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Originator Draws on Coaching Skills

Originator Christiane Cloutier talks about gymnastics career

July 12, 2006


photo of Paula Parisot
Paula Parisot
photo of Christiane Cloutier
Christiane Cloutier

A San Francisco mortgage originator has used her career in gymnastics to prepare her for success in real estate finance.

"Sports training does culture a discipline," Christiane Cloutier told MortgageDaily.com.

Competing at the national level, Cloutier said she trained a minimum of three to four hours a day, giving up all of her social time for her real passion -- gymnastics. As the end of her career approached, she said, she began coaching when at the age of 19.

"There is a very limited time for women to compete," she explained.

It was then, she said she began to discover the best way to coach was to work individually with and build on the strengths of her students to get the best results. She was given a team of her own to coach and took them also to national competition, focusing on each of the student's best attributes.

"You highlight the talent and make the best of it," Cloutier said.

Cloutier, an originator for Issaquah, Wash.-based Bicoastal Lending Group, said that working with applicants to find the best loan program that fits their situation is similar to coaching her students, she focuses on the individual's needs.

"I like helping the client find what really works for them," Cloutier said. "I am very detailed oriented; I like working with contracts and different clients."

Cloutier, who has a background in specialized accounting, currently works full-time as a grants administrator for a nonprofit organization while working part-time for Bicoastal.

For now, Cloutier said she is working primarily by word-of-mouth with minimal advertising.

"I'm transitioning out of a full-time job," Cloutier said. "I have a huge personal network to tap into; I'm still in the beginnings."

She said that Bicoastal works with so many different lenders that offer flexible loan programs she anticipates working with applicants of all kinds. Her monthly volume has been ranging from $500,000 to $1 million, she said.

Her approach to originating, she said, is simple -- no pressure and complete empathy for her clients.

"The profits come when they come," she said. "The most important thing is to help them get through what they are going through; it's what works best for that person at the time."

Paula Parisot is a MortgageDaily.com feature reporter and a blogger at CloserBlog.com who has also worked in the mortgage industry.

e-mail Paula at: [email protected]

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