Real estate + finance = successful career

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Kathy-StenbergKathy Stenberg’s experience in real estate and finance make her skill set desirable to a person wanting to buy or sell property. That and her management skills attracted the owner of RE/MAX Properties Inc. enough to offer the job as managing broker, and she starts there May 1.

When the California native is not helping people with real estate, she’s outdoors, hiking, skiing, bicycling, golfing or enjoying the company of friends and family, including her three children.


Tell me about your real estate background.

My ex-husband was a loan officer, and he said I would be really good at the mortgage business. He was right. In California, you have to have a real estate license to do mortgages, so I got the license there.

In Colorado, I’ve been licensed eight years, 25 in California. Here, when I first got my real estate license in 2006, I worked at Roger Herman’s company, Prudential, the Herman Group Real Estate and then ERA Herman Group, all owned by Roger Herman.

I am also the owner and managing broker of my own firm, Springs LifeStyles Real Estate.

Here, I monitor contract terms, compare properties with others that have recently sold to determine market price, act as an intermediary in negotiations between buyers and sellers and keep up to date with real estate laws, different types of mortgages and financing options.


What are the benefits of working RE/MAX Properties Inc.?

I will have the RE/MAX brand and all its tools and support. I will be working for the No. 1 producing real estate company in Colorado Springs. They do more deals than any other company in town.


What are the benefits of having a financial background as a real estate broker?

I can help my clients better. I know all the intricacies of both sides of a transaction. I’ll help anyone – I don’t just feature million-dollar homes. Some people who are buying their first house or a lower-priced house, they don’t know anything about getting a mortgage. I can help structure the financing.

It helps the lender, too. If it’s a difficult situation, I can brainstorm with the lenders about a possible solution.


Give an example of helping structure financing.

The last real estate transaction that I was super-proud of involved a single mom. I had 40 acres listed out east, and it had a shed on it, along with a single-wide manufactured home. I was trying to figure out how to get it sold. Typically, to get a loan on land, you need a big down payment and a high FICA [credit] score. I could only really list the property as land because the house was gutted.

Then I thought about a 203K, a FHA rehab loan. I started out with my favorite lender, but she couldn’t do it because it was a single-wide. I took it to someone else, and the single mom bought the house and is rehabbing it.

Had I not known the lending side of it, then I would not have known how to structure the deal to help this mom buy the house. She is so sweet. Most of my clients end up being my friends.

It’s a really good feeling.


Tell us about your experience in finance.

I worked at Wells Fargo from 1994 through 2004, part of that time as branch manager. My time at Wells Fargo was split between St. George, Utah, and Colorado Springs. Wells Fargo relocated me here in 1999. I managed up to 32 employees at various times with Wells Fargo. I moved to the Colorado Springs branch in 1999, where I recruited new home mortgage consultants, among other things.

In 2006, I started working at Countrywide Home Loans. There, I grew a branch from the ground-up. Eventually we had 10 loan originators and one assistant, and I was able to house two on-site loan originators for Coldwell Banker. After that, I started selling real estate.


You’ve had quite a career selling real estate and selling loans. Which do you prefer?

I love them both. Because I love them both, I like being involved with helping the real estate clients get the right financing.


What do you like about Colorado Springs?

I love the outdoor activities. I like that it feels like a small town, but also has a large-town feel, depending on where you are.

There’s so much to do here. I like to work out at a gym, do the incline, ski, golf.