Jason Berg of Teaneck has been tapped by Absolute Home Mortgage Corp. to be the branch manager of its new Bergen County office in Hackensack. A 13-year veteran of the mortgage industry, Berg is well known by realtors and buyers who laud his ability to make and close loans quickly while earning their trust and confidence.
There’s a big mountain to climb between finding a home to buy and taking ownership. A good loan officer walks a client through the process from beginning to end, according to Berg. He himself gets high marks on that score from clients. “Buying a house can be very stressful,” said Maytal Perl, who has bought two homes with Berg. “Jason goes above and beyond; he helps with everything, every aspect of the purchase. He referred us to all the right people—a lawyer, contractor, even a plumber and handyman. He’s honest, reliable and when he’s busy, he’ll always call back.”
Berg helps potential homebuyers who are referred to him determine affordability and assess their qualifications for a mortgage. He began his career as an underwriter so he knows how mortgages are made, giving him an edge over competitors. “Each person’s financial picture is different,” said Berg. “With so many different types of mortgages available, a loan officer has to ask all the right questions to give homebuyers advice and guidance on which product to choose.” He also has to be aware of any problems that could derail the mortgage. “I ask a buyer questions to find the red flags,” Berg added. “I need to find out up front if there is something that might disqualify the loan so we can figure out options to help him qualify.”
Realtors have a wide network of mortgage brokers to which they can refer prospective buyers. Berg’s name is on the short list for his ability to communicate with all parties involved in the transaction, including the buyer’s attorney. He provides whatever level of transparency and hand-holding a buyer needs. “Jason is always available to offer advice and guidance,” said realtor Nina Eizikovitz. “When I first got my license, he took me under his wing to teach me the ins and outs of the mortgage process. Four years later and I know any buyer is in good hands with Jason.”
Berg said he is always looking for ways he and his realtors can grow their business together. This is in part what led him to join Absolute Home Mortgage Corp. The company has created an online marketing platform with social media technology for realtors. The Hackensack office has an in-house social media coordinator to show realtors how to achieve greater visibility. “The home-buying industry has changed with the advancement of technology and social media,” Berg said. “Absolute’s social media platform has allowed me to add more value for my realtors and give them new tools to help them succeed.”
Absolute Home Mortgage Corp., a 20-year-old Fairfield, New Jersey-based company, recruited Berg, his partner Keith DeBonis and their team in January to open a new Bergen County branch at Continental Towers, located at 411 Hackensack Avenue in Hackensack. Former clients have sought him out, which makes Berg a happy man. “Nothing has changed; it has been enhanced,” he said.
Berg and DeBonis got to know each other well when the Teaneck branch of their previous company, which was managed by Berg, merged with a Hoboken branch managed by DeBonis. “We developed a friendship and working relationship,” said DeBonis. “He introduced me to his system in terms of bringing loans from start to finish more efficiently. We made a decision to become partners and to further expand our business and use our combined experience and knowledge to continue to grow, help realtors develop and have fun while doing it. It’s a very stressful business but Jason always has a smile on his face. He’s honest, has integrity and always wants to figure out a way to help people.”
Loan officer Atara Aroll moved to Absolute Home Mortgage Corp. with Berg and DeBonis as part of the team, a move she didn’t think twice about. Berg hired her five years ago as a mortgage newbie and taught her his system. “Jason wanted someone who didn’t know the business, someone he could teach to do things the right way,” said Aroll. “He taught me everything.” She had no doubts about moving to Absolute with Berg. “Jason is the most trustworthy guy I ever met. I knew that Jason and Keith did their due diligence on the company and if they agreed it was a good move, I could be 100 percent confident going with them.”
Berg knows the home-buying process from both sides. He and his wife, Chaikie, purchased their first home on Lambert Road in Teaneck in April, 2008. One year ago, they moved to their current home on Kensington Road. So he can also give advice on how to settle into a new area, once the purchase is complete. The Bergs, whose three children attend Yavneh Academy, are very active volunteers. Jason coaches his son’s sports teams and co-chairs the Yavneh Golf and Fitness Outing. He was part of the finance committee that helped Congregation Shaare Tefillah purchase its building on Claremont Avenue in Teaneck. The Bergs love being a part of their community and Jason looks forward to helping others do the same.
By Bracha Schwartz