We had the good fortune of connecting with Lerea Mares and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lerea, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I believe the biggest transformations come from taking a risk or pursuing change. I took a risk to leave my hometown of Pueblo, to move to Denver 7 years ago. Was I ready to be on my own? Not really. Did I have money? No. This was a change that involved risk. I was moving to a new city to pursue a new job on my own at 22.
What did I gain from taking this risk and making a change? Everything. I learned to independently support myself. I learned to budget. What started out as a job to get me out of my hometown, led me to a flourishing career as a lender. I made new friends and surrounded myself with people that were better than me.
Fast forward 7 years later… I worked my way from Management Trainee to Vice President, before deciding to leave a great career with a great company. I bought my first house. I now have one long-term rental property and one short-term rental property. I was given an opportunity to move back home and open my own mortgage office under another great mortgage company.
Take the risk. Make the change.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am most excited about the opening of my new office location in the Vinewood Executive Office Suites located off Vinewood and Northern in Pueblo, Colorado. When I first started in this profession, I had to be a teller, new account representative, and sit in the desk closest to the door to greet clients entering the bank. The role of a loan officer is not easy.
Rules and regulations are constantly changing, and new programs are always rolling out. Never stop learning, regardless of your industry. Educating yourself and others will always benefit you and your clients. I sign-up for webinars, attend workshops, listen to podcasts and audiobooks, and ask questions, daily.
Comparing yourself to others is inevitable when in any sales position. What are they doing that I’m not? What can I do to set myself apart? If you’re in sales, you’ve been there. Be authentic and true to yourself. People do business with people they like and trust.
I set myself apart by educating my clients. I ensure my clients understand their options and look at their full financial picture. I am not an order taker. Together, we set goals and come up with a plan to achieve those goals.
Being in sales is not easy.
How do I generate more business? Networking. I attend events and build relationships. You will often find me on the softball field (or kickball field), at a chamber event, or wherever else there’s people!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Summertime in Colorado!

I love eating at local restaurants and supporting small businesses.

Day 1- Pueblo Cuisine: Aunty Bevs for breakfast, Mill Stop (Mares family owned and operated) for lunch, and Coors Tavern (famous slopper with a tomato beer) for dinner. If we felt like an Italian twist, a Passkey special would hit the spot (Italian grinder with the best peppers!)
Day 2- Bishop’s Castle – See the inspiring castle built entirely by one man in Rye, Colorado.
Day 3- Manitou Incline -The most challenging hike in Manitou Springs. 2744 steps climb 2000 ft. in elevation in under one mile. Plan on 2+ hours for this 4.5 mile round-trip hike.
Day 4- Red Rocks Concert!
Day 5- Rockies game!
Day 6- Lake Dillon- Spend the day on the lake with a pontoon boat and paddleboards. Catch a concert at the Dillon Amphitheatre
Day 7- Shopping in Downtown Breckenridge

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
It takes a village. When it comes to life or work, I believe in this statement whole heartedly. I have the most supportive friends and family I could ask for. They have cheered me on and believed in me often times more than I have believed in myself.
We spend so much time at work, often more time than we spend with our families. Throughout my career, I’ve had many managers and mentors. There’s always a boss or mentor that sticks out more than others. She challenged me, trusted me, and always encouraged a work-life balance. Thank you Megan MacHatton, Senior Vice President at FirstBank.
Thank you to Karla Kyte with Cross Country Mortgage for taking a chance on me. Without her, I wouldn’t be back home near my family, continuing my career as a local lender.

Image credit: David Armenta @davidtookitco

Website: https://crosscountrymortgage.com/lerea-mares/

Instagram: lerea_thelender

Twitter: lerea_mares

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lerea.mares.homeloans/

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