We are always looking for Europeans – as well as European businesses – to feature at our website. We have featured for example Gabi Vitui, who was as a realtor here in Austin. Gabi is originally from Romania.
Well, one of the issues you face when you buy a home in the USA is the lovely mortgage process. It occured to us we could feature another EuroCircle member who works in mortgage business so we asked Oktay. Oktay will tell in his own words how he started as a home mortgage officer. Oktay is a true mix of multiple cultures and speaks multiple languages fluently,
Reason for starting (and how did you get started)
After working about 18 years in IT, I decided to make a change in my professional life. I wanted a work place that offered a more flexible schedule. The timing seemed right when my good friend Michael Landers who is a 20+ experienced finance professional in the home mortgage industry asked me if I would consider becoming a home mortgage officer. The concept of finance is very familiar to me as an MBA from Leuphana University in Lueneburg Germany.
How do you define success?
To me being professionally successful means having a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day and socially it means having a great circle of friends who support each other. I believe also in continuous improvement and always want to learn new things.
What is/are the best skill/s you have for business/relationships
Successful relationships whether socially or in business are about trust, transparency and excellent communication. Throughout my career, I have been known for bringing people together and make a name for myself as a trusted adviser.
Raising my daughter Mia who is now 14 years old.
Who is your most important role model?
I do not have one role model who outshines everyone. No matter how accomplished and successful a person is he/she will have strength and weaknesses. I have great admiration for Steve Jobs for his passion to succeed and turn things around with his endless energy and great vision. Politically I think Barack Obama was a great leader and inspiration for many people in the US.
How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
I was born in Turkey, grew up in Hamburg/Germany when my parents moved there when I was little and now I call Austin, TX home since about 18 years. To make things even more multi-cultural my grandparents were from the island of Krete. I lived in different cultural settings on three continents, learned the culture and the languages. I can relate to individuals and understand them because I know their culture and their upbringing.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career to date?
The biggest lesson I learned is that you will not be successful in any career unless you have a passion for it and you must believe in yourself. Approach projects as challenges that you will master with creativity and by working as a team.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Maintaining a work/life balance is a big challenge in the US because we do not have the governmentally regulated vacation days like in many European countries. I found myself doing yoga in my lunch breaks instead of grabbing food or waking up early in the am and getting a nice bike ride or swim in.
What do you want COMPANY to accomplish in the next year?
We are local mortgage lender here in Austin that has a great track record for customer service and helping clients with the biggest investment of their lifetime. Due to our size we can be much more personable, responsive and available to our clients. We have our in-house underwriting and closing team that never missed a closing date. Looking ahead, we would like to see ourselves helping clients to accomplish their goal of a home/condo purchase.
HOW TO CONNECT WITH OKTAY DEMIRDAL:
Need any advice…here is where you find Oktay.
Business Name: Assurance Financial Home Mortgage Loans – NMLS 70876
Type of Business: Home Financing and Re-Financing & Foreign National Mortgage Loans
Business Location: 7600 Burnet Road Suite 515 – Austin, TX 787575