We had the good fortune of connecting with Karen Wood and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karen, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I’ve been in the mortgage industry for about 20 years, but always in a support role. 2020 was an incredibly intense year in the mortgage business and I was completely engulfed in work- work all day, every day, ALL THE TIME. After things started to settle some in 2021, I decided that without making a big, scary change, I would never be able to live the life I wanted to live. I felt like it was finally time for me to take a huge leap out of my comfort zone and work for myself instead of someone else. Once I finally took the plunge, I vowed to never work that hard for anyone but myself, ever again!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I help folks who want to buy a home secure their financing. As I mentioned earlier, I have 20 years in the business, in all aspects of operations; processing, closing, post-closing, auditing, training, etc. I’ve spent the last six years being a licensed loan partner (essentially a loan officer assistant) to one of my company’s top 10 loan officers.. Through that experience, I learned how to do a loan officer’s job from start to finish, even the parts I didn’t wanna.
I think what sets me apart from most others is that I’m a goofball.. I’m a professional, but I try not to keep things so serious and I think that makes me more approachable and less intimidating in an already overwhelming process. I always have my clients best interest at heart, regardless of the cost. If I mess up, I’ll admit it, and I always work hard to ensure that my clients understand (as much as they want of) the process, always get their questions answered, and know they can reach out to me with problems or questions even after the deal is done. I strive to build a lasting relationship with each of my clients so that they feel comfortable, at ease, and educated throughout the process.
For a long time I worried that my more alternative appearance (tattoos, etc) and youthful mindset would not allow people to take me seriously. Now that I’ve finally come to understand my own worth, I’m determined to be unapologetically me. My brand is who I am. It’s knowledgeable and kind, goofy and determined.. All of the great things that I am as a person, I bring to my business.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If I had a friend coming into town, I’d probably have to ask my other friends where the best places to eat are. I’ve been conditioned to familiarity with only the drive through establishments within a mile of my home (thanks kids!).
Really though, I’d suggest visiting a winery or Brewery- Bernhardt Winery and B-52 Brewing are two of my absolute favorites.. Maybe a half a day at each, depending on how much sampling we did. We’d take a daytrip (or maybe do an overnight) to Galveston to check out the strand and the beach, and eat some yummy seafood a Gaido’s. On Saturday, I’d take them to downtown Tomball to check out the farmers market on main street, then catch dinner at either Che Gaucho or Bonfire, depending on how fancy they wanted to be. On Sunday, if they have kids, I’d do a tour of my favorite local parks.. Cypress Park, Lakewood Crossing Park, Russ Poppe Family Park, or Kickerillo Mischer Preserve if they wanted to get more into nature. We’d definitely make a stop at Season’s Harvest for brunch or lunch- that’s probably my all time favorite restaurant right now. Probably the rest of the time would be spent swimming and relaxing, maybe taking in a movie or sampling some of the Woodlands more hip eateries.
I’m pretty low key nowadays. It would take a lot of planning on my part to keep someone totally busy for a full week!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to thank all of my friends, family and co-workers for support in the decision to go out on my own. I know it might sound trite, but I literally asked every single person who would listen if they thought this was a good idea and if I could do it, and everyone I asked was incredibly supportive and encouraging.
Nana with a Camera Photography