1. What was your very first job?
I have an educational background in geology and during college I was hired to update drilling activity on subsurface maps. Post-graduation, I was employed as an exploration geologist in West Texas which included mapping the subsurface of an area in search for a geologic trap, potentially holding oil reserves. Once it was designated a drill site, I spent time on oil rigs viewing samples of the bits of rocks being pumped to the surface under a microscope and determining when to stop and test for oil reserves. Talk about a “man’s business”! Try spending a little time on an oil rig with a group of roughnecks and drillers as a woman in her early 20’s, or at any age!
I realized quickly that it takes a serious team effort to drill a successful well and I respected the fact that I could never do their job of throwing the chains and handling the extremely heavy joints of pipe needed to keep a drilling rig operational. I needed that crew. They learned to respect me, as well. I proved that I knew what I was doing and was confident in directing the activity I oversaw. It was very rewarding to work with the crew as a team and drill a successful well. I found that one of the most satisfying aspects of exploration was in “selling the prospect or idea” of drilling a well and getting partners to take a financial partnership position in the project.
Later in my career, I got my securities license, Series 7 and 63, and for 7 years I raised capital from Accredited Investors through many of the Broker Dealers across the country for various types of Oil and Gas Funds, Mineral Funds, Debt Funds and Development projects. I spent 6 months raising capital for a large Class A and B Multifamily apartment complex fund. The Fund Managers asked me to help them acquire assets for their funds, since I had lived in West Texas for many years. In 2012, I started my own business so that I could help Fund Managers acquire assets for various funds.
2. How many years have you been in Private Lending and why did you enter this field?
The cycles of the oil and gas industry are typically not represented on a gentle curve. The price of oil can take a plunge and the recovery period can take years to recover. I have experienced more than one of these extreme changes in the price of oil and gas over my career and have worked in other industries during those times. The price of oil dropped from over $100 to around $35 at the end of 2014. Although there was a great deal of interest in both selling assets and acquiring assets, the delta between pricing expectations made my job much more difficult.
In 2017, a friend called because the Private Lender she was working for was interested in increasing his Family Office investor group. They already had the Private Placement Memorandum in place. She asked if I was interested in speaking with the owner of the company about raising capital for Private Lending. I was familiar with debt funds but needed to understand the private lending industry. We met and I was hired to bring in additional private investors. That job transitioned into working with their team to start a Correspondent Lending program and into working directly with other experienced direct borrowers.
3. What is your current role and how does that affect your company at large?
I came on board with Residential Capital Partners in August of 2020, during COVID, in the role of Business Development. I knew that the company was well capitalized and that all their principals had been in various aspects of the Real Estate business their entire careers. I also knew that ResCap is a balance sheet lender and could and did make the decision to lend all the way through COVID. ResCap had also added DSCR loans to their platform and they were ready to add resources to build that division of their business. It seemed like a good group to team up with as my next step in this industry. It has been 3 years now, and it has been a very positive experience which has led to a good deal of personal and professional growth. Great decision!
4. How have you seen your company grow in spite of or because of current market conditions?
Because ResCap is a direct private lender for our Fix and Flip short-term loans, we have had the ability to continue lending through downturns in this industry, through COVID and during the recent rate increases by the Federal Reserve. Since we do not sell our loans, we did not need to pause our lending until Wall Street determined at what rate they would be buying real estate investment property loans. ResCap has experienced a period of growth during the turbulent market conditions because of this.
5. What are some of your goals for 2023 and beyond?
My personal plan for this year is to continue adjusting to our everchanging lending environment as needed and to meeting our clients’ needs in this uncertain time. Our DSCR loan program has seen a good deal of growth and we plan to take steps to continue building that program this year. COMPANY GOALS: Continue to serve our customers while growing our business.
6. What does success look like for you?
I have a “built in” need to help others reach their goals. If my job does not fulfill that need, I have taken on volunteer jobs that require major commitments, including chairing the annual fundraiser for the Heart Association, chairing the fundraising to build a Ronald McDonald house and a Women’s shelter in Abilene. Assisting and advising direct borrowers who are building their real estate portfolios or acquiring, rehabbing, and selling properties satisfies that “helping others reach their goal” need for me. Helping our borrowers grow theirbusinesses naturally grows bothofour companies!
7. What is something most people don’t know about you or your company?
About our company: ResCap was started during the global financial crisis as the principals were looking to buy distressed mortgage debt. Seeing the void of credit available to the SFR investors at that time, they entrepreneurially started lending into the SFR space and have grown every year since opening their doors. About me: in one of the oil and gas downturns, I worked as the Weather Reporter at the NBC station in Abilene, Texas for a year.
8. What steps are you or your company taking today to make an impact on the industry?
We believe success is measured one good loan and one good investment at a time. If we can serve our customers from a relationship-based perspective, we believe we can make a positive impact on the industry one transaction at a time. We are also giving back to the industry through our leadership roles at AAPL and NPLA.
I try to be the best at information gathering as possible. I talk to investors nationwide every day and encourage them to share their successes and what is challenging them in their markets. They know they can call me to discuss any issues they are facing and ask for tips that I’ve heard from others in similar situations. I don’t know how much it impacts the overall industry; but it is impactful to the success of individuals with whom I speak.
9. What piece of advice did you personally receive early in your career that has helped shaped the decisions you’ve made?
I was fortunate to have several mentors along the way who encouraged me to become involved in any industry even if it was a predominately male industry: oil and gas, securities, and private lending. The first mentor showed up while I was in college. Without his support, I don’t know if I would have become a geologist. He was a geologist in town and heard that I was taking a geology class and invited me to visit their office. (There were no female geologists working in the field in that part of West Texas at that time). His was a family business and they invited me to attend geologic professional events with them and encouraged me to take a second class, and a third, etc. I remained close to his family throughout my career.
10. How has the industry’s acceptance or perception of women changed since you entered the field?
When I entered the private lending business in 2017, it did not occur to me that being a woman in this industry would be an obstacle, I just needed to earn a place here. As a newcomer in any industry, it takes time to earn respect and have a voice. But, now that I have been involved in private lending for almost 6 years, I realize that the number of women who are participating in conferences has increased and that the professional organizations in our industry are making a point of being more diversified and inclusive.
11. Tell us about a person or organization you admire. How have they made an important impact on you, the industry, or the world?
I appreciate my first employer in this industry. He built and operated a business of 350+ employees nationwide, but always had an ear for me when I had a question or a new idea to run past him. I was completely new in the industry, but he treated me with respect. I appreciate Leonard Rosen for founding the National Private Lenders Association (with the goal of encouraging changes in the private lending business that would help create a more professional industry) and for calling me early in the founding of the group to invite me to become a member. Leonard also suggested that I consider chairing a committee in the NPLA because he was interested in including more women in key roles of leadership in the industry.
12. If you had a clean slate to start over and do anything you wanted to do, what would that be?
It depends on how far back we go. Regarding getting involved in the private lending business, I would have become involved in it earlier in my career. One thing I have learned in life is that if someone is approaching you to “help” them with something, they may have seen something in you that you have not yet seen in yourself. You should at least listen to what they are suggesting. I said, “No, that’s not what I do” to raising funds in the securities world when I was approached to help a Fund Manager. I agreed to give it a try and raised 80 MM of his 100 MM goal in the first year. I said, “No, that’s not what I do” for a year to helping the Fund Manager acquire assets for his Fund. I finally agreed, found it to be the perfect match for me and started my own business. These experiences also taught me to watch for traits in others that I see as talents and talk to them about those traits.
13. What is the best advice you could give someone thinking about making a leap into Private Lending?
For a woman thinking of entering the Private Lending business, I would say that they will find opportunity and support from others who will be willing to mentor them along their journey.