Broker Fair is coming back to New York City on October 24th at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Anticipated to be the biggest Broker Fair ever, brokers from the small business lending, commercial financing, revenue-based financing, leasing, factoring, and MCA industries, will come together in the heart of New York.
“It’s amazing to have participated in the industry’s growth over the last four years,” said Broker Fair founder Sean Murray. “Our first event launched in Brooklyn in 2018 and now the demand has brought us into a massive newly-renovated venue in the middle of Times Square.”
Brokers, lenders, funders, factors, equipment financiers, fintechs, and the whole small business finance ecosystem can expect a full day of education, inspiration, and high quality networking opportunities.
See last year’s sizzle reel:
RJ Rochelle, Juan Carlos Marcano, Thomas Long, and Angela Thompson (above in order), all participated in a week long sales training last November that was captured on camera. They competed for a grand prize that was won in the season finale that aired just recently on March 3rd. Equipping The Dream is the defining b2b sales reality show. Now you can meet the brokers and the trainers that helped them in person!
Only a limited number of tickets to deBanked CONNECT Miami are left and sponsorships have already sold out. This will be deBanked’s 4th event in Miami since 2018.
All six episodes of Equipping the Dream are available on deBanked TV FREE.
In an inaugural move for small business financing this week, Latin Financial launched the first ‘Spanglish’ podcast for funders, lenders, merchants, and brokers titled the Latin Financial Podcast. Hosted by the company’s CEO Sonia Alvelo and co-hosted by Underwriter Ruth Alustiza, Latin Financial hopes to create an open forum of discussion and education about how Latino-owned businesses can get access to different types of financial products; all in two different languages.
“It was so much fun, but so scary,” said Alvelo, when asked about her experience recording on her first episode. “[I’m doing this] to make sure the merchants and clients have and will have the right information, I know I’m breaking barriers of languages, it’s the right thing to do.”
While still in its infancy, Alvelo is expecting the show to take off. Her target audience among merchants is a growing group of Latino-owned small businesses who have been historically underbanked. Offering episodes in both English and Spanish, the podcast hopes to not only educate the show’s listeners on how small business lending works, but also hopes to serve as a crash course in either Spanish or English for those who are already members of the non-bank finance world.
The show will have funders, lenders, merchants, and staff of Latin Financial on as guests, according to Alvelo. The show has begun a stream of content that will be released on a regular basis that is being uploaded on platforms like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.
“We are doing one episode per week, said Alvelo. “We’re going to add guests, they are already asking me to attend, and lenders. I’ll be doing back and forth, Spanish and English for sure.”
Alvelo seems confident that the show can separate itself from the countless other finance podcasts that exist. With a dynamic of two languages, two cultures, complex financial products, and revolving guests, it seems as if Latin Financial has discovered a niche in the business media space. “The audience can listen in Spanglish about what we do to help business owners in the United States and Puerto Rico. It’s a new way to stay informed, get educated on updated programs in the financing Industry, all in two languages,” Alvelo said. “It’s Spanish and English, equals Spanglish!”
A weblink to the show can be found here.
As things like cost of rent, remote work, and incoming disclosure laws cause uncertainty in the hub of alternative finance, many in the industry have decided to leave New York City. Some however, say the perception of a mass exodus is false, and it is Long Island that checks all the boxes for alternative finance’s new home.
“My company started on Long Island and it’s where most of our staff is from, so logically it made sense to keep it there in the beginning of [our] journey,” said Jared Weitz, CEO of United Capital Source. “It’s close to people’s homes so the commute is less for staff and the office space can be 10 to 40 percent less on cost and your loss factor on space is less so the space you do rent, you actually get to use more of.”
According to Weitz, employees in the industry lost a desire to commute during the pandemic. When transitioning from in-person work to remote and then back to in-person, it seems like a commute to Manhattan was a tough sell.
“During [the pandemic], a ton of larger companies who had massive offices in Manhattan ticked it down,” said Weitz. “Staff also didn’t want to commute anymore and so many offices in the city have either moved out to Long Island or stayed in [New York City] to smaller offices and did [remote work] with employees.”
When asked about the value of a Downtown Manhattan address on a business card, Weitz abruptly dismissed the notion that names like Wall, Rector, and Pine still hold the same prestige as it did in years past.
“No, no, no, no one looks at that anymore,” Weitz said. “Most often people are focused on client experiences, so reviews online, time in business, online presence, what can be found about them.”
Weitz spoke on the quality of employees that come from the New York area, and how their work ethic and work experience are some of the best the industry has to offer.
“Look, I’m from New York so I’m partial and I can see why people say [this]. New York [workers] have a certain grit, and a certain fight with laser focus determination.”
“I think there are people who are smart and who hustle anywhere,” Weitz continued. “While southerners may have a laid-back lifestyle, I know plenty who hustle hard, [but] I do think you can always tell the difference from a New York sales rep versus another.”
“After meeting so many people at the Broker Fair in New York City, I was like, ‘you know what, now is the time for it. I’m young, so let’s take the risk and start my own company.’”
Matt Dolecki, a 23-year old entrepreneur who owned and sold two businesses before he graduated high school, is taking the young hustler’s mindset to the alternative finance world. Just this week, Dolecki started his own brokerage; dubbing it Opulent Capital.
Although Dolecki wants to start funding deals immediately and create relationships across the space, he is aware that he needs to also focus on honing in on the foundations of his business if he wants true success.
“I think a lot of people when they enter this space try to grow too fast and too big too quickly,” he said. “I’m not here to grow extremely fast or extremely big. I’m here to establish a well-rounded company and not tarnish my work just trying to grow fast.”
After interning at a funding company after college and subsequently working for a commercial collections agency, Dolecki believes his experience seeing all sides of the process will set him aside from other brokers.
“I have enough knowledge and information for the merchant to not just broker them the deal, but inform the merchant and let them know exactly what they’re getting, what’s possible for them, and what’s the better option,” Dolecki said.
“I have the debt collection side, and I’ve worked in [small business funding], so I have a really well rounded knowledge of how this whole thing works. If someone were to default, I know exactly which way to go. I can guide the lender on exactly which way to go, I have all the contacts on both sides, lenders and brokers, as well as many debt collections agencies. So I can help lenders not only get business, but retain business and get back lost revenue.”
Not only is Dolecki confident that his experience will set him and his company aside from competitors, he also believes his strength in numbers, or lack of, will allow him to operate a smooth show.
“I’m a one man shop,” said Dolecki. “I’ve talked to a lot of lenders, and they like the idea of having one person to deal with. Information is directly to the source, directly to me and directly to the merchant. It’s an easier form of communication. Every lender I’ve talked to agrees that 90% of their best selling ISOs are one man shops.”
When speaking on creating an image for his company from the merchant’s perspective, Dolecki spoke extensively about different types of marketing. He says that a strategy seemingly based on the business owner’s age can determine what type of communication should be used to pitch that particular merchant.
“If you are trying to reach out to small business owners over the age of 60, most likely a call will be more beneficial rather than investing in marketing or SEO,” said Dolecki. “Now there are so many young business owners who all love technology and doing things online, so building a platform where you can use fintech to apply for loans and search different loan options would be much more beneficial to the younger business owners.”
“I think a good mix of using fintech, algorithms, and tech, but also cold calling and [even] reaching out by mail is an effective way of trying to find that perfect mix of using both types of merchants.”
Dolecki has received support from other brokerages in the industry and claims without help, he would never be in the position he is now.
“Shout out to Porsha and Mercedes Brooks at Brooks Partners Finance,” said Dolecki. “They’ve really been a big mentor for me starting out, and helping me to get the ball rolling. I’m now calling merchants, signing on as an ISO with different lenders, and still just getting started.”
“I don’t think the industry would really be the same if we didn’t have brokers anymore.”
Dave Stewart, who was recently promoted to Sales and Partnerships Manager at Idea Financial, spoke to deBanked about the role brokers will play in the future of business financing. With so many different kinds of innovation being offered in the financial world through technology, Stewart shared his thoughts on how brokers, funders, and merchants can get the most out of a technology-infused lending environment.
“We think about the whole fintech thing, everything getting technology based, and that there’s a missed opportunity for the human touch,” said Stewart, when asked how technology will influence the way merchants apply for capital. “There’s a lot of clients out there that can go online and fill out an application, but they don’t understand the in’s and out’s.”
“When [the merchant] doesn’t understand how everything actually works, they usually fall back and seek a broker at some point in time.”
Stewart highlighted how from the lender’s perspective, the value of brokers is in being the face to the experience of purchasing a financial product. He described it as someone who can guide the merchant to the right type of financing and then through that specific funding approval process.
“I think there is value in the experience,” said Stewart. “I don’t go to a restaurant to cook my own meal. I go to a restaurant because the service is going to be great, the food is going to be great, and hopefully I have a great experience, and I think that’s a great example of what the broker does.”
Despite believing that the broker’s role in financing is invincible to fintech’s innovation in lending, Stewart didn’t dismiss the value of understanding and leveraging different types of technology in order to be competitive.
“There’s an art to being a good broker,” said Stewart. “There are a lot of people who are not tech savvy and are just monster brokers or monster sales people, but they definitely need or rely on somebody else to explain the technical aspects.”
Broker Fair has logged a significant achievement, record-setting ticket sales for its 2021 conference. Registrations for the December 6th event have surpassed every single deBanked event since inception. Only pre-show tickets for the night before can still be purchased on the website. No tickets will be available at the event itself.
“It’s 2021, so naturally we had tempered some of our expectations internally about registrations for this event,” said Broker Fair founder Sean Murray. “Somehow, we ended up breaking the record for most tickets sold ever. People really want to connect in person. The industry has spoken and we’re eager to see the turnout now.”
The event is being held at Convene at Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan. The agenda is online and attendees can take advantage of the newly launched Certified Small Business Finance Professional course available on site for the first time ever. It’s also possible to connect with fellow attendees ahead of time using the mobile app.
“We’ve got so many great sponsors this year,” said Murray. “I expect a lot of dealmaking to happen in the showcase room.”
Broker Fair 2021 ticket registration will shut off days before the December 6th event. The broker-centric conference is now officially counting down to its kickoff at Convene in New York City.
“This pretty much happens every time we put on a show,” said Broker Fair founder Sean Murray. “Even though this event is post-covid, we’re looking at the number of registrations so far and are very pleasantly surprised.”
Hundreds of small business finance brokers are registered to attend Broker Fair. The annual event first launched in 2018.
“I don’t know what day we’re going to disable registration yet, but based on the pace I’d say there’s no way we make it until Friday,” Murray said.