“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” –Art Williams
Kelly Katalinas, Branch Manager and Certified Military Mortgage Specialist at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, begins each day with gratitude. The above statement is a framed picture sitting over her desk, reminding her each day that no matter what the day brings, in the end, it will all be worth it. After over three decades of originating home loans and managing teams of loan originators in the Washington, D.C. Metro area, Kelly is as thankful as she’s ever been for the life she lives, and the work that she does.
Kelly graduated from James Madison University in 1985 with a BBA degree in business management with a minor in economics. “At that time, interest rates were sitting around 12 percent for home loans and had recently fallen to about 8.5 percent,” Kelly reflects. The lending market was quite different than what we see today.
“In 1986, I met a woman in the mortgage industry, who assisted a friend with a home purchase,” Kelly recalls. “She and I talked for some time about her profession as a mortgage loan officer, and the next thing I knew, I was meeting with her manager. I began my career in mortgage banking on April 1, 1986.”
In the past 30-plus years, Kelly has built her reputation as a straight shooter — the kind of loan officer who will not only hand her clients the truth but is always willing to listen with patience and will work diligently to find the best solutions.
“I try to be a true partner in the real estate transaction. Working together, we need to provide an excellent experience for all parties involved in the transaction. I take responsibility for my actions, and the actions of all members on my team, from loan application to loan closing. We can make a difference in someone’s life, with every client we serve, and we need to serve them well.”
Kelly has always been extremely passionate about educating homebuyers. She sees herself as a consultant in the home-buying process and takes pride in treating others as she would like to be treated — with high integrity, respect, and fairness. “I love the name of my company, Fairway, because individually and as a team we embrace a culture of treating our valued customers and clients, as well as teammates, with fairness.”
Kelly knows as well as anyone that the real estate and mortgage industry is continually changing. As we look at 2020 and into 2021, the industry has seen quite a bit of change, as it adapts to the unique circumstances of the pandemic. However, rather than acting as a hindrance, the shifting nature of the real estate market inspires Kelly to keep learning and growing.
“We have to continually change and adapt to industry trends and challenge ourselves daily, especially with circumstances that are beyond our control,” says Kelly. “Over the course of my long career, I have tried and failed at many things, time and again, but I keep trying. There is always room for growth, and always an opportunity to learn from others and improve.”
Kelly and her husband Michael (who is also a loan officer) have been happily married for 30-plus years, and have two children, Christopher (26) and Jaclyn (22). They love to travel and spend time at their vacation home in Topsail Island, North Carolina.
“I love to spend time with my family,” Kelly says. “As my children have gotten older, I see them less frequently, so when I can spend time with them, those moments are most special to me. As my husband and I are both in mortgage lending, our work hours are often hectic, so when we are together, it’s just nice to take a breath and relax. Michael continues to make me smile daily, so those moments are very special.”
Perhaps Kelly’s biggest asset is her ability to understand the importance of a seamless real estate transaction. “My team and I go to great lengths to effectively communicate with all parties often throughout the process. We want to be sure our clients are comfortable with their financing choices, as we understand they might only go through the home-buying process a few times in their lives. Buying a home is a special time, and we never forget that.”
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation is a full-service mortgage lending company. Their experienced staff offers expertise in all areas of mortgage lending, including purchases, refinances, renovation, and reverse mortgages. They are licensed in all 50 states and are currently the fifth largest lender in the United States in overall volume funded through 2019. Year 2020 statistics showed them as number 2 in Purchase Volume in the U.S. For more information visit www.kellykatalinas.com.