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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.
For those of you who know me well or follow me on social media, you know that I am a big Brooklyn Nets fan. I started rooting for them after moving to New Jersey and being fortunate enough to attend many of their local home games. It was tough being a Nets fan during those years, and it was even harder to ‘give away’ our seats because most people weren’t interested in seeing them play. When they got new ownership and relocated to Brooklyn in 2012 the team philosophy changed, and they were determined to win!

As someone born and raised in Brooklyn, following the team to Brooklyn was a no-brainer. They mortgaged their future, pun intended, by trading away draft picks to secure a few big-name players to try to contend for a championship quickly. The team looked promising but turned out to be a shameful disaster. The big expectations with their golden-ticket players failed, and they were forced to reevaluate their decisions and directions.

Fast forward to 2019 and this team has completely turned everything around from the strategy it implemented of trying to “buy success.” They started the change by bringing in new management which completely altered the culture and dynamic of the team. With a few key maneuvers and focusing on a philosophy of consistency and determination, this team has proven they are more than just a fad.

The success of this team speaks to me in so many ways. They work hard. They play hard. They are relentless. They don’t give up. They are persistent. They have a tremendous work ethic. They are unselfish. They are committed to the cause. They are determined. They have a common objective. They have a united goal. They don’t have a brand-name player or dominant powerhouse. They have no name players who are building a name for themselves through their passion and performance when it matters!

In a competitive business such as real estate and mortgages – you need to do more than just “show up” to earn your keep and be relevant. Finding the house or getting the mortgage is a given – it’s the journey getting there which makes all the difference. There are a lot of options out there – and there’s plenty of showmanship out there.

Most people are swayed by the fancy bells and whistles, but that is only surface deep, and can’t easily be spotted for people who are looking for more. Figuring out who the “difference makers are” and who brings the “value added” is not easy with so much noise out there. But for those looking close enough, you can spot the difference where it matters.

I recently had a client who was looking to buy a bank-owned home from foreclosure. He was nervous about meeting all of their rigorous requirements on time. The contract that he signed had so many unique and one-sided provisions that were all in favor of the seller (the bank). I went through all of the contingencies with him and his attorney, and each time I assured them it wouldn’t be a problem for us. They had a firm closing deadline or extensive penalties would be imposed on the buyer. I assured them it wouldn’t be an issue. We recently closed the transaction very seamlessly. For me, the highlight of the deal was when the title company said, “it’s so easy working with you guys because you do whatever it takes.” I couldn’t agree more.

In business, the difference is not in the day-to-day, but when there is something out of the norm. When there is a unique situation, a challenging transaction – something where the experience and grit of your agent matters – that’s where you will see the difference. Unfortunately, we live in a society where so many people are in a rush; so many are (mis) informed from online banter, and so many are inexperienced and impatient. The culture, the compassion, the attitude and consideration of a true superstar professional makes all the difference in the world.

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