Be aggressive to exceed expectations. Return phone calls immediately, go to the lenders, and stay on them to accomplish what they have agreed to do.
As a part of my series about the ‘Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Real Estate Industry’, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ira L. Meltzer, owner and managing director of One Million Dollar Plus.
Often called the “Lender to the Stars,” Ira Meltzer and his team have funded more than 4 billion dollars in luxury and ultra-luxury residential financing. As a result, he is unsurpassed in knowing how to maximize wealth and benefits for borrowers seeking to finance more than 1 million dollars. Previously named Top Mortgage Professional by Top Agent Magazine and recognized as the top lending advisor by Coldwell Banker Mortgage for two consecutive years, Meltzer sought to reinvent the home financing business when he founded One Million Dollar Plus in 2015.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the Real Estate industry?
The simple answer is recovery works! In 1980, after my wild youthful days, I decided to get clean and sober. I started selling residential real estate to high-profile clients in Ventura County at a 15–20% interest rates and became Rookie of the Year for my sales volume.
I then joined a 12-step program in 1985, after relapsing. Since I was successful at Coldwell Banker, they gave me another chance in their mortgage division, and I became the top funding loan officer in the country for the next two years. I am a testament that anyone struggling with addiction can become sober and thrive in their career.
Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occurred to you in your career so far? Can you share the lesson or take away you took out of that story?
In 1986, about a year after I was sober, I had the opportunity to be the loan officer for George C. Scott, an high profile actor who was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood at the time. Scott was buying a house in Malibu but didn’t want his wife, Trish Van Devere, or the tabloids to know about the property purchase.
I not only convinced Scott to tell his wife about the new home which helped keep their marriage together at that time while funding Scott’s 2MM dollars loan within 30 days. This was the biggest loan that I contracted at the time. This transaction ultimately launched my career with celebrity loans and the multimillion-dollar mortgage business. I became the Lender to many tv stars & producers from that era on.
Do you have a favorite “life lesson quote”? Can you share a story or example of how that was relevant to you in your life?
A quote that speaks to my purpose in life, serving and benefiting others is “God could and would, if you let HIM.”
Most of what I do is talk rich and famous people off the ledge because in every real estate transaction, there is a point where things either aren’t going right or not the way they want it, and they are ready to jump off the ledge. My main job is calming people down and aling their expectations with private banking possibilities.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I’m always working on breaking records in the mortgage financing industry by getting my clients the largest residential mortgages in America with the lowest rates. For instance, I am helping a billionaire celebrity with a 38 million dollars refinance and remodel on a Beverly Hills home. The home is going to be worth 90 million dollars when he is finished with it. This financing will close shortly.
We are also breaking the records for financing including, but not limited to Hawaii, Colorado, Florida, New York & California. We just completed a loan for one of the owners of a major league baseball team in Santa Barbara.
I am preparing to launch a HEROIC DOCTORS PROGRAM in 60 to 90 days that will provide extremely low-rate interest loans to doctors with either no down payment or almost no down payment. It is a great way for us to pay back the doctors who have been saving our lives in this pandemic. I already have three or four banks that I’m lining up for this unique program.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
There is nobody I have met in the United States, other than my partner who works with me, that does what we do. OneMillionDollarPlus is the only independent financing advisor for residential mortgages, of multi-million-dollar home loans in the United States. Everybody else works for a bank or a mortgage company, but my partner and I are the only ones who do not take a dime from the banks. We are paid only by our clients and we work only for our clients.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Patricia Briggs, one of my mentors who ran Coldwell Banker Mortgage of Southern California in 1985, gave me the chance to be successful in Los Angeles as their high-end mortgage representative.
I started to get their loans and I was able to do it well. Patricia gave me more business which helped me obtain celebrity clients. She is retired now but in so many ways, she is still with me. She was one of a kind and truly a gracious human being.
Ok. Thank you for all that. Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Real Estate industry? If you can please share a story or example.
- The joy of helping individuals build wealth through these mortgage savings excites me. We get them the best interest rates in America.
- What also excites me is the extraordinary properties, mansions, and castles that I’ve financed for 35+ Years. We have financed some really iconic properties that are in the newspapers all the time. 2020 was record year for OneMillionDollarPlus, we financed over 200 million dollars of ultra-luxury real estate. Thus far in career, I’ve closed more than 4 billion dollars of luxury residential financing. It is always an exciting moment to realize that we broke records in the largest home financing across the country.
- I also enjoy working with rich and famous celebrities everyday.
Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest? Please share stories or examples if possible.
Thinking outside of the box can help improve the industry. We must innovative to best serve the interest of homeowners.
- What concerns me is the interest of homeowners is not as transparent as it should be. In other words, some lenders present you with an interest rate and an APR that is required under the consumer protection laws, but it can be a bait-and-switch to people since they do not share the number they are charging in points. This strategy is very deceptive. For example, I have seen advertisements that offer a 30-year fixed loan for a very low mortgage rate. The bank that offers this has gathered your information electronically and then points are built in that are designed to take your money. For example, you may get a loan for 400,000 dollars but the agency may receive 8,000 dollars in charges to buy down the rate. So, deception still exists in the mortgage industry.
- Another issue that concerns me is when people go to the wrong place to get their conforming loan which ranges from 500,000 dollars to 700,000 dollars, depending on where you live. This type of loan can be extremely efficient but going to the wrong place can cost you a lot of money for a mortgage over time. You could be paying 500 dollars a month more than you should be for a 30-year loan. This will cost about 6,000 dollars a year and 180,000 dollars over the 30 years. What would improve the industry is telling people the points on every loan. People need to be directed to an institution that provides the lowest rates.
- I am also concerned with the lack of information and real transparency in the ways people do business. For instance, if you go to Bank of America, they are going to try to sell a Bank of America loan which is may not be the best loan for your situation. If you go to a mortgage broker, he is going to sell you certain loans only from the banks that pay him. Alternatively, we only go to the lenders that have the best programs and the lowest rates because we are not taking any money from the banks. We have only our client’s best interests at heart and we can show them the lowest rates in America which they are unable to secure on their because we have a exclusive network of private banks that no one else loan company can access.
What advice would you give to other real estate leaders to help their teams to thrive and to create a really fantastic work culture?
Real estate leaders need to understand that they are here to benefit others. That includes the people who work for you and clients. The money and success of our business are a direct result of helping others.
Ok, here is the main question of our interview. You are a “Real Estate Insider”. If you had to advise someone about 5 non intuitive things one should know to succeed in the Real Estate industry, what would you say? Can you please give a story or an example for each?
The acronym A.H.E.A.D. captures five key elements one should know to succeed in the real estate industry.
- Advise your client on what is in their best interest, not what you think is going to make you the most money.
- Help others and open the door so that they feel comfortable asking you for help.
- Educate yourself and those around you.
- Aggressive- be aggressive to exceed expectations. Return phone calls immediately, go to the lenders, and stay on them to accomplish what they have agreed to do.
- Disclosure- provide full disclosure of what their costs are, share the values of each loan, and identifying how it meets their needs.
Because of your position, you are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
We want to inspire a movement that would reward the men and women who have been protecting us, not just this last year during a pandemic but throughout our lives. We hope to debut our upcoming HEROIC DOCTOR’S PROGRAM, focused on rewarding doctors with low rates and little to no down payments, to all healthcare workers. Our first responders are going to great lengths to keep us healthy and we want to support them.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
You can follow One Million Dollar Plus on social media using the links below. Our website is https://onemilliondollarplus.com/.
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/OneMillionDol16
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/onemilliondollarplususa/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/onemilliondollarplususa/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/one-million-dollar-plus-llc/
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtjCZ6q46PuB3U8bBU-W9Bg?view_as=subscriber
Thank you for your time, and your excellent insights! We wish you continued success.