Hire Skill Over Experience – Like Clemson & Silicon Valley

I don’t watch college football, but I do read the headlines and follow the drama b/c the stakes are so high for the coaches, schools and players (who hope to go to the NFL). That is why this recent headline in the WSJ caught my eye: How Clemson Emulated Silicon Valley To Win a National […]Read More

An Homage To My Hero Herb Kelleher of SW Airlines

I learned this morning in this WSJ editorial that SW Airlines founder Herb Kelleher passed away recently. The man is one of my heroes b/c his entrepreneurial exploits are the stuff of legends. He built one of the world’s mightiest airlines and made air travel far cheaper for everyone despite ferocious opposition from the entrenched […]Read More

Great Lessons from Budweiser

I am reading a fascinating account of Anheuser-Busch’s (Budweiser’s) rise and fall in a book called Bitter Brew. The book mostly illuminates how not to run a business or live a life, as the Busch family managers were often conniving, back-stabbing, misogynistic, vindictive, womanizing, arrogant jerks. It is amazing that the company thrived for as […]Read More

Trader Joe’s and In-N-Out: Fans, Not Customers

We give every new hire a copy of a book about In-N-Out Burger. We do so b/c In-N-Out is a great example of business that thrives with no marketing at all b/c its extraordinary customer service, systems and focus on quality keep customers coming in droves. In-N-Out’s story is simply a great business lesson for […]Read More

How To Play Bigger; Be Different, Not Just Better

Heejin and I were recently invited to a Bay Area meeting of the Forbes Business Council, and we quickly wondered why we were invited to a Bay Area meeting of the Forbes Business Council. 😊 The reason was that we were the only people there who were not tech company founders worth $100 million (or […]Read More

Learning From DoorDash – Training in the Trenches

I STEP INTO TRENCHES AND … FAIL We were short-staffed a few weeks ago, so I temporarily stepped into our referral manager/lead taker role, and … failed 😊. I pre-approved people based on outdated guidelines; I was unable to enter all of the data in our Salesforce CRM; and I quickly got buried with all […]Read More

Learning From 100 Days of Rejection; Happy Thanksgiving!

Jia Jiang is a famous author and TED Talk speaker who has made an entire career out of getting rejected. To desensitize himself to rejection and to make himself able to ask for anything without fear, he practiced getting rejected for 100 days by asking for ridiculous things. For example, he asked for a “burger […]Read More

Busy vs. Productive; The Big Leap

Although national purchase volume is down from last year, our office is still in the midst of “busy season.” Despite the large volume of things that must get done, our team still strives to manage a work-life balance by actively prioritizing and managing their workdays. This reminds me that we see many people “addicted to […]Read More

Huizenga (Blockbuster) Book; Great Lessons; Ugly Lessons

I just listened to a book about the founder of Blockbuster Video and Waste Management, Wayne Huizenga. There were some excellent and horrible lessons. Good Lessons: Cleanliness. He kept his garbage trucks immaculate, as he thought cleanliness was a reflection of business overall. We absolutely agree with that, having had bad experiences with attorneys and […]Read More

The Girl In The Front Row

When I was an econ major in college, there was a girl who was in almost every one of my econ classes and I don’t think we ever exchanged more than three words. She sat in the front, and I sat in the back. She was prim, proper, polite, social and energetic and she participated […]Read More

Showing Off vs. Sharing Wealth; Sharing Is A Lot Cheaper

I was just reminded of a famous story in our industry about a mortgage company owner who had a great year, so she bought a mansion and hosted her entire company for a holiday party. She spared no expense and even made a grand entrance down her staircase to ensure she made the maximum impression. […]Read More

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished; Put In Writing; Cross T’s; Dot I’s

Years ago, Heejin loaned $50,000 to a friend of a friend as a second mortgage. She recorded the mortgage but did not worry about all the regulatory particulars b/c her loan had extremely favorable terms, it saved the borrower from imminent foreclosure, and the borrower was a close friend of a close friend. The borrower, […]Read More

The Extreme Need To Say “No”; “Hell No’s” vs. “Hell Yeses”

Heejin’s daughter is too charismatic and popular. I am not being facetious, as it is a real problem. Too many friends and family members want to spend time with her and she is unable to say no; she does not want to miss out, give up relationships or disappoint anyone. She often runs full speed […]Read More

JVM Moved; Beware of “Rock Star” Offices and Managers

A major mortgage bank was recruiting us several years ago and Heejin and I met with a senior manager. She had a giant office that was pretty much a shrine to herself, and the only pronouns she used when discussing business were “I,” “me,” and “my,” implying that she did everything herself. She scared the […]Read More

The Extreme Need To Fire Some Clients; Ignore Sunk Cost

A few weeks ago I heard from a borrower I had not spoken to for over 8 years, and we last closed her loan in 2005. I remember her well nonetheless b/c she was so extraordinarily difficult to please, and we tried everything. If we had given her $1 million dollars in cash, she would […]Read More

Donate Your Old Computers To A Great Charity In Oakland: OTX West

B/c of JVM’s extreme need for speed, and heavy reliance on technology, we are forced to upgrade our computers often. As a result, we often end up with computers that are not suitable for a 2016 business but are still great for most households. Courtney from our office recently found a wonderful charity to give […]Read More

JVM’s “Super 17!” Closing Period; TRID No Longer “Scary”

Pre-TRID JVM was famous for its 14 Day Closings (“Fast Fourteen”). Post-TRID, we bumped our closing guarantee to 21 Days (“Terrific 21”). BUT, now that we have tamed TRID, we are announcing our “Super 17.” JVM now guarantees that we can close in 17 Days – our “Super 17.” Our super-fast closings effectively help buyers […]Read More

“Busy” Vs. Productive and Present; Busy Is Addiction

A friend of ours posted his extremely busy schedule on Facebook yesterday, and Heejin and I were struck by how many of the tasks could have been delegated, ignored or postponed. The gentleman is probably “addicted to busy” like far too many of us – especially those of us in sales or self-employment. Dan Sullivan […]Read More

Apple Employees Aren’t JVM Employees; One Size Doesn’t Fit All

When we first started to grow our business, we’d take in enormous amounts of outside business advice from every source and try to apply it to JVM. It was only after much trial and error that we figured out that “one size does not fit all.” Much business advice simply does not work for JVM. […]Read More

When Phone Calls Over Emails Are Necessary

A few weeks ago, Heejin and I received one of the most grating, threatening and inflammatory emails we have ever received. It was so extreme that we were completely taken aback and were discussing legal action, when I decided to call the Realtor before replying with a similar email. Here is the kicker: The Realtor […]Read More

“Big Short” Was Good! BUT, Bankers Were Hardly the Only Cause of Meltdown

Heejin and I just saw “The Big Short” and loved it. The movie was wonderful but very misleading b/c corrupt bankers and slimy mortgage brokers were hardly the only cause of the meltdown. Gov’t Policy was also a major cause. The Fed kept rates way too low for too long in the Bush years, forcing […]Read More

Happy New Year From JVM Lending

This is a quick reminder that we will be closing today at 1 PM, but Heejin and I will be available all weekend to answer your questions and speak with buyers. My cell number is (925) 360-3305. Happy New Year from All of Us at JVM Lending! We wish you a happy and prosperous 2016. […]Read More

Charitable Giving – 50% Gov’t Matching Grant in CA

Ten years (almost to the day) ago I walked into my gym for my morning workout and got conspicuously angry sneers from an older woman who definitely did not like me. I didn’t care in the least b/c I felt the same way about her. This happened most mornings b/c my workouts were very intense […]Read More

Happy Holidays From All Of Us At JVM Lending!

Happy Holidays From All of Us at JVM Lending! Jay Voorhees, Heejin Kim Voorhees, Alexandria Chan, Erin Piper, Jenna Armstrong, Diandra Prutton, Madeline Elbgal, Heidi Ameli, Tiffany Nordgren, Lindsey Hansen, Meg Adams, Arianna Isolani, Denise Truono, Koko Gibbons, Chingchi Yu, Denis Cohen, and Paulina Alexander Jay Voorhees Founder/Broker | JVM Lending (925) 855-4491 | DRE# 01524255, […]Read More

Coaching, Consulting, Outside Advice: Be Afraid, Very Afraid

Back in the 1990s my brother’s software company invested millions in “Six Sigma” consulting that did nothing for the company b/c the software sucked. All the employees knew what was wrong, but management refused to listen. The employees left and started their own companies (and got rich) and the company went belly up. I tell […]Read More

Clean Desk = Success

In 2002, I cleaned my desk for the first time in years. And, my productivity, my free time, and my income soared. Actually, I didn’t just clean my desk; I threw out almost everything and committed to keeping my desk and office sparse and immaculate. This is a principle we enforce at JVM, and one […]Read More

Hire An Assistant Please

A good friend of ours who runs a large mortgage bank recently wasted an afternoon doing all of his own travel arrangements. When Heejin found out, she told one of her assistants to make fun of him (for wasting so much time) before running out to meet with a valuable referral partner, and then coming […]Read More

Fed Raised Rates for 1st Time Since 2006; What Does It Mean?

Keep in mind once again that the Fed does not control long term interest rates. It influences short term rates only. The Fed Funds rate is the rate banks charge each other to borrow funds overnight. Today’s move seems to be having little impact on mortgage rates, as the markets have already accounted for the […]Read More

Help For A Very Dear Friend With Severe Cancer

Today’s “Comments” are written by Heejin Kim. My dear friend and brother-in-law and Mac’s (my daughter’s) uncle, Zach Shrieve, was recently diagnosed with a very serious form of cancer. Zach is a wonderful human being who lights up every room he is in, and I simply cannot say enough good things about him. He has […]Read More

Wherever You Go, You Bring Yourself; Change Self, Not Environment

When Heejin and I were in a high-end coaching program, we were analyzing business issues that resurfaced often in our careers. One of the coaches told us that “it was the universe bringing us the same problems over and over until we learned what we needed to learn.” And Heejin glared at him like he […]Read More

Why Pursuing Your Passion For a Career Doesn’t Work; Create Passion

I had a friend who was passionate about golf, so he opened up a golf shop…and lost his shirt. I thought about him when I listened to a recent Tim Ferriss podcast with Will MacAskill and they talked about how it is foolish to blindly pursue one’s passion. There are several reasons why. 1. Economic […]Read More

Beware of the Lobster Effect; Don’t Let ‘Em Pull You Down :)

I have mentioned in previous “Comments” how Heejin let her daughter pursue her interests (music), instead of pushing her to pursue her extraordinary talents (athletics). Heejin didn’t push her at all in fact and it worked out beautifully, as her daughter is now thriving as a freshman at NYU. While Heejin didn’t push, she did […]Read More

“Uberization” Of Everything Is Inevitable; Be Ready; Lending?

When I landed at JFK Airport in New York last week, I called Uber and my driver actually worked for a large ride-service company. The company had signed all of its cars and drivers up for Uber. This is a great example of a company adjusting to a technology change that is wiping out many […]Read More

Are You Cutting The Ends Off Your Ham? No Doubt You Are

My Dad used to tell a story about a woman who always cut the ends off her ham before putting it in the oven. Her husband asked her why she did so, and she said it was b/c her Mom had always done so. So the husband asked his wife’s Mom why she always cut […]Read More

Eliminating Delusions & Facing Reality

We once had a borrower whose only source of income was an apartment he rented in the Mission District and then re-rented via AirBnB. It was a good idea, and he made a few bucks. But, when we asked him what he did for a living, he proclaimed himself part of the “share economy” (he […]Read More

Why and How to Hire “Nice” Over Talent; “Nice” is Essential

I worked for an investment bank in the late 1980s and the “Analyst” staff was dominated by an extremely talented young guy who also happened to be a bombastic jerk. The company put up with him b/c his quantitative and software skills were unmatched. But the company was unaware of the damage he was doing […]Read More

Elements of Best Place To Work? Pebbles In Shoes

I recently mentioned trying to make JVM the best place possible to work. Here are a few of the things we did to improve our culture. 1. Hire really, really nice people. This is key, so everyone loves working with each other. We only hire “nice” no matter how talented someone might be (will discuss […]Read More

Cliché: Can’t Just Pursue Money & Profits To Be Successful, But…

We used to have a renowned business coach who told everyone over and over that no business can just pursue profits or money and be successful. You need “higher” causes. He would then proceed to repeatedly brag about how much money and profits he had (we fired him). In any case, he was not the […]Read More

Job Change While In Contract? Keep Current Job If At All Possible

According to a Forbes article, the average millennial will have between 15 to 20 jobs during their career, with most expecting to hold a particular job for three years or less. Gone are the days of the 40 year career and the gold-watch retirement. This is particularly the case in the Bay Area, where the […]Read More

“RomComs” vs. Podcasts; Podcasts Win!! Come On In…

Heejin and her daughter used to watch Romantic Comedies over and over. It was their bonding time. When they “forced” me to watch with them, I was shocked by the fact that every “romcom” had the exact same plot: Girl meets an obnoxious boy. Girl thinks she hates boy but really loves him (her crazy […]Read More

Healthy Coaching is Good; Be Leary of Advice From “Experts”

Dan Sullivan is one of the country’s foremost business coaches, and Heejin and I love his podcast “10x Talk.” http://10xtalk.com/ He focuses on healthy thinking, relationships, environments, culture, habits, etc. He makes it clear that you need to change yourself first, and then your business will follow suit. His advice is short, concise, concrete and […]Read More

The JVM Lending Daily Comments: Navy Seal On Leadership: Not Toughness/Assertiveness, But OPEN MINDED

A famous Navy Seal, Jocko Willink, was on Tim Ferriss’ podcast recently. http://fourhourworkweek.com/2015/09/25/jocko-willink/ The podcast was especially interesting b/c Heejin is personally acquainted with Jocko, as she used to work with him. An interesting fact about Jocko is that in a work setting he never, ever played the “tough guy” card. He was a pure […]Read More

Extreme Ownership & Accountability: Fidelity Title; A Necessity

Note: This is the first business day of the dreaded TRID, and the sun still came up :). We recently had a transaction delayed b/c the mobile notary screwed up the signing. The delay was extremely costly b/c it forced us to extend the lock, pay for another signing, re-draw docs, and pay for another […]Read More

My Father Passed Away – Observations

My father passed away last week a few months shy of his 81st birthday. It was of course very sad, but I am more than fine now after an outpouring of support from friends, family and co-workers. Now that my emotions are in check, I wanted to make a few observations. Forgiveness. My father was […]Read More

John McAfee Broke; Lost $100 Million; Upper Limits

John McAfee surfaced last week on James Altucher’s podcast. McAfee is fascinating b/c he is the guy who started the McAfee antivirus software company and amassed a fortune of $100 million, before losing all of it. Wired magazine wrote a great story about him in 2012: http://www.wired.com/2012/12/ff-john-mcafees-last-stand/ In the Altucher podcast and other interviews, McAfee […]Read More

Screening Potential Buyers for Viability with Basic Questions

Realtors refer potential buyers to us every day, and we are more than appreciative. Many times, however, the borrowers are not even close to qualified for a variety of reasons. We do not mind screening such borrowers, but we often feel bad for Realtors when we find out they spent substantial time with buyers who […]Read More

The Importance of Hiring “Smart”

Here are some of our tougher deals that fell out at other lenders: 1) A purchase involving comingled gift funds that cannot be sourced. The entire down payment of “gift funds” is sprinkled among a myriad of accounts. 2) A purchase involving a huge employment gap that cannot be explained. 3) A purchase involving a […]Read More

Need Income History No Matter How Well Doing Currently

We often have self-employed borrowers come to us who are rolling in profits and cash, with perfect credit and everything else a good borrower needs. BUT, they do not qualify for financing. The reason is that they often lack the necessary income history. No matter how good their current year may be, we cannot use […]Read More

Arrogant Billionaire vs. Super Nice Guy Millionaire

Travis Kalanick is the Uber founder who is worth about $6 billion. He fascinates us b/c he appears to be extremely arrogant and he seems to pick fights with most everyone – competitors, regulators (big mistake), and fellow investors. He gets away with it b/c of his extreme wealth and power, but I often wonder […]Read More

“Active Listening” Essential in Management, Sales and Family

One of the most oft-repeated lessons from management classes and books in recent years is the necessity of “Active Listening.” It is a very difficult skill that few people have mastered, but those who do are far more successful managers, salespeople and family members. True “Active Listening” creates far more rapport, connection and trust between […]Read More