“It takes a creative lender to put together a structure that merges the goals of both sides to ultim
What is your most notable project, deal or transaction? There are a few that come to mind, but my favorite was the acquisition of a Bergen County office property that we financed during 2017. Our customer was under a tight window to close and the deal required a fair amount of structure and creativity in order to get all parties comfortable. We had third party professionals working around the clock and at the end of the day we were able to close the deal in about 35-40 days. Our customer was thrilled and the loan has performed well for us since.How do you contribute to your company and / or the industry? Beyond the obvious, serving as a reliable source of financing for real estate developers and operators within our region, I also contribute to the real estate industry by acting as both a consultant and an intermediary. The fact of the matter is, not every real estate transaction will be a good fit for our bank. Despite this, I urge my customers to utilize me as a resource to discuss financing proposals and how specific terms might be viewed from a banker’s point of view. This type of relationship-based service helps build a superior rapport with my clients and prospects, while better equipping them for the conversations that will ensue with prospective lenders. What impact has social media / networking had on your career? Networking has been one of the most critical factors to my career growth over the past 4-5 years. CRE bankers are often offering very similar products, but I have been able to differentiate myself by building relationships with customers, prospects and third party professionals that extend beyond the day to day business dialogue. While social media has served as a nice supplemental tool to further enhance my contact base, I still believe getting out and meeting with people face to face is the winning formula and should be a priority. Tell us how and when you began your career in the profession you are in, about your current position and why you choose the field/profession you are in today? I started with Lakeland Bank as a credit analyst in 2011, about a month after I had graduated from the University of Maryland. At the time, I wasn’t entirely sure how the career path would lead, but I had heard great things about the Company and the management team in place. Over the next couple of years, I worked on a variety of different commercial real estate transactions ranging from ground up developments to large scale portfolio acquisitions and refinances. I enjoyed getting behind the numbers and putting together financing structures that made these projects feasible. As a result, I quickly saw the commercial real estate sector as a long-term career path for myself. I have been a loan officer / relationship manager for the past four years or so, and now serve as one of the point persons within the company for financing commercial real estate transactions. What unique qualities and or personality do you feel makes you most successful in your profession? The needs and wants of my customers rarely align perfectly with the Bank’s. It takes a creative lender to put together a structure that merges the goals of both sides to ultimately get the deal done. Anyone can put together a plain vanilla loan proposal, but I think it is my creativity and problem solving nature that sets me apart. My ability to successfully network with industry professionals is critical to opening the door to new opportunities, but without creativity and the ability to think outside the box, not many deals would get done.