After maneuvering through every aspect of the mortgage world during the past 40 years, Jill Underwood is truly the Queen when it comes to knowledge, expertise, understanding and passion.
Her desire to enter the industry was born in her early teens, watching and learning from her mother. “I was raised in Plano, Texas, where my mother began as a journalist and wrote for the local newspaper,” she says. “She wrote a column called The Feminine View, and so I eventually named my podcast after that.”
Her mom later became a top-producing realtor, and Underwood had the opportunity to learn directly from her. Her five older brothers and sisters had moved out of the house, so she answered the phone for her mom when she forwarded calls to their home. “I learned how to negotiate through that!” she smiles.
She attended Richland Junior College in Dallas, Texas, and earned her associates degree in real estate in the 1980s. “I found my business finance class fascinating, and my teacher was Vice President of Fort Worth Mortgage. I asked her for a job, and she hired me. She was a friend of my mother’s, which meant I had to work harder to prove myself,” she says. “I began as receptionist and worked my way up to loan processor assistant, loan processor and then to loan officer. I have remained in this position because my calling is to help people make great decisions regarding
their mortgage financing.”
She moved to Johnson County 30 years ago and then to Lee’s Summit three years ago. Her philosophy as a Certified Mortgage Advisor (CMA) is to first find out what people truly desire, especially younger buyers. She inquires what they want their life to look like in five, ten and 25 years. Then she takes the approach of which direction they want to go and identifies which vehicle in real estate and financing can best benefit them.
“The most important question I ask is how much someone is comfortable paying. Our industry has been in places similar to what we’re in now, where you buy the tip-top of your income, hoping it will go up,” she continues. “That doesn’t always happen. I counsel buyers to stay where they are comfortable.”
Her Mortgage Queen status is a result of Underwood’s own personal experience. She can relate to all life cycles, from being a first-time homebuyer, marriage and kids, even divorce, which means each must move into a new place. Then, downsizing when the kids are grown. She helps coach people, turning each stage into a blessing rather than a nightmare. She also assists in purchasing profitable rental property and vacation homes.
“I’m starting to see more new young loan officers, whereas the average age was 55. I can counsel them on the best way to manage mortgages. If we can all do the right thing collectively, we can hopefully stay out of recession,” she says. “My philosophy has always been to do the right thing for clients while maintaining profitability for my company. I really love this community. I’m a giving person and strive daily to do the right things for people here. I want to help realtors sell their houses and help people in our community buy homes.”
Visit jillunderwood.com for more information.