Shmuel Shayowitz (NMLS#19871) is President and Chief Lending Officer at Approved Funding, a privately held local mortgage banker and direct lender. Shmuel has over two decades of industry experience, including licenses and certifications as a certified mortgage underwriter, residential review appraiser, licensed real estate agent, and direct FHA specialized underwriter. Shmuel provides a uniquely holistic approach to comprehensive real estate and financial matters that goes well beyond any single transaction. Shmuel is an award-winning financier recognized for maximizing the short-term and long-term objectives of his client. As a contributing writer to many local and regional newspapers and publications, his insights have been featured in the media for many topics, including mortgages, personal finance, appraisals, and real estate trends.

More For Less

By Shmuel Shayowitz

A small boy, maybe six or seven years old, was anxiously waiting for a bus with a group of older children. Some were holding sports equipment, presumably for an outing at the park down the road where most kids their age played. It was an impressive scene as the growing group of toddlers waited patiently, each holding an envelope of money for the bus fare. The bus finally arrived. The boys lined up, and each pulled out their dollar to give the driver as they boarded the bus.

The last little boy in the line began to cry uncontrollably as he stepped onto the bus. The bus driver asked him what’s wrong, to which the boy dejectedly said, “I don’t have any money to go on the bus.” The bus driver was heartbroken. He got up, pulled a dollar out of his pocket, and gave it to the boy. The boy starting to slowly stop his sniffling and went to take an open seat.

A few minutes later, the bus driver looked up in his rearview mirror and saw the toddler once again hysterically crying. He pulled the bus to the curb, stopped the engine, and approached the boy. “Why are you crying, Buddy?” he asked. The boy finally caught his breath, wiped away some of his tears, and said, “I see that you are giving all the other people who come on the bus change, but you didn’t give me any change!”

Although I am unsure of its origin, this most likely is a fable if you didn’t realize it by now. I loved it so much that I thought I would share it as it teaches everyone – young or old – a valuable life lesson. Everyone is trying to maximize as much as possible out of life, and to get the “best bang for the buck.”

Unfortunately, in today’s society, things are progressing in the opposite direction. Few, are the instances where one is genuinely getting “more for their money.” Prices are rising universally. Products everywhere are being made of more inferior quality. The life expectancy of anything being bought has been decreasing with each passing year. Food products are seemingly “healthier” – touting less total sugars, fewer calories, reduced carbs, or other improved metrics – but in reality, they are merely providing less food per packet.

Most customer service representatives – including point-of-sale specialists, are less experienced and more narrow-minded than ever before. Buyers are growing more demanding whilst requiring items with markdowns and concessions. Consumers are expecting more, but are more often than not getting less in service and substance. Inflation, which is the arch-enemy of interest rates, is on the rise, and will continue to erode “the worth” of the price we pay for the items we receive.

I’m not sure how to resolve most of these challenges, but I see an opportunity for those in the service or advisory industries to distinguish themselves. Providing an incomparable amount of education, expertise, and guidance can offer an unparalleled level of “value” that undeniably yields more for less. This is something every consumer should value!


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