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Tragale Talks Career, AE Management And More

Navi Persaud
Dec 17, 2020
Photo of Denise Tragale and MLO Quote

Denise Tragale, vice president of wholesale business development for Stearns Lending, appeared on this week's episode of the Mortgage Leadership Outlook. She joined series' host Andrew Berman, head of engagement and outreach for National Mortgage Professional Magazine, as they took a look into her wholesale focused career which has attracted some of the most talented account executives to work on her team, at some of the biggest brands in the mortgage business and more.

Tragale has over two decades of mortgage industry experience driving revenue and growth. She has in-depth experience in sales and production management, operations and administration, strategic planning and employee development. Prior to joining Stearns in October 2020, Tragale worked as the divisional vice president of Arc Home LLC.

Highlights From The Interview:

  • Tragale’s said her first year working as an account executive was great, especially with her background as an underwriter. Learning how to put a loan together and how to structure a loan was really important to her success.
  • Around 2004, Tragale’s mentors asked her to run the flagship branch for American Home. Based out of upstate New York, she had 20 AEs that reported to her.
  • “They trusted me to run the center,” said Tragale when speaking about her mentors Dawn Hennig and Lisa Schreiber. “I was a student who was soaking it all in. I wanted to learn everything from them. There wasn’t anything too big for me meaning that I’ve managed the [profit and loss] so, not only did I have to manage the whole center, I managed the financial component of the business. I was really running my own business within the organization and they really guided me every step of the way with anything that I needed.”
  • Tragale chose Stearns Lending because she wanted a company where she could be the most impactful. She championed Stearns for its cohesiveness with employees.
  • “Stearns invested in me to help them grow the support platform,” said Tragale. “So, creating a lot of synergy and providing the AEs, whether they’re outside AEs or national AEs, with tools to be super successful. I don’t do this alone, the organization is tremendously supportive and shows an amazing commitment to the industry, in allowing us to be able to spread our wings and help them grow in many fashions.”
  • “We have a training calendar; it seems simple right?” said Tragale when explaining how she supports AEs. “It takes a village to create these and help the AEs be able to go out and have something to sell. We have a tremendous amount of tools at Stearns. Bringing it back to the basics and providing all of those necessities really helps the organization and will help them grow and do more volume. That’s the end goal.”
  • Tragale says that basic tools like Zoom can be very helpful to AEs. At times, she feels as if AEs forget the tools they have at their disposal and she wants to enhance what they’re doing by reinforcing those tools.
  • Tragale said striking a balance has made her successful in her career. “You really have to know when to say, ‘You know what? Tomorrow is another day. My family needs me.’”

Watch the full conversation between Tragale and Berman below.

Previous guests include Robert Broeksmit, Josh Friend, Joe Dahleen, Tim Nguyen, Kristy Fercho, Tony Thompson, Mat Ishbia, David Luna, Barry Habib, Rob Chrisman and more.

See all the interviews from the Mortgage Leadership Outlook series on its YouTube channel.

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