To be honest, until we started this business, I didn’t know any “bankers,” really. I had worked with bank staff to set up accounts, get my 401Ks going, and a few things like that, but I never had any personal relationships with people in the banking business. I rarely saw the same people twice in the banks I went to, which were branches of very large banks.
However, once we started buying and selling properties more than once or twice a year, it became clear to us that getting standard loans from faceless institutions wasn’t cutting it. For one thing, it took a long time, and for another, traditional financing can be problematic for people who buy, renovate and sell houses with problems.
So, Lee began to think, and it occurred to him that the staff at small banks might well be more interested in our business model and in working with us, so he began to chat with folks at smaller banks in our area. He asked people he met who they had worked with, went to networking meetings where bank representatives who were familiar with what we do made presentations, and made a lot of phone calls. Thanks to all of that, we now have options for financing purchases, rehabs, and other transactions. More important, we have personal relationships with bank officers who know who we are and what we do. They are happy to work with us, because we know we are honest, make all our payments, and bring in business to the banks.
Because we know our bankers, they also give us advice and warnings if we might be doing something that wouldn’t end well.
We’s like to extend special appreciation to two of our banker friends. Thomas Burlew is a banker at First Texas Bank in Georgetown, Texas. He has worked with us on many transactions and has become a friend as well as a banker. Thanks to him, we have learned a lot about what to do and not to do in getting a bank loan.
Another banker we rely on often is Richard Crowe, who runs the Buckholts State Bank, which has branches in towns around Cameron, Texas. He has been wonderful with Lee and our team, and has personally helped us with some tricky situations and guided us to solutions that protect us and the bank, while allowing us to work on all our projects.
Our team is very grateful that banks like this give us a chance, and we’re proud that we make our payments and keep in good graces with our lenders. We want to have long and productive relationships with the banks and bankers who have trusted us.