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TOM Talk Episode Nine – Employee Interview with Catalina Irizarry

We are so excited for TOM Talk Episode Nine! Our President, Michael Kuentz, interviews one of our expert Bilingual Loan Advisors – Catalina Irizarry. Watch below – transcript added for ADA. We hope you’ll share these videos with your friends and tune in to learn more about our company and employees!

Transcript (Speakers: Michael Kuentz – President, Catalina Irizarry – Bilingual Loan Advisor)


Michael Kuentz: So the question is donde te ves dentro de cinco anos? (Translation: So the question is, where do you see yourself in five years?)

Catalina Irizarry: Bueno, dentro de cinco anos en esta compania me veo Segundo los pasas de military branch me encataria se una manager de un branch algundia. Pero eso poco a poco. Primero ahora estoy conociendo, aprendendo. Pero aje quiero haga un futuro. (Translation: Well, in five years in this company, I see myself second to the military branch passes. I would love to be a manager of a branch somewhere. But that little by little. First, now I am knowing, learning. But here, I want to make a future.)

Words on screen; TOM TALK – Let’s talk with… Catalina Irizarry

Michael Kuentz: Hey, TOM family. Thank you so much for joining us for another edition of TOM Talk. It’s been a little while since we’ve had an opportunity to talk, but I’m so blessed to be joined by Catalina today. Catalina is one of our loan officers out in our Frisco branch. And if you have not had the opportunity to meet this young lady, I strongly encourage you to do so. She is a joy to be around. And just you know, just, she has a heart for this business, a heart for the Lord, and we’re blessed to have her on this team. So Catalina, welcome to TOM Talk.

Catalina Irizarry: Amen. Thank you. Thank you, Mike, for having me. It’s an honor to be here with you guys.

Michael Kuentz: Of course. Yeah. So I know what you do. But tell us what is it you do here and how long have you been with it?

Catalina Irizarry: Well, I’m, I’m on loan advice, a bilingual loan advisor here, the Frisco branch. And I’ve been with the company only for four months. This is actually my fourth month. So, and I’ve been, I’m learning a lot of things and meeting a lot of people and it’s just, I just love what I do. I love, I love to serve people, and that’s, that’s what we focus on.

Michael Kuentz: Yeah. Well, I could tell that you know, Catalina and I had a chance to take the Frisco branch to lunch a couple of months back, I guess it’s been now maybe a few months and I had the chance to get to know her a little bit and she has a warm and inviting personality, and I think she’s going to do some amazing things in this business. And so you’re in month four, but I can tell you that you’ve got a lot of great runway ahead of you. So I’m excited for you. So tell me how you got started in this business.

Catalina Irizarry: Well before joining the military, I was a commercial property manager down in Florida, and I’ve always been fascinated by the real estate market. So I felt God was calling me back to it. So I started like kind of doing some research on what the requirements were to be a loan officer. And one day I was having lunch with a good friend and I was sharing with him, you know this calling to go back to work. And all of a sudden he said it, talk to me about a faith-based amazing mortgage company that he works for. And I was just, I just, at that moment, I just felt I wanted to be part of it and then I just asked him, can you please get me an interview with the Frisco Branch Manager? Even though it wasn’t holding a license at that time, I just really wanted to talk to the manager. And just to make the story short. I went from my interview two weeks before taking the license test. I passed the test and I got hired. So it seems to God’s plans and timings are always perfect.

Michael Kuentz: I’ve said that a thousand times and I’ll say it a hundred thousand more, you know, God’s timing is perfect. And that is a God story. What you just told. You know, we, our timing is so imperfect, but His is so perfect. And the fact that you had the interview, you took the test, you got hired. That is a perfect plan. And I got to tell you, passing that test is quite an accomplishment in itself, so well done. And then now it’s about starting to build that business, right. It’s starting to get to build those relationships. So let’s fast forward a little bit. Let’s go deep, deep, deep into the future. And I’m going to ask you a question. How would you like to be remembered?

Catalina Irizarry: I would like to be remembered as a person that like always likes to serve others, as someone that listens to people’s needs and went that extra mile to fulfill those needs. I want my clients to say Catalina not only sold me an interest rate or a loan, she listened to me. She advised. And she helped me achieve the dream of homeownership. That’s how I would like to be remembered.

Michael Kuentz: That’s good. Well, cause that’s it. And I, believe that you know, the mortgage business can be very transactional and that is not what we’re about at Trinity Oaks Mortgage. Catalina, you personify by your answer exactly what we are, and that is we’re you know, we’re life-giving people. That’s what we want to do. We want to provide a life-giving opportunity for people to help them realize some of their own financial goals and in most cases their biggest financial goals. So it’s great. It’s great that your heart’s in that place. Thank you. So how has – now I know this, but the world doesn’t know this. Well, I’m sure some people do, but how has your previous military experience helped you in the mortgage industry? And thank you for your service.

Catalina Irizarry: Thank you, Michael. I think teamwork is one of the fundamental skills in the military. And since I got to join the Frisco team a few months ago there were all these great ideas coming from our Sales Concierge, George. He wanted to find a way for the community up here, up north to know who Trinity Oaks Mortgage was. So so I immediately say, okay, let’s do it. We’re a team. So we just started gathering our ideas, and getting everything, you know, all the ideas together. And that’s when we started engaging in social media, we started creating videos. And just trying to keep like on social media, like posting like daily stuff pictures, things like that. And that we just wanted the community to know who Trinity Oaks Mortgage is and that is what we are doing right now. And I believe every loan officer has their own clients, but we really all work together with the same mission in vision. and there are not individuals in the Trinity Oaks Frisco, but I think there’s a team and that’s who we are and what we have in, in our brnch.

Michael Kuentz: Well, I feel that. I’ve visited your page and I’ve seen the great work and yes, I have seen George’s touch on it, so that’s good. I love what Frisco’s building. I really do. Brent’s leadership and the team that he’s building and you guys. You guys are a family within the broad family. And it’s great to see because you are, uh, you’re planting the seeds and that’s the most important thing is you’re getting your name out there. You’re planting the seeds. And Trinity Oaks is going to be a staple in the Frisco market. I’m sure of it. So, so do you have a mentor?

Catalina Irizarry: I do. I think, I think for many of us, our great leader Brent Freeman is our mentor. It is truly a blessing to be part of his team. Uh, but I think, uh, I have to say that here in the Frisco branch, we all try to mentor each other. We all have different skills, different strengths. We have former teachers, we have former real estate agents, bankers, army veterans. So, we really work together to accomplish the mission of helping people find their way Home. And we always make ourselves available for each other. No matter the time of day. Brent is truly a blessing for all the wise, but we, we kind of help each other out.

Michael Kuentz: Yeah. You lean on each other. That’s good because, you know, no matter God blesses us with different skillsets and, uh, uh, it’s nice to be able to pull all of those blessings together and all those skillsets together because the end product is a good one. Uh, so that’s great. Now, Brent is certainly one of my favorites. I can’t tell you, I wish we could clone him because he, uh, does so much for, he does so much for the broad business. Uh, but I know he’s helping you all collectively grow every day. So it’s great to, uh, great to hear that. So, success is always something we like to talk about, right. Every, you know, there’s, it’s easy to talk about the good things, but what about maybe your biggest failure and what did you learn from your biggest failure?

Catalina Irizarry: Well, I think we all have had many failures in life. But one, my biggest failure was, I think hoping to start an IT career right after I got out of the military. I’ve always been fascinated by technology computers. So I completed my associate’s and bachelors degree in such a short period of time in computer technology. And I was just going to interview after interviews and applying for jobs and I never got hired in an IT job. So that was a failure for me. But, you know, Isaiah 55:8 says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” And so I learned to put all my plans into God’s hands, I learned that even when we don’t understand why things are not happening our way, we have to know there’s a bigger plan for us. And we have to let God be God and let Him fulfill His plans in my life. I mean, I honestly think that his plan was to get me into the mortgage industry, uh, to join this amazing company, not only to work, uh, selling loans, uh, but also to be able to serve and impact people with my faith in Christ.

Michael Kuentz: That’s good. Yes. So here’s the good news though, about your, your quest for technology and to be in that side of the business, guess what mortgage is fast becoming? And they’ve always taught mortgage has always talked about being a technology industry, but I firmly believe that where this business continues to go to, uh, is a very tech-centric, tech-savvy type business. Yeah. I don’t think it will ever necessarily replace relationships. I think that’s something that, uh, independent mortgage bankers, like Trinity Oaks Mortgage have a competitive advantage around because we have great people like you being able to build relationships, but you utilize the technology that, that exists out there to make that customer experience so much better. So I think the roots that you were planting will serve you very well because you understand how technology must play a part in this financial decision. So, and I can’t wait cause I’m so excited about the things we’re doing here to create a better customer experience, because we’re going to be able to meet customers no matter where they are. If they’re a baby boomer, if they’re a millennial, it doesn’t matter. We’re going to find a buying experience. That, uh, that background’s going to serve you?

Catalina Irizarry: I got a few customers, a few clients, not from the Dallas area. I have a customer who’s closing next month. He’s in Killeen, he’s on active duty. And when I first talked to him, he was like, okay. So do I have to go to Dallas to do all the paperwork for that application? I was like, no, we have an app. You can upload everything to the app. See the status of your loan. Like there is a lot of technology that is in our hands. And at the same time, I’ve had, uh, people that they don’t want to know anything about technology. It’s just, okay, now I’ll just meet you. We’ll meet be halfway. You gave me the paperwork, but we’ll make copies. That’s not an issue, you know, but when we have to take advantage of that technology,

Michael Kuentz: No, that’s great. Yeah. Meet them where they are. That’s what we are here to do. We’re here to meet them where they are. All right. So I got, uh, one final question and I’m going to do my very best and asking this question, and then I want you to do what you do best in terms of meeting our bilingual customers. So the question is donde te ves dentro de cinco anos? (Translation: Where do you see yourself in five years?)

Catalina Irizarry: Bueno, Dentro de cinco anos en esta compania me veo Segundo los pasas de military branch me encataria se una manager de un branch algundia. Pero eso poco a poco. Primero ahora estoy conociendo, aprendendo. Pero aje quiero gar un futuro. (Translation: Well, in five years in this company I see myself second to the military branch passes I would love to be a manager of a branch somewhere. But that little by little. First, now I am knowing, learning. But here I want to create a future.)

Michael Kuentz: We want to help you grow and develop into that. And we want to help you continue to learn and, and educate yourself through this business. We’re just so blessed to have you, uh, I know everybody on the other end of this today is blessed to hear your story. And so, Catalina, we appreciate you so much. Thank you for being a part of our team.

Catalina Irizarry: Muchas gracias ustedes. Thank you very much.

Michael Kuentz: Thank you. Have a great day.

Catalina Irizarry: You too.

Michael Kuentz: Bye

Catalina Irizarry: Bye.

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Here at Trinity Oaks Mortgage, our mission is to help you find your way Home! When dealing with your home financing, we are not only working with one of your largest personal financial investments; we also are handling one of your biggest dreams. Since we work with matters so close to the heart, we serve you from ours. Contact one of our loan advisors today – click here.

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