Working in the mortgage broker business started out for me, because of a lateral move from one department in a bank to another. Learning the details of the mortgage business, or “the game”, as it is more affectionately called, can take years and exposure to hundreds of deals and a myriad scenario that can take some real wrangling to untangle. It’s not a business that’s very forgiving. You could be moving billions one day, and dealing with some small property worth millions the next. It always fascinated me and I seemed to have a knack for understanding the complexities. Helping people achieve their goal of owning commercial property never gets old. Watching the fulfillment of a dream still gives a broker a rush that nothing else equals. Some people really have to struggle to get their paperwork and financials together. During this process, you have to be a task master, cheerleader, and coach. You find yourself telling prospective buyers, “Yes, you have to have financial statements going back this far.” And “No, they won’t consider the loan without a business plan.” In addition to all that, I have my own life to steer.
It wasn’t until I took an Ancestry DNA test that I began to understand why I got such a rush from this business. I took the test and it revealed new information no one in my family had ever talked about before. Apparently, I had a great-great-grandfather who owned a large tract of land in Virginia. After the Civil War, he used it to leverage other pieces of property around him, and actually made enough money to develop a small community that had a church, grist mill, a commissary, a school he built himself, and houses he built and sold as new people moved into the area. He taught his children to be honest and thrifty, and sent all 5 of his girls to college.
Thrift was always a watchword in our family. I even used a Groupon to buy the DNA test and got a 14-day free trial in the bargain. I’ve use my membership to scour their vast collection of military records, ship manifests, phone books and obituaries that contain information and family history that goes back over 250 years. Scientist say you can account for some of the creativity and complex thinking by looking at your family tree. These traits get so wired into areas of the brain that they are eventually passed down through DNA. Finding that connection helped me understand why I love the game. I just hope I can be as good as he was at it.