Before the Broker Battle at deBanked CONNECT MIAMI, come join the Broker Brilliance session!
- Enjoy a preview of the official SBFA broker certification led by the Executive Director of the SBFA and a Partner of top law firm Hudson Cook, LLP.
- Learn about pending legislation and regulations that could impact your career forever.
- Find out what licenses are required for brokers and broker shops so that you stay compliant.
- Hear about the extraordinary opportunity that comes with joining the official Broker Council.
- Don’t just sell for today, make sure you’re set up for longevity!
BUT, in order to experience all of it you MUST be registered for deBanked CONNECT MIAMI. Join the industry on January 11th!
The first ever Broker Battle™ taking place at deBanked CONNECT MIAMI on January 11th at the Miami Beach Convention Center has locked in 4 highly qualified judges.
The Battle will feature 5-8 brokers exhibiting their abilities while fielding questions from the judges in front of a LIVE audience. The winner of the championship round will receive a $5,000 grand prize. More than 30 brokers have already entered themselves in for consideration. The submission deadline is December 1. More information and the entry form can be viewed here.
If you decide to engage with multiple brokers at once to try and secure the best possible business loan terms, here are some tips to ensure that happens:
1. Request a clear breakdown of loan terms and fees: You should ask each broker to provide a comprehensive breakdown of the loan terms, including interest rates, repayment schedules, and any associated fees (such as origination fees, late payment fees, or prepayment penalties).
2. Emphasize the importance of transparency: You should stress that you value transparency in the lending process and expect full disclosure of all fees, terms, and conditions. This will help you make a well-informed decision and avoid any hidden costs or unfavorable terms.
3. Ask about their lender network: You should inquire about the range of lenders they work with and their expertise in securing loans for small businesses in you specific industry. This will give you a better understanding of their ability to find the most suitable lender for you needs.
4. Mention that you are considering multiple brokers: By telling each broker that you are speaking with other brokers, you are creating a competitive environment. This may encourage them to offer more favorable loan terms in order to secure you business.
5. Discuss you business strengths: You should highlight you business’s strong points, such as a solid credit history, steady cash flow, or a well-developed business plan. This will help demonstrate to the brokers that you are a low-risk borrower, which could potentially lead to better loan terms.
6. Ask for references or testimonials: You should request references or testimonials from other small business owners who have worked with the broker in the past. This will give you an idea of their level of customer satisfaction and the quality of loan terms they have been able to secure for other clients.
Back in June 2022, Eddie DeAngelis was getting ready to launch QualiFi in a Philadelphia suburb. After having started in the industry as President and partner with Bizlender in 2013 and then founder and CEO of Amerifi, LLC in 2017 (later acquired by Nav Technologies Inc.), success for DeAngelis’ newest startup was bound to draw heavily on the experience he had gained throughout his career. But, times had changed a little.
“In my opinion, this is probably the hardest and most competitive over the last 10 years this business has ever been,” he told deBanked. “Every deal shopping around, they’re working with multiple brokers…”
QualiFi connects businesses with funding sources. Real estate loans, AR financing, PO financing, equipment financing, and term loans are among their core products. It’s not a revolutionary business model in that of itself. The key is in execution, which by any measure the company seems to be accomplishing quite well so far. In August alone, QualiFi closed 33 deals for a total of $2.4M in financing and continued the streak until November when it eclipsed $11.3M in just one month split across 57 deals.
In roughly less than seven months since launch, DeAngelis said they’ve surpassed $28M in closed deals. To be sure, DeAngelis doesn’t take all the credit for the impressive start. Jason Maury, a QualiFi partner and VP of Sales, has been instrumental in executing the company’s strategy, DeAngelis said. Part of that strategy he shared.
“99% of all our traffic is from inbound leads,” DeAngelis said. The company runs a variety of marketing campaigns that includes social media but nearly half is attributable to referral partners.
“We have banks, a couple of credit unions, and CPAs that we work with that send us some of their clients that are either maxed out on their line of credit or just simply can’t get approved from the bank,” he said.
The company doesn’t take any of those relationships for granted, which means QualiFi reps need to be qualified to take on their tasks.
“We have an approximate five week on-boarding process for all new hires,” DeAngelis explained, adding that it’s one of the most intensive sales trainings out there. New people to the business must go through it before they get on the phone with potential customers. All of that training is on-site at the company’s office, not something that is offered remotely. Doing this business in person is something QualiFi puts a high value on as the team is expected to be in the office Monday-Thursday. Fridays are allowed to be remote.
There’s a little more to it. DeAngelis said that “culture and the environment is another piece” and that leadership is about supporting everyone and keeping a team mentality.
“Even after they’re done their five week training, Jason and myself are always all over the floor,” DeAngelis said. “We’re very involved in the trenches day-to-day. We do ongoing support training once a week…”
All told, even with the current state of the economy, QualiFi anticipates an opportunity to help more business owners when they will probably need it most.
“We’re remaining pretty optimistic,” DeAngelis said. “As we’re going into an even more volatile economy in the new year, I think the banks are really going to be squeezing and not really looking to put too much money out there and take any risk at all. So I think that a lot of that business is going to come our way potentially. That’s what we’re hopeful for.”
Like many business loan brokerage CEOs across the US, Jared Weitz is familiar with the Employee Retention Credit (ERC). His company, United Capital Source (UCS), which in 2021 surpassed $1B in small business financing volume, regularly speaks to thousands of small business owners. Weitz told deBanked that through his own experience most business owners have become sufficiently aware of the ERC as well. That in turn raises the question of what role a company like UCS can play in the ERC process.
“We have a few different referral partners that are lending against those credits,” Weitz said. “And that’s what we’re doing.”
In that regard, UCS is doing what it is already used to doing, connecting the business owner with a compatible source of funding. While other brokers may attempt to generate fees by assisting businesses with filing for the tax credits themselves, Weitz said he prefers to avoid the headache and/or potential liability that can come along with doing that.
“We’re able to get 100% of what a client is owed right up front,” Weitz said. “They can either have an interest-only program or a no-payments program for 12 months, and then after 12 months there would be a factor rate attached to the program that would be paid back weekly.”
UCS earns a commission when a deal goes through but ERC has not by any means become a primary driver of business, according to Weitz. Rather, it’s something that could come up during a customer consultation.
“When we’re peeling back the layers and chatting with the client on why they need funds, if they say ‘well, actually I’m falling short here and I also just filed for [the ERC] and I’m still waiting for that,’ it can be one of the options that we offer them […] and we’ll just see what they qualify for and if they’re interested in it.”
It’s the waiting part that is creating a cottage industry around ERC. Weitz says he hasn’t heard of any business getting an ERC refund in less than 7 or 8 months and he is aware of at least one business that is still waiting for it 2 years later since filing. But just because most businesses are aware of the ERC doesn’t mean they’ve all actively pursued it. On this, UCS simply offers free helpful advice.
“What I would say to them is ‘hey, heads up, you should probably look into this with your local accountant and payroll company, make sure you get your tax attorney or your accounting firm’s attorney involved just to make sure you’re doing it the right way.'”
Putting business owners on that path of pursuit, informing them of its existence and advising them to seek out qualified counsel to assist with it, generates no revenue to UCS, but Weitz thinks it’s important to help business owners in any way possible.
“I think it does build a bridge of trust a bit more between you and your clients because you’re showing them that you’re not solely looking at products that are beneficial to you, and you shouldn’t be doing that anyway,” Weitz said. “But I think when you’re dealing with someone there’s always that thought in their head, right? And so this has helped solidify that you’re not.”
This month Patrick Manning took over as the new CEO of ROK Financial. Previously representing the company as CRO and President, Manning’s been on an upward trajectory since he first started in sales roughly eight years ago. He learned the business from founder and former ROK CEO James Webster, who will be stepping into a new role as Executive Chairman.
Manning will be overseeing the leadership team with the help of COO Shannon Treadwell and continuing to grow the organization.
“I also have a large hand in the relationships with our lenders, we are a broker, and we utilize all of the top lenders in the industry,” said Manning. “And I sit at the helm of managing and building those relationships with our lenders.”
Manning described the industry as “lacking information and education” whether this be from brokerages or business owners themselves. Taking pride in the way ROK does business, Manning went on to describe a new learning experience the company will be presenting to the industry.
“I’m going to continue to help push on the company initiative of rolling out ROK-U or ROK University. ROK-U is an education platform which encompasses ROK’s 10-15 years of broker experience to an easy-to-follow training platform geared to properly educate those that are looking to enter into the industry,” said Manning.
ROK’s goal is to improve the way brokers interact with business owners and carry out transactions. This fully remote program will be available to anybody interested in entering the industry where they’ll learn proper techniques as well as language. The company soft launched the program in May with 30 enrolled students from all over the country. Testing the program out to see what areas needed improvement, ROK-U will officially launch in January 2023. It is also free of charge and will be live on their website.
“The team has been working diligently to roll out new technologies to help with this initiative. Those that enroll in ROK-U will have access to best-in-class technologies powered by Salesforce Communities to assist in training and getting their businesses off the ground,” said Manning.
The company will also be introducing the ROK Tour, a new networking event in eight major cities throughout the U.S to help promote ROK University.
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.