Victoria Mendez grew up in the San Gabriel Valley with divorced parents. From a young age she began working because she did not want to financially burden her parents who were paying off her private school education. Victoria’s first job was at fourteen years old working at a rubber stamp company. Her jobs throughout high school eventually led to her working at a bank during college. While studying computer engineering, she continued working at the bank. It was at her time at the bank that Victoria noticed a major discrepancy in terms of the financial education that young college students had and the one that older well-educated people had. This inspired Victoria to change her major to Business Management.
Victoria was always exceeding goals and taking on leadership roles during her time at the bank. That led to her growing in her position and gaining various promotions. Her climb up the ladder resulted in her getting the title of Executive Corporate Sales Trainer. Here she learned the traits of people and that different people learn in different ways. This helped develop a continuing passion for adult education. She always liked helping people see that their dreams can become a reality with the right plan, education, and the right steps
Victoria was then offered the opportunity to help grow a brokerage, and to be a co-founder of Downtown Financial Group. She was committed to help because it gave her a glimpse of entrepreneurship. As a mother and a wife, the opportunity to be able to work at her own time and make her own decisions was crucial. It was also an opportunity to make decisions without working under the red tape that working in the corporate world gives you. Victoria was then able to use both her corporate skills to build the business and her personal skills to build relationships with people on both a professional and personal level.
Building Downtown Financial Group
While building Downtown Financial Group Victoria noticed that a big struggle was a mindset and telling yourself you’re not enough. She overcame this by acknowledging the struggle and understanding that having a strong mindset is important. She realized that a lot of challenges are mental and there is a fear of success and the failure that comes with it. We often think of the worst-case scenario and the 90% of bad things that can happen. We need to think of 90% of the good things that can happen. Recognizing that 80% of business is a mindset and that only 20% is strategy is crucial. That helped Victoria go from 15 loans in her first year, to 55 in her second, to over 112 in her third year.
This same mindset helps Victoria when it comes to helping her clients, and helping those clients overcome their fear of homeownership. By taking an educative approach when helping clients it helps them see that their stigma and fears of homeownership should not exist. Whether it’s their first consult or the clients second time purchasing a home, the goal is to educate them on how they can achieve their goals. We want to break the stigma that people in real estate only serve themselves.
Downtown Financial Group’s tagline of Generational Wealth is important, because we want clients to understand the importance of homeownership and that it is a great possibility. It is important to teach our clients that generational wealth allows us to leave a foundation behind for our families so they do not struggle as much as we had to. Victoria also believes that Generational Wealth comes through supporting her team at DFG (Downtown Financial Group). By being a devoted and supportive leader she creates Generational Wealth in her team by helping them achieve their goals. She believes in teaching others how far you can take the experience of believing in yourself and positive experiences instead of holding yourself back by thinking about what could go wrong. For Victoria you can only have excuses or results, you can’t have both. Generational wealth is about educating others which is a reoccurring theme in her career. Victoria has a strong mindset and believes in giving back through community empowerment and by educating others.
How do you differentiate yourself from other Mortgage companies?
We pride ourselves on educating our clients in mortgage planning and being able to customize their wealth plan by leveraging real estate and accommodating to their future goals.
What mistake do people make when they want to buy a house?
One of the biggest mistakes is that people don’t take care of their credit. Even if you have bad credit or have mistakes in the past it is always good to establish your credit and educate yourself on what you need to reestablish your credit. Another pitfall is listening to the advice of others instead of seeking advice from the experts. Most people will listen to other stories not understanding that every situation is different from their own.
Why do you think there is such a fear of homeownership and how do you help clients overcome that?
Fear stems from clients being afraid of what they do not know. That is why we look at our clients and their history and we educate them. We educate them in their history, their credit history, and how much they are willing to invest in their new home.
Looking back at your career what would you have done differently?
As a female, career-focused driven individual I would have done 2 things differently. The first is to use the income she made to help her build wealth for the family she was going to have against spending the money at the moment, the second thing she would have done differently believes in her abilities as a professional. Whether that be as an entrepreneur and as an individual trying to climb the corporate ladder and even starting out. We all have the ability to be whatever we want to be we just have to believe it. Always choose to put yourself in positions that will make you sweat, and look for opportunities that will make you sweat because that is where true growth happens.
What is your secret to being an effective CEO in terms of building the company culture and values you need to make the company successful?
Have your team invested in the company’s core values and having them understand what it means to them. It helps contribute to a helpful and collaborative culture. We emphasize professional development whether it is hosting training or monthly books, as well as having team video calls 3 times a week. Everyone is excited to support each other and hold each other accountable. The other is supporting the strengths/weaknesses of team members to help place members in the best role to succeed.
What traits do you look for when building a team?
The traits we look for in building a team is that they have to be self-starters, results-oriented, resourceful, team players, communicative, and family-oriented. Traits are derived from our core values of customer experience, education, financial expertise, and family orientation
Where do you get your inspiration from daily?
Daily meditation, her family. Helping families build generational wealth. Helping her team grow to achieve their dreams.
When scaling a company, what do you focus on first and why? How do you determine the best time?
Having the correct team to be able to scale and having systems that are in place that can handle the value that comes with growth.
Any advice for entrepreneurs looking to move beyond failure?
Taking an opportunity to see failure as a way to grow. Being able to tell yourself in the midst of fear to feel the fear and do it anyway. The other side of fear is strength, and understanding that you can achieve and overcome the fear of failure and getting things done anyway.
Share us some tips for women who are in doubt of leaving their secure job and starting their own business.
Tip #1 Believe in yourself and believe in your abilities to conquer and accomplish anything you dream. Believe in your strengths, believe in your strength to be resilient. Trust your intuition, your intuition is information moving so fast through your subconscious that your brain cannot comprehend.
Tip #2: Believe your vision and be the disruptor in your industry. Do not go with what anyone else is doing.
Tip#3: Do not listen to the naysayers, everyone is always stating that they would do something different The difference between you and them is your action.
Tip#4: Have a plan. A goal without a plan is just a wish.