From mortgage application to closing, Fannie Mae West, the President of OPTIST, Inc., offers a clear process. With a name meant for the mortgage industry, Fannie entered the market in 2007 after partnering with a real estate agent. After her brokerage closed, she worked in correspondent lending while searching for a new career path.
Fannie Mae opened OPTIST, Inc. in February 2021 after receiving the AIME Spark grant. “Follow your dreams, don’t be scared to make a change,” she says. “The good outweighs the bad. As long as you bring YOU to the table and what makes YOU successful, then you can make it.”
As mortgage rates increase, creating the right mortgage loan process is key. Fannie Mae heavily relies on technology, yet maintains a personal touch. Her tech stack includes a pre-approval app, ARIVE, and a CRM. In order to reduce the number of emails, she uses an online portal where customers can upload their documents.
When she receives a mortgage loan application, she schedules a consultation with the borrower. “The pre-approval has to be solid,” she states. Before sending the file to underwriting, Fannie Mae scrubs the file so that there are as few conditions as possible.
Once a clear to close has been achieved, Fannie Mae communicates clearly and simply with the borrower about the next steps. “Moving Day Meals” are part of her mortgage post-closing procedures, in which food is delivered on the day the borrower moves in. In addition, she mails closing gifts.
Fannie Mae, a veteran of the Army, is an active member of her local community. She belongs to a group for women business owners, serves on the board of a local non-profit organization, and owns a ministry titled Chosen to Live. She also offers financial workshops and seminars to first-time homebuyers.
Fannie Mae credits AIME with helping her achieve her goals. “I go into the [Facebook] groups and I get so much information. I was able to save a deal from the information I read in Brokers Are Better.”