We were lucky enough to talk with Eileen Kim about her industry and mortgage experience. Eileen is unique because she is both a Own Up customer and a Real Estate Agent.
For the skeptics, Own Up has no financial relationship with Eileen, nor she with us. We will never have any financial relationship with any intermediary that would compromise our ability to deliver the best fitting loan for you.
We hope that you enjoy the story of Eileen’s journey and look forward to sharing more.
Own Up: So, how did you get into real estate?
EK: After graduating from the Juilliard School as a violinist, I was a professional musician living in Philadelphia. We made the move up to Boston about 10 years ago for my husband’s career in surgery. Due to my own injuries, I had to give up my musical career.
In figuring out how to reinvent myself, I knew I had a passion for real estate. I had friends who worked in interior design and the real estate realm. I just enjoyed watching, learning, and helping them whenever I could. It didn’t feel like work to me.
Own Up: You sound a little bit like a real estate voyeur.
EK: You know it’s funny you say “voyeur” because I always enjoyed going to other people’s homes. I love seeing how creative people were with their space and how they lived.
As soon as HGTV aired, I was hooked. It fed my addiction of peeking inside other people’s creative designs. Seeing all the different ideas designers have reminds me of my mother, who has great taste. She ensured that we always lived in really comfortable and beautiful spaces. That transferred when I got married and started creating a home for my own family.
OU: So why real estate and not interior design?
My parents had gone through a real estate incident where things were handled unethically. When they sold their home, the brokerage was not working in my parents’ best interests. They did not hold their fiduciary duty towards my parents. The brokerage seemed to only have a vested interested in what would be best for themselves. My parents were advised that they actually could have sued that brokerage, but they didn’t want to go through the trouble and that really disturbed me.
Because of this event, I wanted to learn more about the inner workings of real estate. I wanted to know more about “behind the scenes.” So coming from this experience, my approach has always been from a consumer’s point of view.
OU: So, how did you find Own Up?
I was introduced to Mike Tassone through my brother. Mike reached out to his Brown University network to connect to people in the business. When my brother heard that Own Up was based here in Boston, he promptly pointed Mike in my direction. After meeting with Mike, I knew they had a fantastic product, and apparently many others agreed as Own Up continued receiving awards and accolades upon hitting the ground. Not only did they have a great product, but I could tell that Mike and Patrick shared my view of customer advocacy.
OU: What does Customer Advocacy mean?
I like treating my clients like they are my own family members. My fiduciary duty is to my client and I take that very seriously, like a physician’s Hippocratic Oath. I want my clients to feel that I have earned my commission.
For my sellers, from the prep work to staging to marketing to showing to closing, I am the producer of the show. My clients should not have to worry about keeping track of details. That’s my job. For my buyers, it’s about truly listening to my clients and providing edited choices that match what they are trying to find in a new property. Even advising against a property and keeping the client focused on their end goal even if it means several more months/years of searching.
My business is about providing the best resources I can for my clients. When I learned that Own Up does the work in finding the best mortgage product that would work for various financial situations and saves borrowers tens of thousands of dollars, it was a no-brainer for me.