Nick Memeti – Founder and CEO iLoan
Nick Memeti is one of the most renowned names in the Chicago mortgage industry. Son of Sam and Lydia Memeti, a Remax Hall of Famer, Nick was taught the fundamentals of real estate as a teenager long before he started his career as a mortgage professional at the young age of 20. By the time he was 23 he had already started his first mortgage company and shortly after sold his shares to eventually go on his own and create one of the largest retail lenders in IL. At the age of 25 Nick launched Freedom Mortgage Team, known for its creative marketing campaigns, expansive product lines, and robust processing systems Freedom was a household name in Chicagoland boasting over 180 employees and listed in Craines Chicago as one of the top 200 private held businesses in 2005.
“Many people don’t know that I was actually in the fashion industry for years while I was learning the mortgage craft. As strange as that sounds you learn a lot living all over the world and meeting people from different cultures on a regular basis. The fashion industry is extremely demanding and unfortunately very judgmental. As a model you learn the trends and demands of the public every single day. Things are constantly changing and if you don’t change with the times you won’t survive. You don’t even realize that you are literally an entrepreneur at this point as you constantly worry about travel, booking schedules, accounts receivables, updates and most importantly how to interact with some of the most prestigious clients in the world. Crossing those experiences over to the general public in the mortgage and real estate industry was seamless for me. I always believe you have 15 seconds to make an impression on someone when you meet them. Presentation is important but what comes out of your mouth next is crucial. Treat people the way you want to be treated and brand yourself and your business the way you want the public to perceive it. If you’re not having fun then you’re not enjoying yourself and you’re definitely not passionate about your career.”
Nick was represented by some of the world’s biggest agencies in NY, Paris, and Milan. His resume includes runway shows and shooting for major campaigns, catalogue houses and editorials for Vogue, Gear, FHM and GQ Magazine. Some of his work has been shot by world famous photographers: Herb Ritts, Arthur Elgort and Carter Smith.
“Leaving the modeling industry in 2002 was a tough decision but my mortgage career was growing too fast for me to keep up with both careers full time. I never thought I would come back to the fashion industry as an agency owner in 2007. Everything eventually worked out thanks to all the great contacts I kept in touch with throughout the years.”
Today Nick embraces many titles but bored and uninspired is not one of them. He is the founder, owner, CEO or primary consultant to many companies headlined by iLoan Home Mortgage, Red Model Management, The Memeti Group and radio host to Market Overdrive.
His charitable contributions have been just as expansive. His companies have donated over a million dollars between community involvement and sponsorships of over 100 youth athletic programs from the inner city to the suburbs. In 2002 he gave back to his Albanian heritage and opened the first full time Albanian radio station that wasn’t based in its native country. Radio Jeta served as a community organizer for the Midwest Tri State area bringing some of the Albanian community’s biggest musicians, actors, artists and even politicians to Chicago for the first time.