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Industry Spotlight: Abhi Golhar

Insights» Industry Spotlight - Originate Report

August 4, 2020by Originate Report Team

Read the full Originate Report August edition here.

How has your outlook on the private lending industry changed in light of the new normal?

It’s clear that short-term lending practices have changed. And the impact of COVID-19 long-term? No-one knows. The truth is – staying in the game, in front of your audience/ potential clients, and implementing stringent underwriting is more important now than ever.

What are you doing differently today to move your company forward than you were 6 months ago?

I’m getting aggressive building out custom technology and dashboards to help sort through opportunities so I can make smarter decisions on already-filtered borrowers. My algorithms (with a built-in robo-advisor) automatically match borrowers with my lending criteria.

How has your company evolved since its inception? (ie: new products, new divisions, grown, merged, etc?)

New relationships with capital partners give us the ability to expand our offerings and with smarter, more streamlined technology, we can become a quicker and smarter conduit of opportunities for the right capital partner.

What is something most people don’t know about your company?

I’m a geek that works with other geeks. We love real estate and lending, but geek out on building smarter AI algorithms and decision trees for our platform to help us and our partners make more informed decisions.

What has been the highlight so far in your career?

Realizing my technical expertise can be used to help private lenders streamline their processes and build and integrate smarter dashboards and technology to enhance borrower experience and make smarter, automated decisions.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Fail hard earlier, network more, and build a business, not a job. Too often as an entrepreneur, I’ve found myself serving my business more than the business serves me. Flipping the script on this is crucial; life is meant to be lived, not done.

What piece of advice did you personally receive early in your career that has helped shaped the decisions you’ve made?

If you do your homework and help others master the material, you’ll get an A. It’s always worked, especially in business.

Tell us about a person or organization you admire. How have they made an important impact on you, the industry, or the world?

I’m a HUGE fan of Big Brothers Big Sisters. It’s a constant reminder we need each other to grow and learn on this journey of life, and sometimes a little boost can go a long way.

How have you turned a career mistake or failure into success in your career?

As a cautiously optimistic investor, I can’t stand a high margin of error with renovation budgets. One of my biggest mistakes early in my career was trusting the wrong contractor and not creating enough buffer in my renovation budget to see my rehab in Detroit through to the finish line. So instead, I aggregated local data (cost of materials, labor, etc) and created a series of IF/THEN statements to help me determine if a contractor was lying to me. Needless to say, I trusted the software I build to help me make smarter decisions and apply that skill even today.

What do you predict for the future in private lending throughout the end of this year and beyond?

Predictions:

  • COVID-19 vaccine available Q3 2021. Regular surges of COVID-19 until a vaccine is ready will continue to damper lending with a lessening impact with each wave.
  • Lenders that get creative to find short-term opportunities with marketing strategies (e.g. Noble Capital) to cultivate and nurture borrowers will win the game.
  • Lenders with strong risk management processes will be resilient allowing a bigger cushion from conservative assumptions on the loan amount to property value.
  • Post COVID-19, conservative underwriting will beat aggressive underwriting any day.

If you had a clean slate to start over and do anything you wanted to do, what would that be?

Exactly what I’m doing today – helping companies grow and scale with a human-centric lens.

How do you want to be remembered? What have you done to cultivate that feeling from others?

I want to be remembered as the quirky nationally syndicated radio host turned podcaster with an affinity for all things business and media with an extreme focus on family, living life to his fullest, and helping others.