Tuesday, August 11, 2020

It is rare, although not uncommon, for you to speak with someone who truly loves what they do. If you find that person, and they are proficient in their job, you know that you have found something special. When you find that needle in the haystack of a person with passion, integrity, and expertise, I suggest you latch on to them and absorb all they have to offer. I say this about all industries and all service providers. When I speak to someone who truly has a genuine zeal and proficiency for their profession, the entire “transaction” changes.

I speak to many people daily who are looking for guidance with their mortgage, finances, or general real estate advice. I genuinely love what I do, and I love helping people understand and achieve their financial objectives. On the one hand, I am so thankful to G-D for being able to have employment and income during these challenging times, when I see and know firsthand how many people are struggling. On the other hand, I remember always feeling this way, whether I had one client that I was working with or one-hundred at any given moment.


My “business model” is not one that they will illustrate when teaching MBA courses at Ivy League Universities. My “Net” Hourly Pay calculation would not be in high regard if I were a publicly-traded company under heavy scrutiny. Yet, I have no intention of changing my approach, other than teaching others how to replicate my commitment to providing “true value at all costs.”

This topic has been weighing on my mind for quite some time. Again, I am thankful to G-D for the fact that individually, and as a company, we had a record-breaking month of business at Approved Funding. We are extremely busy and working very hard to help every client that connects with us. In a competitive market such as the one we are in, there are many choices, and mortgage applicants don’t have time or patience to wait. While we try not to squander any client or prospect that comes our way, I recognize that we are in a unique position of “making a living” by helping people achieve financial success. It is not something I have ever taken for granted.

I had several experiences this week that left me both disappointed and well satisfied at the same time. Let me explain. I was working with an out of state client for a few months, through four or five different potential home purchases. Recently, they finally found “the one.” This house was well over two hundred thousand dollars more than our initial conversations and analysis. For many reasons, they felt it was worth going above their initial budget and moving forward with the home purchase.

Details and analysis of their mortgage changed many times over the past few months with the dynamics of each home they persued. I diligently made changes and presented them each time for review and discussion. For this one, the loan scenario was completely overhauled. I spent countless hours restructuring all of the numbers and loan program options to get them to qualify for the more significant debt. I presented the numbers and provided the “Pre-Approval.” They seemed very pleased and comfortable with the analysis. I, on the other hand, was not comfortable at all.

In seeing how the numbers and details of their finances played out, I recognized that they were not ultimately getting the best mortgage option with me. Without going into the unique parameters of their circumstances, I reached out to a few banks that I had relationships within the marketplace. I found loan options that were more favorable than what I could offer. When I called them with the information, they were utterly shocked but extremely grateful.

This scenario has played itself out, albeit in different forms, several times over the past few months. Whether the variable was a better rate, a lower fee, a different rate-lock strategy, a better “qualification” or the like, I have “lost” numerous deal and incalculable hours. When I took a few minutes to look at my “fall-out” from these past few weeks, I was disappointed. I was dissatisfied with the clients whom I couldn’t connect with quickly enough, or those emails that fell through the cracks – I know that needs improvement. However, when I see the “deals” that didn’t get done, simply because I encouraged them to pursue other options, despite the immeasurable investment on my end, I was delighted! While I can’t calculate the profit on those “lost deals,” under any normal business-model or policy, I know I will be rewarded in other ways. My model is simple: Honesty is the best policy; the rest will fall in to place. Shout out and Happy Birthday to Dov Erdfard, Chaim Herman, Michael Neuman, Estie Rottenstreich, and Debbie Shushan.

Shmuel Shayowitz (NMLS#19871) is President and Chief Lending Officer at Approved Funding, a privately held local mortgage banker and direct lender. Approved Funding is a mortgage company offering competitive interest rates as well as specialty niche programs on all types of Residential and Commercial properties. Shmuel has over 20 years of industry experience, including licenses and certifications as a certified mortgage underwriter, residential review appraiser, licensed real estate agent, and direct FHA specialized underwriter. He can be reached via email at Shmuel@approvedfunding.com.