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.
This week, my wife and I are blessed and privileged to be celebrating the bar mitzvah of our son. It’s truly a wonderful milestone in our lives, and even more so for him. What I find most fascinating about the event is the transformation that takes place instantly. One day he is a little boy sitting next to me in shul that is all-but-invisible, and the next moment, he is a young man that is recognized and can be counted towards making a quorum for a minyan. I cannot think of any other instance in life whereby overnight a person is instantly authorized and can be counted on or entitled to something without any peripheral event or effort. My blessing to my son is that he should not only be counted towards enabling a minyan but that his prayers and actions be counted on to facilitate many further acts of kindness and mitzvah observances to its fullest.
Conversely in business, earning the reputation and ability to be counted on and relied-on does not come without toil. It takes a broad range of competence, consistency, knowledge, experience, and the like, to earn that status. This thought came to mind when a client recently called me from the Caribbean where he was traveling for a family celebration. He started a loan application with me several weeks earlier, but then quietly vanished despite my best efforts to get a response from him by phone or email. When he called me from his hotel, he apologized for not responding to me but told me that he was hesitant to move forward with me, or anyone for that matter, because he was pretty confident that I would not be able to get him a mortgage.
At this wedding, he was speaking with a close friend of his who he confided with about his financial despair. Coincidentally, his friend actually got a mortgage from me about a year ago, and emphatically told him, “I know Shmuel; He helped me get a mortgage despite my issues; I completely trust him; He will deliver; You can count on him!” Just like that, my status was changed to “counted-on” status. Needless to say, we are moving full speed ahead with his loan.
In a similar manner, I recently completed a very long and very delicate transaction with a first-time home-buying couple. I was amazed that every recommendation and suggestion that I outlined with them was followed and executed faithfully and meticulously. I was even more amazed by the email I received the evening of their purchase.
It read, “While it has only been a few hours since we finished the closing, the emotions we been experiencing has been nothing that we ever felt or thought we would. A few years ago my wife and I looked at our current financial state and our family needs and realized that we were in no shape to buy a house – let alone to think about it. It broke our hearts as we saw our daughters missing out on so much of what we experienced as children. Nevertheless, we put a plan together and did everything we needed to get as close as possible, all the while, realizing we need someone else to step in and connect the dots for us. We happened on Shmuel – and were convinced that the only team that could help us was his. We started working together with you a bit over 8 months ago, and we had no idea that we had found our missing link. We completed a dream that I have had since I was a younger version of myself, and something we never could have imagined. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to you, and everyone else that has been part of this journey together with us.”
To conclude, I was recently contacted by a potential home buyer who told me he went to a local first-time home buyers seminar at a local bank. He approached the Loan Officer after the presentation with his situation, and was bluntly told, “You don’t exist.” That’s a direct quote. I guess he can’t be counted for a minyan?! Anyway, we spoke in detail as to his conditions and I easily confirmed that I would have no issue getting him a mortgage! There is an old saying along the lines of, “no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” My recommendation to anyone who is looking for financing of any kind is to take the time to find a lender that you can count on.
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