Jeff says he grew up going to Giants and Jets games, but he was never “a fan of a specific team.” He respects individual players, and he respects the hard work and the talent. However, remarks Van Note, if I had to pick a favorite team, I guess I’d have to say the Greenbay Packers. They have a vested interest in their community. That’s how I think. The NFL is run by privately held entities with a lot of money behind them. I treat it for what it is now a money play. It’s growing increasingly hard to stay fan these days, James Prendamano agrees.
An empath, Jeff Van Note emphasizes he has a lot of compassion for people, therefore, he tries to help them, prepare them. Everyone was blamed for that crisis – the real estate industry, the banks, the mortgage companies, the consumer. At the end of the day, says Jeff Van Note, everyone needs to take responsibility for it. “It all stemmed from a lack of education and a ton of greed, said Van Note, and it started on a governmental level. People were being pressured into homeownership, instead of ‘let’s educate them and help them get a job,’ it was ‘Let’s get them a loan on a home and they don’t have a job .’
Everyone in the podcast studio agrees that when all is said and done, we will not be judged on how much volume we moved – but how much we did to serve and give back to the community.
“You should feel impelled to leave a mark in your industry, impelled to leave a mark on the community,” says James Prendamano.
Jeff Van Note agrees. “While the accolades and awards are nice,” he says, “I measure my success based on what I’ve done for my clients – like the families in the Bronx who had previously denied mortgages, now own homes. People who reach out to me today, whose homes we closed in 2008, 2009 . . . I think of the number of people and families I’ve been able to help and it makes me feel good.”
Jeff, however, is a little hard on himself when it comes to his own financial success. Rebecca Matulonis vehemently disagrees, noting of all of his past accolades, including several national ’40 Under 40’ Awards.
“You have to live through mistakes in order to become more intentional,” says James Prendamano. “We all have those ‘would have, should have, could have’ moments. As you become more intentional in what you do, that’s when you really see the dividends multiply. You will see how all those relationships in the next ten years will flourish and everything will click into place.”
In fact, everyone thinks that should be the new measure of success and/or a critical question the banks should pose to their borrowers. . .
A return to local banks, grassroots banking on the Northeast is necessary. In addition, Jeff Van Note stresses the importance on preparation and accountability. You need to advocate your clients; you need to fight for them against arbitrary issues with the banks – who use a one-size or several-sizes-fit-all model. Rebecca Matulonis and James Prendamano agree.