Amy Tierce always knew some day she’d be an entrepreneur.
For 20 years, she endured a string of unsatisfying jobs in various aspects of real estate until her tenacity finally paid off.
Tierce landed at Fairway Independent Mortgage one year after speaking at a corporate event at the invitation of Fairway’s chief executive, Steve Jacobsen. At the time, she had just resigned from a dead-end position, and was determined to secure the perfect job. She took a chance and called Fairway, one of the 10 largest independent mortgage companies in the country. The company hired her, and today, she serves as Fairway’s regional vice president.
Initially, Tierce worked out of her house, from April 2005 to February 2006, when she opened her own Fairway branch in Needham, which she still manages today. From the start, her drive and acquired industry knowledge were apparent.
“In 2006, out of 100 branches, we were No. 5. In 2007, ’08 and ’09, we were No. 1; 2008 and 2009 were some of the darkest hours of the mortgage industry, but we pulled together as a team. And in 2010, we had the top annual sales,” she said.
Under Tierce’s management, the branch implemented systems, policies and procedures that have become the gold standard for the entire company, according to Cooper Deford, a senior trader at Embrace Home Loans, Middletown, R.I. In 2010, Tierce closed more than $30 million in loans, and her office continues to be Fairway’s top producing branch. While her office has eight loan officers, Tierce continues to originate loans to help her “stay in touch with the customer.”
Tierce claims her greatest achievement comes through her staff. “Seeing people on my team grow and achieve their own success is one of my biggest accomplishments,” she said. “I get joy through them.”
As for goals, Tierce hopes to be the lowest producer on the totem pole. While that objective sounds odd, she explains that she aims to encourage and support others until they become “better originators than me.”
In addition to her hectic work-related schedule, Tierce sets aside time to participate in a number of industry activities. In 2006, she joined the Massachusetts Mortgage Bankers Association (MMBA) and volunteered for its education committee. Two years later, the association elected her to the board of directors and she became chair of the education committee. In 2010, she was named the association’s treasurer and in January 2013, she will assume the MMBA presidency.
Not only is Tierce well versed with the mortgage industry and an avid mentor, she also likes to broadcast the word. She has been quoted in industry journals and daily newspapers, and her mortgage-focused interviews have been aired on local television news programs. Additionally, Tierce appears as a regular guest on the weekly radio show Money Matters: Afternoon Edition.
For others on the mortgage career track, Tierce recommends hitting the books and taking advantage of as many training opportunities as possible. “You can never be too smart, never know it all,” she said. A high school dropout who earned her equivalency degree, she exemplifies that philosophy: “I am self-taught and committed to a life of learning, reading, attending programs and classes and constant growth.”
Having just turned 50, Tierce looks forward to a “time of reflection,” although she does express some political aspirations. “My dream is to spend 10 years in D.C. in a political advocacy position, influencing the industry and regulatory agencies,” she said. “Realistically, I hope to make $1 billion plus, with each loan officer engaging at a high level and continue to be tops in the company and in the industry,” Tierce added.
While Tierce technically does not work for herself, she still feels she has fulfilled her dream of being an entrepreneur within the framework of a larger company. “I believe I’m doing what I was meant to be doing,” she said.