Melissa Bryan, Branch Manager, Van Dyk Mortgage

by Kerrie Kennedy

Where did you grow up? Lake Jackson, Texas

 What was your most interesting job before going into lending? I had a very interesting career as a cost accountant which led into becoming a plant controller. While many people wouldn’t call it interesting, I actually loved reconciling inventory and reporting and analyzing the cost of production for the manufacturing facilities I worked in.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I love to read! Reading quiets my mind and re-directs my focus.

If you could meet any well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? I would have loved to meet Wayne Dyer. His books and teachings on self-actualization really resonate with me. His main message that every person has the potential to live an extraordinary life and manifest their deepest desires by honoring their inner divinity and consciously choosing to live from their “Highest Self” are very powerful concepts that can change the trajectory of individuals, society, and the world in a way that is extremely healing and the results of that are farther reaching than anything we dare imagine.

Where is Houston’s best-kept secret? Evelyn’s Park Conservancy. They have the cutest Alice in Wonderland sculpture picnic area, and the story behind the park is really touching as well. It is a testament to how your legacy can be used to positively impact families and communities if you choose to let it.

What do you love most about the industry? The mortgage industry is great because it’s one of the only jobs you can have where for the most part, you are making people’s dreams come true. It’s high stress and you are always solving complex puzzles behind the scenes, but when you make your client’s dreams come true, and help your Realtor partners grow their business and exceed client expectations at the same time, it is extremely rewarding.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? The most difficult is setting realistic expectations and managing the emotions of all the stakeholders in the transaction. You are not just figuring out how to make a loan work and communicating with your client to keep everything on track and going well, you are also assuring everyone that everything is fine and under control.

What are you binge-watching/reading/listening to lately? Currently, I am working my way through the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I never watched it when it initially came out because I thought it was a genre I would not enjoy. When it was referenced in a book I was reading, the themes really appealed to me and I was curious. I am still on the first movie but plan to watch all of them.

What’s your favorite meal in Houston? Houston has so much great food that I don’t know if I can choose. My cravings of the year have been the crawfish etouffee and house salad from The Rouxpour.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Houston? Maybe it is my manufacturing background that makes me especially fond of it, but I really love what the Silos at Sawyer Yards did when they repurposed an old rice production facility into an artist workspace, public art gallery and cultural venue.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on the job? The weirdest thing is having your name, phone number and image be so public. I don’t want to give anyone reading this any ideas, but since the audience is real estate agents, I am sure they are familiar with all the weird things that people do with your information. Having people make copycat accounts with your name and photo is really weird. But not the weirdest I’ve heard of or had happen.

 What’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about you? I was a teen parent. I had my daughter at the extremely young age of 14 and was raising three biological children and three stepchildren by the age of 19. I went on to earn my MBA and had a successful career in accounting and finance before mortgage lending found me.

 What’s your favorite vacation spot and why? I love New York. I know that’s cliche, but I really do love the history, pace, and opportunity there. I feel like there isn’t a clear societal expectation so in New York, you are just free to “be.” Whatever that means to you, you can connect to it there.

 In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the lending industry? Join a team you love and stay consistent and visible.

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  • Lissette Roman says:

    You’re AMAZING Melissa and your infectious work ethic as well as your positive energy are undeniable.

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