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Inside the Lenders Studio: Kristi Piatz | Summit Mortgage

May 13, 2021


Welcome to another installment of Inside the Lenders’ Studio, where we get to know top-producing lenders from their start in the industry through their rise to the top.

Our latest guest is Kristi Piatz, a senior mortgage advisor at Summit Mortgage. Since 1992, Minnesota-based Summit Mortgage has been providing personalized service to homebuyers from application to post-close. Piatz serves clients in the Minneapolis–St. Paul metropolitan area.

Top of Mind Networks:

How did you get started in mortgage banking?

Kristi Piatz:

My career began in healthcare sales, where I specialized in hearing aids. I worked to find solutions for those with hearing impairments, provided hearing aids and testing. But something was always missing. After refinancing my home and doing a lot of research, I decided I wanted to be a mortgage consultant. I got my start in the mortgage industry as a loan officer assistant 19 years ago and worked my way up.

Top of Mind Networks:

What motivates you?

KP:

As goofy as it may sound, I thrive off stress and craziness. I enjoy difficult files and finding financing options for clients in cases where most loan officers would turn them away. I love the extra challenge.

Top of Mind Networks:

Who is your digital mentor?

KP:

Honestly, I surround myself with a team that keeps me up to date on new technology and trends. The women on my team are much younger than I am and they challenge me daily with all the new available technologies. Our marketing director, Justin is another asset to me. We all look up to his mindset on digital technology.

Top of Mind Networks:

What is your top marketing trick?

KP:

I think this changes depending on the current market, but right now I’d have to say using multiple strategies to get our clients’ offers accepted. In this competitive market that often means I have to work side by side with realtors. We also offer a $10,000 underwriting guarantee, which definitely helps.

Top of Mind Networks:

What is an on-the-job experience that made you especially proud?

KP:

Several years ago I had a client call who was going through a tough time. She was newly divorced with children, moving from California to Minnesota, with high debt ratios and a low income. But I could hear in her voice how badly she wanted a home and a fresh start. Every year she would call me to check her eligibility. She continued to improve her income, credit and pay off her debts. This past summer she closed on a beautiful home! I will never forget how motivated she was.

Top of Mind Networks:

Where would you go on your dream vacation?

KP:

Well, I usually don’t mind the snow but it is the middle of winter here in Minnesota. I have to say anywhere with a white sandy beach, I’m thinking Bora Bora. It looks like a beautiful place.

Top of Mind Networks:

Show us your most treasured possession.

KP:

My most treasured possession is my daughter and her fiance’s dog, Brody. We get to watch him often and he’s a lot of fun.

Top of Mind Networks:

Who’s the most famous or interesting person you’ve ever met?

KP:

When my daughter was a baby, we were at the airport and met Walter Matthau from the movie Grumpy Old Man. He came up to my daughter, she had really chubby cheeks at the time. He squeezed her cheeks and talked to her for a minute. It was pretty neat. More recently, I saw Beca from The Bachelorette at a local restaurant in Minnesota. I didn’t get to meet her, but I was in the background of her Instagram photo so I had a minute of fame. I love that show.

Top of Mind Networks:

If you weren’t a mortgage banker, what is another profession would you like to attempt?

KP:

This one is difficult because I’ve always had a lot of interests. But I’d love to decorate or flip houses, anything HGTV related.

Top of Mind Networks:

You’ve just won an Oscar. Give us your top-3 acceptance speech shoutouts. 

KP:

Number one would be my husband, he’s supported me from the first day I said I wanted to be a mortgage originator. My family and children have always been patient with me through all the ups and downs in this business. And last but not least would be my amazing team because I couldn’t do it without them. I’ve surrounded myself with people that want to make a difference in other people’s lives and it is so nice to be around them. My team is always willing to go the extra mile.

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