On today’s Casandra Properties podcast, CEO and Host James Prendamano interviews Sal J. Criscuolo, who truth be told, needs no introduction to Staten Island, NYC, who has an Instagram following approaching 60,000. That’s huge for most – that’s especially huge for someone in the mortgage industry. Sal Criscuolo has been a success in the mortgage industry for more than two decades. A masterful mortgage expert, keynote speaker, entertainer,mentor,and close personal friend of Casandra Properties CEO James Prendamano.
With a personality larger than life, and approval ratings on Google reviews to match, Sal Criscuolo’s social profile and loyal customers is reflected in his glowing testimonials and 4.99/5 star ratings. Sal Criscuolo is a published author, mentor, motivational speaker and community leader. He has a dynamic personality, and his expertise is sought after in business –small business owners, community leaders, and not-for-profit organizations, just to name a few.
Sal Criscuolo was raised born and raised in Brooklyn --by a courageous single workaholic mother who taught him everything she knew about having a supreme work ethic. And wherever she worked, he worked as a kid. If she worked in a funeral home, he was vacuuming the carpet in the funeral home.
The Time he Worked for Boeing
When he was about 18 years old, he stayed with a cousin who worked for Boeing. Sal Criscuolo work alongside this cousin at Boeing for about a year. He learned a lot, matured some, came back to Brooklyn with a bit of a southern drawl and to be with his high school sweetheart whom he had missed. They are still married today and have three intelligent, successful, and beautiful children, two to daughters and one son.
That Time Sal Owned a Sandwich Shop.
Sal Criscuolo’s next adventure back in Brooklyn was opening up a sandwich shop with a partner; it was called S&G’s. It was Sal’s idea to open up the shop because the entire neighborhood loved his mother’s meatballs. The luncheonette was a success and was even frequented by Chuck Scarborough from NBC News at the time. While he enjoyed it and it did well, he notes he didn’t enjoy the service industry – as much as he loved sales and hockey.
After the closing of the sandwich shop, he had also worked on Wall Street for a bit and added to his repertoire of skills and said, “I could do this.” Sal Criscuolo then quickly moved on to successfully earn his series 7, series 24, and Series 63 and then he got into the mortgage business. Internationally Mr. Criscuolo has packaged, pitched, and implemented several structured financing plans at home and abroad.
On His Family and Moments of Zen . . .
It is so important – especially for the workaholics – the hustlers to make time for themselves. Sal said he no longer works Sundays – as a rule. Playing hockey provided many moments of Zen for Criscuolo, as it does for his son; only dad was a forward and Sal Jr. is a goalie. When playing, Sal says there is no other thought in his mind except the game. He also has two beautiful and successful daughters. One he jokes, is brilliant artist, but she wants to go into homeland security, he laughs. She can’t even stand the sight of blood,” he laughs even harder.
Sal enjoys time with his beloved family, as well as playing hockey. When he’s in the rink, his mind is free distractions and everything else. He can just focus and be in “that moment of Zen.”
For CEO James Prendamano, as we know, it’s fly fishing that brings him inner peace. Want to hear more about James Prendamano’s fly-fishing techniques? Check out it on the YouTube video of this podcast.
Dedication to Community at Large and The American Cancer Society
Mr. Criscuolo has given back tremendously to the community at large for nearly two decades – since he first started out in the field.He joined their business council and met countless associates and has raised money for events such as An Evening Under the Stars and comedy fundraisers with Staten Island comic Vic Dibitetto.
Sal Criscuolo has dedicated his philanthropic pursuits with the American Cancer Society for nearly two decades. He takes part in the NYC marathon every year since 2010, in which he and his team first raised $1.1 million dollars that year with Team Determination. “It was a great time. I met some of the most amazing people in the world then,” notes Criscuolo.
My mom had died because of a smoking related illness, and at the time they were lobbying to stop cigarette smoking in public parts and beaches. Additionally, my brother-in-law had recently died due to a smoking-related condition, and it was so hard on the family. Sal notes how he just had to get involved with this cause under the Mayor Bloomberg administration.
Now as for the actual marathon, Sal Criscuolo recalls he was basically in ‘okay shape, an ex-smoker, who had played hockey and still played’’ -- when he signed up to run his first marathon in 2010.
“Sweating in the Shower”
I had never run before, Criscuolo notes – I had played softball and, of course, I played a lot of hockey. Sal laughs that as he began training, he would just sweat profusely for weeks – everywhere! Like in the shower, I was sweating in the shower– he laughs – as James Prendamano and Peter Gambino, of course, laugh along hysterically.
And that’s what you get in with Sal Criscuolo. Along with two decades of mortgage expertise, you also get a personality that’s larger than life – and a whole lot of belly laughs. And that is ironic – because he admits he once had a debilitating fear of public speaking.
Turning Around His Phobia of Public Speaking
Then, in typical turn-it-around Criscuolo fashion, Sal became a successful keynote speaker with the launch of his third book! He remember the first time he got to the podium he was petrified. And again, the, sweat soaked through his clothes. This was a legitimate phobia, Sal Criscuolo says. I was up there, some guy made a rude comment – and I turned it around on him and captivated the audience at the same time. That was the turning point for me, notes Criscuolo. I was no longer afraid. I learned how to do it then, and I was no longer afraid. I just realized I had to be myself.
Sal Criscuolo Has Published Three Books
He captured his sales experience in his latest book in the third installment of his book series, Sale of Self, with “Paying Back Dad." Part two of his book -- Sale of Self II --sold 500,000 copies, he remembers. Barnes and Noble began sending me checks regularly. They weren’t huge checks, but I was making money in my sleep. I love that.
Sal Makes Sure People are not a number (unlike the banks), he notes. People are tired of being a number. That’s all you are at a bank, unfortunately these days, you’re Number 58 in the pile. People are tired of not getting a living, breathing person on the other end of thephone who can answer questions. I can do that, he laughs.
And yes, there are times when I do have to tell someone, “I am sorry. I just can’t help you.” I hate saying that to them, but then I also follow up by saying “But I do know someone who might be able to help you.”
Conversely, there are times when I’ve fired clients for being too rude and nasty. I don’t have time for that. If you’re going to waste hours upon hours upon hours of my time and be disrespectful during the process, so I cut them off. It’s so liberating. It’s not worth it to me.
Interest Rates . . .
Sal Criscuolo asserts that he does not see interest rates rising rapidly, but slowly we are going to begin to see them creep up. The question is -- when will this be?
Have any questions for Sal Criscuolo, email him any time!