An All-directional Attack on Small Businesses

I’m hoping everyone had a safe journey to their workplaces this morning because it was exceptionally slippery while driving on our streets and highways this morning, and because I had to get myself to office at least an hour or more earlier to do some personal research, I found the snowplows hadn’t even spread ice-melt on the streets. Truth be told, I couldn’t envision myself driving any faster than 10 – 15 miles per hour because of it. Even the big pickups were sliding around. At least I did make it to office safely which was all that mattered.

After spending a good two hours of researching, cross-referencing and note-taking, I gave it all a good review and set it aside for reference later this morning. Once upon a time back when I worked at one of our banks in their accounting department, I would be asked at times how it came to be that I was able to so easily find accounting errors and omissions. Nearly always I would dismiss it as being nothing more than luck and left it at that.

When I decided to go into real estate, I found my trouble-shooting skills being moved over to my new profession which came in handy for a newbie. I would say what gave me the edge, was my ability to pre-qualify potential buyers who were seated across the table from me. My first statement would be, “Now if you don’t give me all the necessary financial information I need, then the pre-qualification I give you will won’t work because once you go in for loan application and there’s other debt you didn’t report to me, you’ll likely lose the home you thought you’d purchased.”

My next statement was, “Keep in mind, the information you give me will not be shared with anyone else, so it just between those of us in this room.” I would say 90% of the time they’d give me all the accurate information I needed to get them pre-qualified for a loan. I would also tell them that the price range of homes I’d given them, was not based at the top of their debt-to-income ratios, but rather a comfortable range which they’d be able to manage. Sometimes I would tease them by saying, “Now if you let your banker talk you into going to the top of your affordability range, don’t blame me if you find yourselves eating macaroni sandwiches more often than you care.”

Back in those days, nearly all mortgage bankers were in salaried positions, where now, nearly all the national banks, along with a few of our locals, have their mortgage bankers on minimum monthly stipends which act as an incentive for them to originate as many loans as possible, just so they can collect their fat monthly commission checks. It wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that just about anyone in a commission/quota position, would be working hard to get just about anyone financed. Since I’m from the old school where a business person should do the best they can for their customers, I can’t help wondering how many foreclosures have taken place, just because buyers were not properly counseled.

Just before the 2008 Mortgage Crisis hit, I was “dumped” by a potential buyer whom I strongly recommended it best she wait a year or two before purchasing, and only because of the un-steady job she had, as well as the amount of revolving debt she was servicing. Now keep in mind, back in those days, they didn’t verify incomes with their employers which opened up a pandoras’s box for those buyers because their commissioned mortgage bankers were inserting bloated wages which didn’t exist. When I found out about two months later that she did buy a house which was far out of her payment range, so I marched into that banker’s office and said, “Just you wait and see. All of these stated income mortgages are going to come back and bite you.” Well, not even six months later the market crashed, and wouldn’t you know, that buyer lost her home to foreclosure. I can’t even imagine how many millions of households were affected by those mortgage bankers who were only looking out for their own best interests. There were some great hardships created which could’ve been easily avoided.

Late this afternoon I finally finished up on my once a year project of getting re-certified with one of our Government agencies. It seems every year there happens to be some glitch with their website to where I have to call them. After my second attempt at uploading the documents they needed for my certification, it finally loaded, and then later I received an email saying I was good to go for another year. I came very close to not renewing this year, but then I thought it best I do because it would be just my luck, there’d be someone in need of it, so decided to keep it.

Early this morning I placed a call to the owner of that small business owner who posted some not so kind things about me on his Facebook page, and as I suspected, he didn’t answer, and likely because his business has caller-id. I left a message for him to return my call, and made sure I left both my office and mobile numbers. As of the end of today’s business, no call was received which came as no surprise.

With all the information I’d gathered this morning, I proceeded to contact Facebook regarding the copyright infringement that guy created for himself by taking a screen-shot of my website’s journal page which spoke discreetly about a happening that’d taken place with him and two of his workers. This will be the second time I’ve gone down that path of infringement on my website’s copyright because the key to being charged, is if it can be proven that it’s being used to promote one’s position or business. Well, after reading his stilted post which accompanied that screen-shot of which only he knew is was him and his workers I was talking about, I’d say it was pretty clear that he was pulling my office down while working at raising his company’s standing. For shame.

My next little project was to go deeply online and read about the millions of small business owners who’ve had to deal with fake their reviews on Google. There were many tips I took note of, so if those fake reviews are still posted tomorrow morning on Holtz Realty, I’ll be responding to each and every one of them. Not just today, but over thee recent years, I’ve found these “keyboard warriors” using either their maiden names, or getting someone else to to post for them. The most troubling of this whole business, is that a struggling small business person has sent his “warriors” out to do battle with another small business owner. Knowing he’s a newbie to having his own company, he’ll learn more sooner than later learn, that it’s best to move forward and not dwell on incidents which could’ve been avoided, and namely by simply saying, “I’m sorry. What can I do to fix it?” After reading today’s online articles regarding fake Google posts, I’m convinced there’s an all-directional attack on small businesses across our Nation.

Tonight’s One-liner is: None but a coward dares to boast that he has never known fear.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

First of all....Joe Chodur really doesn't like talking about himself but this is what we have found out about him.

Joe Chodur began his real estate career in 1981 during the...read more about: Joe Chodur

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