The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® Member Spotlight feature allows members of the community to get to know each other before working with each other in a transaction. Each member answers a series of questions to reveal more about themselves as people. It is FAAR’s hope that learning about an individual may spark connections that blossom via email, phone conversations or in-person meetings at events and classes.
Mortgage Loan Officer at Assurance Financial
Number of Years in the Industry
39 in lending
Why do you love working in real estate?
Everyone needs a place to live, and to work. Real estate affects everyone. I thoroughly enjoy helping people and getting them into new homes is exciting! There are so many aspects of real estate – legal, financial, and physical – all of which interact in unique ways with each transaction. I’ve said for years that ‘part of me’ always wanted to be a detective. Being a lender is the closest thing I could think of to being a detective where I don’t have to be shot at!
Favorite Work Story
One comes to mind. As the 2008 recession was ending, I had a business client who owned his house plus several commercial properties and a business. He wanted to refinance as rates had fallen but had difficulty due to cross-collaterization of some of his debt and lenders that wouldn’t budge. Finally at just the right time, I was able to develop a plan to complete four refinances. While we completed the process over several years, I had changed employers twice, but between the three companies, we completed everything and the client was able to reduce his monthly debt payment by almost $10,000.
What are you most proud of in your career?
I’ve worked in many types of lending, from car loans and personal loans to indirect lending, commercial lending, commercial real estate, construction, and of course mortgage. I have financed a number of the hotels and churches in the area. Early in my career, however, I was fortunate to learn about win-win outcomes. Somehow I also figured out that to be the most successful in lending, the most important thing is to always make the customer a winner first. This means looking at each transaction to accomplish what’s best for the client rather than what’s best for me. It is the “other-focused” approach to people that I believe is actually the most important in any career.
Do you have a special cause or volunteer your time?
The most important cause in my life has been helping disadvantaged children. Last year my wife and I finally “retired” from doing foster care in our home after 20 years. During those years we cared for several dozen children for varying lengths of time, from a couple days to a few months to life (adoption). Foster care taught us so much about raising kids, about people, about ourselves, and about life in general. We learned how huge the need is for positive influences in our kids’ lives. We learned that the most important job in the world is parenting. It has been a tremendous blessing in our lives.
Lending is not exciting or fun for most people, and I accept that. But somebody’s got to do it and I love it. Once JM High School had a career day and I was invited to speak about my job. I was really looking forward to it until I arrived and found out the schedule. My talk was to be sandwiched in between a prison guard and an airplane pilot. So I figured my hour would be nap time. (Actually it turned out pretty good.)