Meet Bernard Guste, Mortgage Loan Originator in our New Orleans Office
Like a great New Orleans gumbo, Bernard Guste has all the right ingredients that help make him a successful mortgage lender.
He grew up waiting tables in New Orleans. It was in fact waiting tables that taught him an important customer service lesson and one that guides how he serves clients today.
“Working as a waiter, you’re not just walking up to a table to take an order,” he says. “You’re educating your customers about the products you’re offering and helping them make the best possible choice.”
Bernard easily relates this back to his work servicing home loans for clients for more than a decade now.
Bernard strives deeply to educate his clients in all aspects of choosing a loan, applying for a loan, and really understanding the financial impact of the biggest purchase of their lives.
It’s this kind of approach to client service and thought leadership – lessons that were forged both in waiting tables and his time serving in the Louisiana Army National Guard – that drive his dedication to mortgage lending.
Lessons Learned as a Veteran National Guardsman
Before joining the ranks of mortgage lenders, Bernard joined the ranks of the Louisiana National Guard.
“It was the early 1990s and it was my first semester in college at LSU. I just really hated seeing my parents cut those checks,” he says. “I remember sitting in chemistry class and I thought ‘I have to do this on my own.’”
That same day, Bernard enlisted in the Louisiana Army National Guard. He spent 6 years serving – initially working in Admin and finishing off as Carpentry and Masonry Sergeant with the 769th Engineer Battalion in Baker, just outside Baton Rouge.
“I absolutely loved it,” he says. “The experience taught me discipline, and that the ‘devil is in the details.’
“Working as an admin sergeant really prepared me to have tremendous attention to detail when it comes to the big picture and, further, in the details that come with structuring loans,” he adds.
Bernard, earned a bachelor’s degree in business management and finance before jumping into the world of insurance.
Real Estate Investor to Loan Officer
After graduating, Bernard worked for an insurance company, training insurance agents about the company’s financial services products…all while developing a healthy side hobby – real estate investment.
“I started buying and renovating houses after Hurricane Katrina and I chose to work with Gulf Coast,” he says. “They were and still are one of the most important lenders in the city as far as bringing New Orleans ‘back’ after Katrina, particularly because of the excellent construction loan program.”
With a passion for real estate firmly in place Bernard decided to shift into mortgage lending. He eventually joined Gulf Coast Bank as a loan officer in 2014.
“I love that Gulf Coast Bank is a smaller, community-centric lender with excellent customer service,” he says. “That’s really what drew me here.”
He draws a comparison between a local lender like Gulf Coast and the many online lenders with customer service and accessibility that often leave something to be desired. Meeting with a lender face to face who is accessible to you and working diligently to service your loan is becoming somewhat of a rare occurrence these days, he says.
Bernard enjoys helping homebuyers not only purchase their dream homes, but also helping them fulfill their dreams, whether that be secondary homes or investment properties.
He’s also passionate about working with Veterans to secure their hard-earned benefit of a VA Loan.
In his spare time, Bernard loves spending time outdoors with his 8-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter. They are avid campers and love spending as many weekends as possible exploring our wonderful national and state parks. He volunteers on the Finance Committee at Lycee Francais de la Nouvell-Orleans School. He serves on the Board of his neighborhood association and recently became a “Master Gardener” after completing a hands-on class offered to residents through the LSU AgCenter and Delgado Community College.
His next passion project? He’ll be working with his children to build their dream getaway cabin on 23 spectacular acres in Leakesville, Mississippi.
Bernard Can Help You Find the Right Loan Program for Your Needs
Whether you’re a Veteran looking to use your VA Loan benefit, a first-time homebuyer, or a seasoned (or first-time!) investor — Bernard Guste can help you make sense of your loan options and educate you on the process. Reach out to him today at 504-412-2005 or BernardGuste@gulfbank.com.