Thursday, July 09, 2020

In business, there are many taglines that people use to differentiate themselves or to call attention. One of the more common ones for “salespeople,” especially in the real estate industry is, “Your referral is the greatest compliment.” For those not in the commission business, it’s hard to understand how challenging and competitive it is for someone to chase leads and compete for new clientele. A referral is often a great reminder of a job “well done!”

This week I received several “compliments” that I think would be suitable for an article like this. One afternoon I received a text from a Realtor that read, “Classic!” Moments later I got a call from him telling me about a client who used “their local bank” because “they had a relationship” and now the appraisal came in $26,000 less than the accepted purchase price. This was after the Realtor highly recommended me as someone who will be able to navigate all of the challenges in the deal. In a market such as the one where we are in, the momentum is shifting from a sellers’ market to a buyers’ market, and home appraisals will undoubtedly be impacted.

Another compliment came to me in the form of a meme that said, “You Were Right.” While I didn’t get a follow-up call or text, I knew exactly what the comment was about. My client was having a complicated negotiation between him and the sellers. From the sound of the discussions, I could understand that there was an issue with the sellers on the timing of closing and moving. My intuition was that the sellers needed the money to sell their house before they could relocate which would take several weeks from the sale. I suggested to my buyers that they offer to close quicker and lease-back the home to the sellers for the cost of their mortgage. In exchange, the seller should be a little more flexible in the total sale price. In the end, it’s precisely the deal that was accepted, even though a higher offer came in at the same time. (PS, the sellers also called me for financial advice on their new home.)

Then there was the call from a homeowner who told me their friend had “Very nice things to say about you,” so they quickly called me. He also said, “my friend doesn’t have nice things to say about anyone usually, so I know that you are the right person to help me!” With an introduction like that, how can I not work tirelessly to try to help this person who desperately needs to consolidate liens and loans? While the scenario is one that will take some time, it was an excellent reminder to me that so many people are in the dark when it comes to using their mortgage as a safe and sensible solution to minimize debts and payments. I was heartbroken to hear about the hundreds of dollars that they were losing every month, for no reason, that I hope to save them in the future.  

Finally, another touching commendation I received this week was from someone who is relocating and using an out of state attorney, that he has never used before. We have done several ‘delicate’ deals together successfully. The attorney spent hours on the phone with him scaring him about the contract of sale with the mortgage contingency and the repercussions for not being able to get the approval on time. The conference call was followed by an even longer email which I was copied on - advising the buyer (i.e., our mutual client) to be wary of the mortgage lender, accompanied by his suggestions and instruction. My client merely replied-all and wrote, “I trust Shmuel, move forward.”

I think that the highest compliment in life, is, in fact, someone who “complements” you; but note the difference in spelling. When people complement one another, they are embracing the advice, trust, and guidance of another person to help them achieve their objective that they might otherwise not be able to alone. When all parties recognize that, it’s the greatest compliment of all!

By Shmuel Shayowitz


Shmuel Shayowitz (NMLS#19871) is President and Chief Lending Officer at Approved Funding, a privately held local mortgage banker and direct lender. Approved Funding is a mortgage company offering competitive interest rates as well as specialty niche programs on all types of Residential and Commercial properties. Shmuel has over 20 years of industry experience including licenses and certifications as certified mortgage underwriter, residential review appraiser, licensed real estate agent, and direct FHA specialized underwriter. He can be reached via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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