I’ve been part of an organization called Young President’s Organization for some time–for over nine years now, and we get regular email communications on a daily basis, various deals and what not, and one day, I got one about someone who wanted to finance their commercial real estate. I responded and kicked off a nice conversation with this future borrower of mine. He provides, basically, the extracurricular activities at very high-end resort properties like The Greenbrier, Hershey Hotel and the Gasparilla Inn in Boca Grande, Florida, places like that. And so, he had an opportunity to buy his office building in Boca Grande. It doesn’t come on market very often; there’s very little commercial real estate down there as it’s mostly a residential area. It became available for him to purchase. He came to his bank, which is what most business owners do, of course, and his bank said they would finance it at 50% loan to value, which was a little ironic because this was a $4.5 million property. He said he’d do that if he had $2.2 million, but he didn’t, so that wasn’t gonna work. That’s why he reached out on the YPO network. He found me and I financed a lot of my fellow YPO-ers over the years all over the country, and he was pretty desperate because his landlord put the property on the market and basically said, “You’ve got to get out of here within the next six months or you can buy it.” It was a bit of a desperate situation for him and fortunately, he found us.
He was a little leery at first because he’d heard all these bad myths and misperceptions about SBA financing, but sure enough, a couple other folks in our organization said, “No, no, no–you should talk to Chris. He’s the expert and he knows what he’s doing with this.” It led us to financing it in a record time period; I think we closed it for him quicker than his commercial real estate contract. I don’t think Dwayne could be happier. He said it was the easiest lending experience he’s ever had of any type of lending–residential or otherwise. So, we were very happy to have helped him out and he’s doing tremendously. I can’t wait to get down there and spend some time with him at The Gasparilla Inn one of these days.