The mortgage industry has undergone several big developments in the past decade in terms, of technology, service, and price which has caused the industry to grow on a major scale. Today when the whole world is struck by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has made the regulators even more open to these self-service tools, e-closing technology, and digitization due to social distancing norms. Having so many developments and tools to facilitate a smooth process and effortless closing, the competition in the industry is becoming cut-throat with every passing day. But having all the tools, and the right price is still not enough to become an industry leader.
In this feature, we are pleased to introduce Neena Vlamis, the Founder and President of A and N Mortgage Services, a rapidly growing and leading firm in the mortgage industry with an A+ business bureau rating since its establishment and a client base in 8 of the United States. Being a dyed-in-the-wool problem solver, Neena and her team strive to find the perfect mortgage solution for their clients based on their requirements and capacity. But what really differentiates A and N Mortgage Services from its competitors is the way Neena approaches her purpose and guides her team towards it.
“I could talk about products, pricing, and turn times all day. And don’t get me wrong rates and programs and industry insights are the backbones of our amazing services. But A and N’s mortgages are more than that,” says Neena. “We are building relationships around personal finance and homes – two of the most intimate and vulnerable things for any human being. Yes, A and N is competitive in a very strong market. Yes, A and N quickly closes loans efficiently and effectively. But that is not our purpose. Our purpose is relationship building. Our mission to help people get into homes that they can be proud of. Our goal is to help build our home owner’s wealth for themselves and their family.”
“Our purpose is relationship building. Our mission to help people get into homes that they can be proud of. Our goal is to help build our home owner’s wealth for themselves and their family.”
Making of a Fierce Leader
Being in business for over 18 years, Neena has gained tremendous experience and expertise in the field, but her passion and goal were instilled long before while she was still growing up. Talking about her biggest motivator, her father who had originally migrated from India and worked exceptionally to create a secure and comfortable life for his family, Neena shares, “He always taught my brother and me that to build wealth was a gift. Wealth has the potential to give you fear or give you freedom. And we had a choice. I chose freedom. My brother and I helped him manage rental properties in junior high school, which wasn’t always how I wanted to spend my weekends. But in retrospect, I’m very grateful.” Neena’s mother also worked in the mortgage industry and it was her struggle in this line of work, that inspired her to look for solutions and make a difference. She shares, “My mom actually works at A and N now and it’s great to see her every day.”
“Well, we all know that up until 1975 a woman couldn’t even sign a lease on a car or get a credit card without a male co-signer. And here I am, with a billion-dollar book of business a successful mortgage company in 8 states.”
Having confidence is one thing but staying positive in the face of any adversity is a lesser found strength in most people. But for Neena, that’s the way she does life. Speaking of it, she chuckles and says, “I received a brain scan once and the doctor said that I had one of the “happiest brains” he’s ever seen. One, I love that (but of course I do, I have a happy brain.) Two, I am an optimist. I see the light in even the darkest of moments. So, when I encounter sexism or racism – blatant or microaggressions – I move forward. My goal is to change the world with mortgages. I stay focused, I do the work, I make the change I want to see in this world through the work. Three, when I trust too much or don’t see the situation as it is, I rely on my core group to let me know. It always helps to have other female leaders in your corner. Simply to talk about issues and realize you’re not alone.”
When asked, if there’s anything at all that makes her paranoid, she laughs and answers, “Um…. I am paranoid about snakes. I watched Indiana Jones as a kid and I haven’t like snakes ever since!”
Creating what you Believe
Located in Chicago on the corner of Elston and Armitage, A and N Mortgage Services’ main focus is to never leave their customers’ side in any phase of the process. For them, security and trust are the most important factors when handling any relationship and contact. Neena exclaims, “That’s why I’ve built A and N Mortgage to be a bedrock in Chicago. For our clients, we provide a tightly bound and solid staff that will ease the potentially stressful and oftentimes overwhelming storm that can be the mortgage process. For our industry partners, A and N is a company with answers, support, and transparency. For our sales staff, A and N is a place where you can learn, grow, take risks, and build your business with the best pricing and products in the Midwest.”
Having a foundation so strong, there’s hardly anything that makes Neena unsettled or uneasy even for a moment. Even during one of the busiest seasons, while she was pregnant with her youngest child, she had a bed installed in the office to get bed rest as well as support the organization like a rock. Her enthusiasm, dedication, wisdom, and a bit of humor is the lifeline behind the 5-star rated mortgage firm with so many happy clients. But as a huge promoter of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Neena is most keen to work women and minority groups who often find it difficult to break through the proverbial glass ceiling. As one of the top mortgage consultants in the area, and a leading entrepreneur, here’s the one thing she would like to say to women who want to succeed. “Well, we all know that up until 1975 a woman couldn’t even sign a lease on a car or get a credit card without a male co-signer. And here I am, with a billion-dollar book of business a successful mortgage company in 8 states,” says Neena.
Going ahead, Neena has a simple straight forward plan for her organization. She says, “We’ve come a long way, and we have a long way to go.”
THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT. This is not a commitment to lend. A and N Mortgage Services, Inc. is an Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee and Equal Housing Lender. 1945 N. Elston Ave. Chicago, IL 60642 p: 773.305.LOAN (5626) ANmtg.com NMLS No. 19291 IL MB.0006638. Serving IL, IN, IA, FL, MI, MN, WI, TX. Texas Recovery Fund. Offer of credit subject to credit approval. Neena Vlamis NMLS No. 37370. For licensing information, visit https://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org and https://www.anmtg.com/company-info/licensing/.