware. It has no af iliation with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Veterans Af airs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture or any other government agency.