LIHUE — Kyle Kaili was hesitant when he started working with his mother, Lisa Ledesma, in March 2015.
But since being her loan officer assistant, the 2006 Kamehameha graduate and Kauai resident said teaming with her is easy because he can be open with suggestions and ideas.
“We also feed off each other easier,” he said. “It’s easier working with her than some other person because I know her tendencies because she’s my mom. I know how she works and how she goes about business. Just the way she raised me, it’s easier to work together.”
The mother-son tandem — who work for Prospect Mortgage, a residential retail lending company — recently opened a new office in Lihue next to the Kauai Board of Realtors.
Lisa Ledesma is the office’s senior loan officer and has been in the mortgage lending business since 1985.
After working for TSA for four years, Kaili decided to make a switch. Working with his mother seemed natural.
“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do exactly,” he said. “I didn’t like it at TSA, so I figured I’d give it a shot. I was always around her after I played sports, and after school I would always be around in her office.”
His experience with dealing with the public on a daily basis eased the transition for the Lihue native.
“I always have public interaction, communication going on,” he said. “It’s a little different in the sense here there’s more sales, more customer service. We’re dealing with the borrowers, making sure that we’re putting in our maximum effort and best service because we want to close the loan just as much as they do.”
Like her son, Ledesma said she had her reservations.
“At first I thought, ‘This is going to drive me nuts working with my son.’ But it worked out really well. We get along really good together,” she said. “I love it. He’s really good with numbers and he’s really organized for a boy. He has the will to learn. Our relationship is actually really good and really close.”
Kaili said he has gained a better understanding of the mortgage lending business.
“Now that I’m working with her and seeing the reason why she does it, seeing the end result of families buying a first time homes, I think that is what piqued my interest,” he said.
The entire process — from meeting with people to assisting them with their first home — drives Ledesma.
“This is the biggest investment they’re ever going to make in their entire lives,” she said. “They need to trust me. To know that they’re coming with me makes me feel like I’m doing my job by letting them know I’m there for them along the way. The most rewarding is the first time home buyer, seeing them throughout the whole process.”
Both agreed that buying a home is a good investment.
“It’s always a good investment because it’s a home you can have forever and pass it down from generation to generation,” she said. “And you can pass it down to your children because prices are getting higher and higher every year. Who knows where the prices will go for the next generation?”