I recently had a longtime friend/client in my office for a series of meetings. We have been doing business together for many years, and he has also been a great referral source of new business. As he was sitting in my office waiting for our next appointment, he randomly said to me, “You know, I really have no satisfaction in life anymore.” Now mind you, this person is a tremendously successful individual with several thriving companies; he is happily married with a fine and healthy family, and is very involved in his community and many charitable organizations. Initially, I wasn’t really sure how to answer the question, especially with the small window of time we had between meetings, but ss the day progressed, the answer became clear.
Interestingly, it was “National Happiness Happens Day” that day, which apparently is observed each year on August 8. This is not to be confused however with “International Day of Happiness” which apparently is celebrated worldwide annually on March 20. Until that day, I wasn’t aware of either of these momentous days, but seem to have gotten by in life just fine nonetheless. Be that as it may, even the “spirit of the day” didn’t have enough force to cheer him up, and his gloomy disposition was evident. When I asked him what prompted his comment he said, “I was just listening to you talking on the phone, and the person was so overly thankful to you with how you were able to help her. I don’t think that I’ve experienced that level of appreciation in many many years,” he concluded.
Here are the details of the call he overheard. A client of mine called up, and her first words were, “Shmuel, I don’t know how to tell you this, and I hope that you’re not going to be terribly disappointed. Our deal just fell apart, and we’re not moving forward with this home purchase.” I wasn’t sure why she needed to brace me for that news, it was they who I felt bad for, because I knew that they loved the house, and have been looking for such a long time. In truth, I actually did work harder than usual on this transaction thus far because I had many detailed conversations with the sellers-side to help the negotiations, and to communicate the borrower’s qualifications and ability to close in a timely manner. Now mind you, these people are not Jewish, and I have no idea what their religious faith or belief is, but I immediately went on to tell them how sometimes things are not meant to be, and we don’t realize why things don’t move forward the way we would like, but everything that happens is for the best, and at some point in time we will realize and appreciate that. I concluded the call by saying there is no reason to feel bad for me, and that my satisfaction and reward will be forthcoming when they find “the right house” and know that it was truly worth waiting for.
My friend listened to our discussion in silence, and observed that we both concluded the conversation in good spirits without any ill-will as to the outcome. We moved on. Over the remainder of the day, he introduced me to two additional clients – one who was looking to pay off a short-term bridge loan of $500,000 that had on an investment property, and another who was looking to consolidate his mortgage with some credit card debts for a total loan of $187,000. He was most pleased with the larger referral, but he realized that I seemed very excited about the smaller mortgage. His curiosity got the best of him, and he confronted me about my reaction to these new prospects. I explained that while I was appreciative of both referrals, I admitted that I was very enthusiastic with the smaller mortgage because of the benefit to the client. The consolidation would be saving these school teachers over $500 a month on their monthly expenses, an amount that would have a tremendous impact on their day-to-day lives.
Again I reminded my friend that when you don’t look at conducting business as a purely “money making transaction,” but more so as a means of “helping people,” then the perspective shifts and there is true satisfaction in results that one would not otherwise believe. By days end, he was in fact able to put some pleasure into the National Happiness Happens Day.
Special shout out to Debbie Rosenberg and family!
By Shmuel Shayowitz
Shmuel Shayowitz (NMLS#19871) is President and Chief Lending Officer at Approved Funding, a privately held local mortgage banker and direct lender. Approved Funding is a mortgage company offering competitive interest rates as well specialty niche programs on all types of Residential and Commercial properties. Shmuel has over 20 years of industry experience including licenses and certifications as certified mortgage underwriter, residential review appraiser, licensed real estate agent, and direct FHA specialized underwriter. He can be reached via email at