Gavin Ekstrom is a “Live” Lender on the ArriveHome app for servicing the greater Denver market. Gavin is a mortgage expert at Citywide Home Loans with over 25 years of residential loan service. Check out our Q and A session below with Gavin to learn more about him and his thoughts on ArriveHome. Find Gavin “Live” on the ArriveHome app today!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am originally from Salt Lake City; I relocated to Colorado in 2004 with my then girlfriend, now wife, Amber Ekstrom. We have a blended family totaling five children with ages ranging from 5 to 18. My wife and I both love traveling and dining out. I enjoy working out and playing basketball. Our kids play football, gymnastics, basketball, ju jitzu, rugby, and pretending to be WWF wrestlers.
How long have you lived in Denver? Why did you choose to move here?
We moved here in 2004. We needed a change of environment and really appreciated what Denver had to offer. Plus I was already doing business here, so it made for an easy transition. We absolutely love it here and would not live anywhere else! This is a progressive city and a phenomenal place to start and raise a family.
How do you balance work and family demands?
My family is my number 1 client. I have to admit it can be difficult to balance because I love what I do and don’t think of it as work, so it can be easy to fall out of balance. However, I have a very demanding family (which I wouldn’t want it any other way). I make sure to have date nights with my wife and spend time one on one with our kids as well. There is a little saying I have to remind myself of: “If you are at work and NOT giving 100%, you are stealing from your wife and kids. If you are at home and not giving 100%, you are stealing from your wife and kids.” You have to be structured at work and at home to be successful!
How long have you been a lender? What inspired you to go into this field?
I have been in lending for 25 years. In college, I worked in retail, and actually didn’t know what a mortgage was. I just happened to stumble upon this business in my research, and I feel very fortunate that I found this field. I love people and I enjoy hearing their stories and getting to know them through the process. I get to transform people’s lives and build wealth through home ownership. What could be better than that!
What’s the biggest challenge you face in the business? How do you work to overcome it?
They can frequently change. I run the region for Citywide Home Loans and still originate loans, so the challenges can vary. Any problem I face, I have the same process, which starts by breaking it down from a macro level to a micro level and occasionally work backwards to forwards. I have no problem reaching out to others in our industry for advice and I deal with everything head on but in a logical way.
What surprising lessons have you learned throughout your career?
Too many to list! Just remember your license is worth millions of dollars and don’t mess it up. No matter the pressure you are faced with, take a time out and make sure you are doing the right thing. Also, don’t over promise and under deliver We are in the people business. We deal with adults, so if you just communicate through whatever the issue is, chances are you can come up with a solution everyone can agree on. This is an emotional process for everyone involved, and we need to understand what is at stake.
What advice do you have for potential homebuyers?
Buy now! Interest rates are going up and so are home prices. We are NOT near the top and there is no bubble happening anytime soon. Colorado historically has been its own little universe when it comes to housing. We have not had drastic swings in either direction. The state is continuing to grow and has a lot to offer in all demographics, and more and more people are realizing it and moving here. It’s still a great time to own real estate!
What do you think of the ArriveHome app? How does it compare to other services available for agents?
LOVE THIS APP!! For many reasons, it’s the first of its kind. If Einstein was still alive, he would have invented it, but instead ArriveHome has knocked it out of the park. Not only has it produced results, it has been a great way to meet new agents. I don’t use any other service to find homes on the market or likeminded real estate agents.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Don’t get discouraged when looking for the right house. Remember when writing an offer listen to your agent, they know the market better than anyone. Happy house hunting!!!!