From Shortstop to Mortgage All-Star: Meet Tommy Manzella with the The Uzee Team
In professional baseball, shortstops are known for their agility. They’re masters of the baseball, pivoting to field balls and throwing out runners.
They specialize in doing what needs to be done for the team.
What does this have to do with mortgage?
A lot actually.
This kind of experience – handling balls (deals), pivoting (quickly adjusting to the client’s needs), prioritizing the team (doing what needs to be done to meet goals) – is pretty much a requirement when you’re a high-volume mortgage loan officer.
This month, meet Tommy Manzella – former shortstop for the Houston Astros with a decade of playing time in professional baseball – and now a dedicated loan officer with The Uzee Team.
(Check out his Wikipedia page here.)
A New Career Path and a Chance to Help Grow Another Team
Tommy was nearing retirement from baseball after a full-speed 10-year career, when he started to think about what was next in his life’s journey.
The Tulane business school graduate (and former Green Wave baseball player) wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. So, he reached out to his college mentor, for help in figuring that out.
“My mentor put me in contact with a number of New Orleans-area professionals who did different things and I began talking to them about their careers, figuring out what path I wanted to take,” Tommy says.
It was through one of those connections, that Tommy was eventually put in touch with Joe Uzee, at Gulf Coast Bank Home Loans.
Joe, a coach at heart, was looking to add players – mentees – to his team who could help grow and build the team’s business together.
Tommy was looking for a mentor and the opportunity to learn, to build something, and to make it his own.
Seven years later, he’s a powerhouse loan officer who pivoted to his next act with all the agility and adaptability of his shortstop days.
Mastering the Mortgage Biz and Great Client Service
Tommy began working closely with Joe, shadowing him while he took calls, discussing loan programs with clients, recommending best-fit loans, and studying the mortgage market.
Eventually, Tommy began developing his own expertise, making contacts of his own, and nurturing those relationships to create a booming lending business.
“My goal – and our team’s goal – is to make the homebuying process as stress-free as possible,” Tommy says. “Buying a house can be a really stressful time and communication is the #1 priority with our client service. We strive to make the process go smoothly through proactive communication.”
Helping First-Time Homebuyers Fund Their Dream Homes
Tommy works with all types of home loans and all kinds of clients, including seasoned home buyers using conventional, FHA, or jumbo loans, clients looking to refinance, clients looking to build new or renovate, VA borrowers, and more.
He feels a special partnership with first-time homebuyers.
“I really enjoy the opportunity to help guide first-time buyers through the process and help them understand what to expect,” Tommy says.
He works closely with his clients, gets them pre-qualified, helps them understand the numbers and recommends loans that fit their financial goals.
And whether via phone call, email, or cups of coffee – Tommy keeps the communication lines wide open to ensure his clients have the information they need when they need it. It makes for a smooth transaction.
Learn the 8 Steps on the Path to Homeownership
Downtime with Family
While mortgage and servicing clients’ needs keeps Tommy busy, his downtime is for family.
He’s a Dad of a 6-year-old and a 2-year-old – and they keep hime and wife, Andrea, on their toes in the sweetest of ways.
This last year because of COVID, work has been demanding, but Tommy makes sure to prioritize family quality time, whether it’s taking his daughter to dance competitions or enjoying a family getaway to Disney World.
Having The Uzee Team’s support makes all the difference, too.
“Our team is a little unique in the loan origination world,” Tommy explains. “Many loan officers tend to work alone, but we have always really meshed well together and have stuck together, even as each of us individually has grown our personal business. We always know we can count on each other for support, whether one of us is going out of town or someone is a little busier than others in a given month.”
Tommy says he’s incredibly thankful to have found a supportive team of a different kind beyond his days in baseball.
Call Tommy Manzella with The Uzee Team to Finance Your Home Purchase!
Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer making plans or looking to buy (or build!) your next home, Tommy Manzella with The Uzee Team is ready to help you. Reach out to him at 504-412-2093 or TommyManzella@gulfbank.com to talk about your mortgage needs.