Most people can look back at their commercial real estate career and see a linear path. However, I cannot. My career path isn’t ordinary and starts with a job out of school as a business analyst. Today, I'm vice president of product in our technology group. How did I get here? By taking advantage of all the opportunities Walker & Dunlop has to offer.
What I love most about W&D is that it lets you build your own career and set your own path—ask your own questions. You don't have to follow one route. And within the culture at W&D, I felt comfortable speaking up when I had ideas.
When I was working in underwriting, I noticed that clients and W&D employees spent valuable time gathering and entering data manually when filling out forms. I desperately wanted to make my colleague's and my client’s lives easier. So, on a whim I suggested a pre-formatted, pre-filled feature in Salesforce.
I took the idea to my colleagues who ran our Salesforce operations at the time, and one month later, we had "the easy button." This button streamlined our form process and saved every analyst in the department 10 minutes per deal. As I was sharing ideas like these, I was bringing my business experience to Walker & Dunlop's technology team—and putting myself on their radar. When an opportunity arose to join them,
I was in the right place at the right time. I decided to join without hesitation.
That leads into my other piece of advice: Stretch towards opportunities, even if they seem a little scary at first. They can help you learn and grow, and you will come out of those opportunities stronger and with new experiences.
Walker & Dunlop's collaborative culture makes it easy to learn and grow. When starting on the tech team, my colleagues sat down with me to explain how they do what they do. And in turn, I shared my business knowledge from my past positions. At the end of the day, we balance each other out by building each other up. And this collaboration throughout my career at Walker & Dunlop is what has empowered me to achieve what I have today.