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Kris Roglieri is the founder and CEO of Prime Commercial Lending and The Commercial Capital Training Group. Kris is often in the spotlight for his ongoing philanthropy, innovative approach to finance and impressive success and growth of both of his companies. Kris has recently been quoted in The Entrepreneur Magazine and The Business Review and was also been featured on Fox Business News highlighting his dynamic training and need for commercial loan consultants in today’s economy.
Prime Commercial Lending is a nationally recognized leader in commercial finance providing capital to businesses and real estate investors nationally and internationally.
The Commercial Capital Training Group has become a leader in the commercial finance industry for individuals to successfully own their own commercial finance business. They have developed a one-of-a-kind opportunity that allows current or aspiring entrepreneurs to successfully learn and enter into the lucrative world of commercial financing by providing loans to businesses.
MO: Where does your passion for finance come?
Kris: It really started out when I was about 8 years old. At that time, my father had a business where he sold high end collectable firearms at regional gun shows around New York. I used to help him with these shows and one day I noticed that at every show there were always kids my age that would accompany their fathers at these shows. So I got the bright idea of possibly selling sports cards to all these kids. After all, they were a captive audience. So in order to start my first venture, I asked my father if I could borrow $150 to start buying my inventory of cards to sell. At the time I had an allowance of $5 dollars a week plus an additional $5 dollar for every show I helped my father with. So my father agreed to lend me the $150, and would take out $4 dollars every week from my allowance to pay him back. Needless to say, I actually paid my father back in full within a month, due to the success I found with my childhood venture. Right then and there I realized at a very young age the power finance. Years later when I started a private commercial finance company lending money directly to businesses, I realized not much has changed since my childhood years in that without a financing options, business owners have a tough time starting or growing their business. By owning a finance company, I love and enjoy meeting entrepreneurs of all walks of life and helping them achieve their goals by providing them capital. That is where my passion truly comes from. I have transformed that passion and energy for financing businesses into my other company (Commercial Capital Training Group). I truly get satisfaction in teaching and producing other entrepreneurs in the field of commercial finance so that they will go out and help businesses across the country procure capital for their company.
MO: What makes your business model so unique? Why are you so committed to helping entrepreneurs succeed?
Kris: These days a person looking to buy a franchise or business opportunity find themselves emerged in a world of concepts and industries to get into. Often times with a franchise, you have to pay a hefty franchise fee and then pay royalties to the franchisor for the life of your business. With our business model we created a specialized training program that allows current or aspiring entrepreneurs to actually start and run their own commercial finance company. The intensive training program we developed requires a relatively low cost to enter and requires no royalties or territory restrictions after training while still providing lifetime support. The business model we teach is truly recession resistant because of what our graduates offer… capital. When the economy is good the need for capital goes up because of growth. When the economy is bad, capital or lending is constrained which caused the demand to also go up. In either economic example, the need for what our graduates provide is at a constant high. In an economy that we are all in today, most business owners do not know what to do after they have been declined from their local bank. Business owners are good at running their business, but often lack the knowledge and fail at procuring the right capital solution for it. That is where we come in and where our graduates flourish. Armed with a multitude of competitive and alternative lenders our graduates can actually offer more financial solutions to finance a business than any of the large banks can offer today.
After helping and financing thousands of businesses for over 16 years I got the vision to create a company to properly train, educate and empower individuals to start their own commercial finance companies so that they can offer a new diverse array of financial products to businesses. In the end I really get satisfaction knowing that I’m producing entrepreneurs all over the country which are directly helping businesses of all kinds succeed.
MO: How are you creating a new industry and careers in the field of loan brokers? Do you think of yourself as an innovator?
Kris: First off, we don’t even like to use the term “loan broker”. The reason is most people these days think of a greedy salesman trying to sell you something only thinking of his or hers monetary benefit. With all the scams we have grown to know like the Bernie Madoff’s out there I can see why people feel this way when the word “broker” comes up. We like to think of our graduates from our training company as “Commercial Finance Consultants.” This is because they are truly acting as a finance consultant in ascertaining the client’s capital needs and properly presenting solutions to solve those needs. Currently, if you’re a loan broker, you’re most likely offering 1 or 2 products to a specified audience i.e. mortgages, leases, etc. With this current model, the broker is not only losing out on countless opportunities by only offering a couple of products but also subjects their business model to market fluctuation. For instance when the crash of 2008 happened, if your brokerage shop only offered CMBS loans, than you were out of business in a couple of months. There are financing products that don’t do well in a down economy and then there are plenty that thrive in a down economy. With our model we offer the “loan broker” an insulated business model that profits no matter what the economy is doing. We are creating an industry where “loan brokers” are not just offering 1 or 2 things but rather offering over 35 different solutions to a business owner. We are teaching a new diverse model where our graduates are are bringing multiple innovative financing solutions to the table for a client no matter what the business’s or client’s credit is. Our model serves as a one stop financing solution to the business owner, prepared to handle any capital need for any size business.
I don’t think of myself as an innovator… I will save that title for the Steve Jobs of world. If anything, I’m just trying to spread the knowledge that I’ve ultimately gained through experience in commercial lending to business owners that there are a plethora of innovative financing solutions out there after your bank says no. Creating more people who can offer these solutions to businesses is my true underlying passion.
MO: What advice would you give to a new business looking for a loan?
Kris: My advice would be to be as honest and candid as possible with which ever lender you’re dealing with. I see a lot of business owners that try to hide negative things when submitting applications or a credit package. Be honest with the lender because whatever negative things you or your business might have, it will be uncovered. The best policy is to not only highlight the positive things in a credit package but also highlight the negatives that you have and give the lender reasons why you feel your negative points will not create an issue for the lender and show them how you will overcome them. I always like to say underwriters are always trained to decline deals, so give them convincing reasons of why they should approve your deal.
MO: You have a history of philanthropy. Can you tell our readers why you’re so committed to giving back to the community in which you live and beyond?
Kris: This has always been a staple in my business principles. I believe that if people are in the financial position to help others less fortunate, than they should. I did not come from a wealthy or financially privileged family. Throughout my childhood years of growing up, sometimes I remember situations where others would help my family through some rough times and that gesture always stuck with me.
MO: Why are both of your businesses booming in such a depressed economy?
Kris: I get that question so many times in my career and I never get tired of answering it. If you look at the banking climate today, you always hear how banks are not lending to Main Street. This is very true especially in light of the economic meltdown of 2008. This is in large part because of the shrinking of the secondary market (the market where banks and lenders sell their portfolios off to in order to re-capitalize their investments). Because banks just can’t sell off their portfolio of loans as easily as once before, they are forced to keep loans that they do make on their balance sheet and carry those loans for a longer period of time. This of course, creates a higher risk for the bank and it creates the action of “cherry picking” for loans that they will do. This also causes banks to really tighten up their credit policy and underwriting guidelines to the point where it is not feasible for the business owner. Traditional banks these days love to give credit or grant loans to only the best of the best clients. So what happens to the rest of businesses who get declined? It does not necessarily mean these businesses are bad or they are in financial trouble. In fact, there are very healthy borrowers that are in the mix of deals that banks turn down now. This is where my lending company and training business comes in. As a private lender, we don’t have the restrictions that banks have and we are able to tailor a product to a business owner’s capital need. We also don’t operate out of strict credit box unlike banks. We take a 360 degree underwriting approach where we consider several factors if we approve a loan or not. So in times like this, we are seeing a major increase in businesses that have been declined from their banking institution. In our business, we profit in a good or bad economy which makes our business model recession resistant.
With Commercial Capital Training Group, we teach this very same recession resistant business model to our students. On that side of the business we are seeing an influx of a variety of current or aspiring entrepreneurs with impressive backgrounds looking to break away from corporate America or expand their profit centers with a current business model that they already may have. We see everybody from ex bankers, people in financial services, and business owners to the motivated person wishing to own his or her own business for the first time with unlimited income potential. Our training program has a relatively low cost of entry compared to other franchise concepts and does not have geographical restrictions or royalties for the student to pay after training. Our lenders that are a part of the training program are extremely pleased in working with our graduates because they get a change to broadcast their products through our graduates all over the country. It is a true win win for everybody.
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