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.
From fixing their own appliances to starting their own companies, today’s consumer has embraced the do-it-yourself philosophy. As defined by Wikipedia – Do It Yourself, also known as DIY, is the method of buying, building, modifying, or repairing things without the direct aid of experts or professionals. The DIY attitude can be attributed to many factors including economic benefits, convenience, impatience, instant gratification – and many other reasons why one would choose to “go at it alone” even when assistance and alternatives are available.
The Do It Yourself approach is becoming more common across many industries and businesses.
Direct online ecommerce through sites such as Amazon and eBay are common retail marketplaces, where with a few quick clicks products can be bought or sold without saying a word. Similarly, buying and selling stocks through online trading portals and platforms has never been more popular. Direct-access trading allows anyone to easily trade directly with market-makers and dealers, rather than trading through proficient and licensed stockbrokers. These are just two of many examples where business is done regularly without the aid or guidance of a person or professional.
When it comes to real estate and finance, sites such as Zillow and Rocket Loans are making it easier for consumers to access facts and figures that would otherwise require the need to speak to a licensed professional. I grew up in the world of real estate when property listings were printed in a proprietary book made available only to exclusive real estate brokerages. These publications were updated weekly and only through a designated agent could you get the property details of a home you were interested in, if at all. I grew up in a financing world where in order to get a mortgage, an application package with hundreds of pages of original personal financial information was submitted directly to a bank officer in person. The loan application would then be presented to a committee that would meet every few weeks to approve loans one-by-one. Despite the manual and slow process, the competence of a skilled professional was utilized every step of the way, and the direct guidance and assistance was readily accessible to anyone interested.
To use Zillow as an example, most home shoppers will utilize the website to identify homes that they think are worthwhile pursuing, while dismissing homes that they deem unacceptable just based on visual observation online. I can’t tell you how common it is for someone to inquire about one house for one purpose (ie: rental), yet end up buying a completely different house that they never knew existed – but only through the guidance of a skilled real estate professional. Similarly with mortgage financing most consumers are not aware that when dealing with an online bank or working with their local savings bank the representative that they are speaking with does not need to be adequately licensed or certified like brokers or lenders do. That very often means these bank “loan officers” will not be able to adequately guide or advise the typical customer of their best needs and solutions.
Technological developments, new internet platforms, applications and innovations in the last decade have made it easier for anyone to conduct almost any transaction, without the assistance of a professional. Granted, the ability to have information and data readily accessible online for anyone to see and research is plentiful, but I highly question as to how many people adequately take advantage of the vast resources available before they make a decision. The DIY mindset promotes the idea that anyone is capable of performing a variety of tasks rather than relying on paid specialists. What’s most interesting about this phenomenon is that so many consumers are content with the lack of direction and supervision even with major life-changing endeavors. That is, until you remind them.
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