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There aren’t too many people who can say they feel just as comfortable trading punches in the octagon as they are funding multi-million-dollar real estate transactions—but then again, Sam Chivitchian isn’t just your typical lender. Sam thrives in the spotlight, whether that’s competing on the big screen as a contestant on Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter or building a tremendously successful private lending firm in Southern California, arguably one of the most competitive markets in the entire country.
Originate Report recently had the chance to sit down with Sam to learn more about the unique career arc that led him to the lending industry and get a behind-the-scenes look at the exciting trajectory of his thriving real estate investment firm, Secured Capital Lending, Inc.
Leveraging Experience for Success
With his calm demeanor and friendly attitude, it’s hard to believe that Sam was once one of the premiere mixed-martial artists in the world. However, after just a few minutes talking to him it is strikingly apparent that there is an engrained discipline and inherent motivation with everything he does—which he attributes to his judo background. Sam started training Judo with his uncle when he was only six years old and went on to win an amazing eleven U.S. national titles and two Junior Olympic championships. As if that wasn’t enough, he also was an outstanding wrestler, placing second at the California State Championships and third at the Freestyle State Championships before launching his professional MMA career where fought several times in the UFC, the sport’s most competitive organization. “Judo teaches you the value of hard-work and persistence, and those skills translate to every part of life both personal and professional.”
Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that he also started his real estate and investment lending career while still a professional fighter—somehow finding the time to be extremely successful in two professions known for their demanding hours. It’s no secret that Sam isn’t a stranger to hard work and overcoming obstacles, and he has dedicated himself to learning the ins and outs of all aspects of the business. Sam started out in the mortgage lending industry in 2004 and eventually progressed to becoming a loan officer as well as a real estate broker. “This combination of diversified experiences really gave me a deep understanding of the underlying dynamics of the industry and the factors that influence closing deals,” explained Sam. “That basis of knowledge granted me a unique perspective from which I could optimize certain aspects of the transactional process—fine-tuning things like efficiency and client engagement to deliver a one-of-a-kind end-product.”
A Relationship-Focused Industry
In 2016, after successfully navigating the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Sam pivoted to the private lending space. He utilized past connections made during his time in the mortgage industry to help start Secured Capital Lending, Inc., a real estate investment firm specializing in offering private capital for commercial and residential real estate. Sam leveraged the knowledge garnered during his time in the mortgage and real estate niches to provide what is perhaps the most in-demand commodity in the investment industry: reliable access to capital.
“The majority of investors are operating under time-sensitive timelines,” notes Sam. “We cater specifically to that need with our distinct ability to fund projects in a fraction of the time it takes conventional lenders. Oftentimes we can underwrite and disburse funds within a week as opposed to the months it takes traditional banks to facilitate a conventional mortgage.”
Secured Capital Lending is unique in that it is both a broker and lender that completes everything in-house, using its own finances to close deals on time and within budget. “Our underwriting process is best described as common-sense,” says Sam. “It’s not contingent on a FICO credit score or tax income. If a property makes sense and there is a viable purpose and exit strategy, we have both the experience and network of investors to make it happen.”
Over the years, Sam has built valuable partnerships that enable Secured Capital Lending to deliver a streamlined lending experience to his customers. “The private lending space is truly a relationship-driven profession,” observes Sam. “We have a diverse and talented network of investors, borrowers, marketers, and brokerage specialists that help us identify, fund, and close virtually any type of deal without the stress and hassle of dealing with banks and their stringent requirements.”
The current market dynamics fueled by increased demand and dramatically lowered inventory underscores the importance of the advancements that lenders like Sam are making in the lending space. “When you find an investment property, you are going to have competition. There are going to be multiple offers, so you need a reliable private lender that can provide you efficient access to capital so you can secure the investment—and that’s Secured Capital Lending in a nutshell.”
Secured Capital Lending recently launched a new investment platform to support their lending business that is available to sophisticated and accredited investors. Whether it’s a short-term bridge loan for your next fix-and-flip project or a ground-up construction loan, be sure to check out how Sam and his team at Secured Capital Lending can help you get started.