We had the good fortune of connecting with Jen Ragain and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jen, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
I’ve spent quite a bit of time spinning over the past year… literally spinning… on a stationary bike. One of my favorite instructors often reminds me (because of course she is speaking directly to me through my tiny phone screen, because we are best friends, only she doesn’t know it) that “we have made it through 100% of our bad days.” Sometimes we all need that reminder when we are in the thick of it, and over the past year a lot of us were over our heads in the thick of it, but here we are. We’re still here moving on (or pedaling in my case.)
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
You know it’s funny. The mortgage industry has a reputation of being cold and stuffy and rigorous. It’s easy to get lost in the details of the transaction, in the regulations and guidelines and documents. Our goal was to create a brand that humanizes the experience. Buying a home is a REALLY BIG DEAL. It is exciting and stressful and emotional. “Serendipity” means unexpected good fortune. Our hope is that our clients are surprised by our hands on approach. We are a small brokerage and we are with them from education to application to processing to closing. Sometimes everything works like clockwork and the loans seem to close themselves and sometimes they take a bit more attention, but we are there for it and we go through the ups and downs with our clients and you can bet that there is nothing sweeter than hugging our new home owners at the closing table. We got some… interesting criticism… when we unveiled our name and logo. Our name is somewhat feminine, and we dared to put pink (or blush rather) on our business cards. All of this was absolutely intentional. We are a women run brokerage and we are 100% proud of that. We also want our industry to be taken out of the sterile fidelity institutional light and to be seen as an industry of caring. Mortgage is so much more than a “numbers” game. We are in the people business, and we will never lose sight of that and hope to change the perception of the mortgage realm.
Is it easy? Oh no, it isn’t easy. We are in the business of solving unique problems, so no it isn’t easy, but the important things never are.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I have to say, I’m super excited about what is happening in Old Town Spring right now. Living that “East side” life I love the new options that are on “my side of the tracks” so to speak. Excalibur Brewery is one of our favorite haunts. We would have to hop over to Prohibition for a carefully crafted cocktail before grabbing dinner at Plane and Level, a fabulous new tapas place with great bites and lovely wine. Of course we would have to hop around some Houston breweries and catch an Astros game.
A day in Galveston would definitely make the itinerary! I’m totally Galveston proud! We would hit up The Black Pearl for some “buck a shuck” oysters. A stop at Galveston Island Brewery is a must to either listen to the live music or enjoy beer and yoga in the yard. Maybe hit the Tin Cups driving range for a spell and stop by La Kings for ice cream before heading home (coffee chip is my favorite).
After all of that activity some pampering at EFC Medspa would definitely be in order. I highly recommend the Hydrafacial!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Serendipity Lending Team would not exist if not for a few key people. I met my business partner (work wife, the brains for sure) Stefani Hale randomly at the first Woodlands Girls Night Out networking event in 2017. I saw her sitting at a table and thought, ‘oh, I bet she is a realtor,’ so I sat next to her. Well she introduced herself as a loan officer and I was a little bummed because I wanted to be the only cute LO in the room. By the time the meeting ended we had exchanged info and were toying with the idea of joining forces. So I definitely have to thank Thyra Clagg Mitchell for creating that chance meeting. As far as our brokerage goes, I’m just one small piece of the pie. Besides myself and Stefani we have Christy Reasor (in our Woodlands office) and Brooke Alvarez (in College Station). We work hard and play hard.
Last but not least, not by a long shot I have to mention my WGNO sorority Delta House sisters. I have the absolute joy of meeting with these women once a week for just an hour. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve navigated our businesses during an unprecedented pandemic together and have come out the other side resilient, motivated, and stronger than before. I’m so thankful for them.
Facebook: @serendiptlendingteam, @mortgagemavenragain
Heather Schneider Dark Roux Photography