Regional Production and Sales Manager, SBL Western Region at Freddie Mac
I am proud that every day working I get to work with a great team.— Kelly Chou
How do you describe yourself?
A: I am a wife and mother who works in an industry that I enjoy. I’m a deal junkie. I’m a people person and a good listener. I’m good at finding people’s needs and adapting from there. I take pride in getting deals done.
What is your business role?
A: I'm the Production and Sales Manager for Western Region Small Balance Loans (SBL) at Freddie Mac Multifamily.
I'm responsible for loan origination across three offices in nine states. My team does $1.5 billion annually in SBL production. Every day, I manage internal and external relationships, work with production management to help propel the program forward, and partner with credit to move loans through the process and help ensure that good loans get approved.
How did you get started in the Multifamily Industry?
A: It's in my blood! My dad is in the real estate business. He started out as a multifamily investment broker and helped guide me in this direction for my career. In high school, I rebelled and wanted to be a doctor, but when I got to college I decided to major in Business Economics at UCLA.
I started as an intern at Marcus and Millichap during college, and that’s where I fell in love with the business.
What is your biggest business accomplishment so far?
A: It's hard to point out anything specifically, because I feel like all of my great accomplishments are team achievements and a result of our collaborative efforts.
Have you experienced any challenges as a woman in an industry that's predominately male?
A: I had the benefit of my dad working in this business, so I was prepared – as much as anyone can be. He was always candid – he toughened me up and taught me to let things roll off my back. I grew up that way, so it's part of my DNA.
He also connected me with successful women in the industry. Whenever he'd go to industry events, he would make sure to pass on contact information to me and I'd reach out to these very successful women as role models.
What's the best part of your job?
A: I am fortunate to work with a fantastic team, both on the regional and national level. Freddie Mac is the most diverse place I’ve ever worked in the industry and I love the varying perspectives that are brought to the table. I have also enjoyed mentoring the younger team members.
Did you have any role models who influenced or inspired you?
A: I couldn't narrow it down to one single mentor but a lot of people have had an impact on me. Obviously, my father has been instrumental to me.
Since I've started working, all my bosses have been women. That wasn't intentional, but I've always reported to successful women and I've learned a lot about what to do and what not to do. These women have shaped me and made me into who I am today.
How do you in turn help other women who are coming up behind you to succeed?
A: I'm very active with CREW – Commercial Real Estate Women's Network. I was on the board of their L.A. chapter. We work with women in all stages of the industry, from interns to senior executives.
I am also involved with NAIOP and participated in their Young Professionals Group program. It's not gender-specific but it's a resource for both women and men.
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