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Broker on surviving Great Recession – and subsequent road to success

What caused the Great Recession of 2008?

After 4 years at GE Consumer Finance before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, Shekhar faced an uncertain future. “VC funds dried up,” recalls Shekhar. “The company closed down and I used to be left with no ties and no capital. But I’ve all the time desired to be an entrepreneur, ever since I used to be in business school. I wanted to start out something by myself and saw this as a chance.”

The same grace under pressure led Shekhar to have a look at the 2008 mortgage crash from a unique perspective. “I’ve seen a whole lot of chaos and pain brought on by the shortage of education,” he said. “For me, the entire crash – without blaming either party here – was an absence of education of the buyer, the borrower. They didn’t know what they were signing up for,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if the mortgage broker got them to sign something or if the bond agencies didn’t rate MBS [mortgage-backed securities] appropriately. Or banks. It’s not a matter of which party was responsible, because we all know practically everyone was.”

His vision was as much personal ambition and altruism: “Of course, what I meant was that I wanted to start out a business,” he repeated. “But the altruistic goal was that I desired to do it in a way that I could educate future homebuyers in order that in my very own little, little way, I hoped to stop such a crisis down the road – at the very least with the clients I’ve worked with.”

Not that there weren’t moments of doubt along the best way: “Of course, I quickly realized that moving into the mortgage industry in 2008, after I had $1,900 and no contacts, was a very bad move.”

What are the benefits of blogging?

But then he summed up his motivations and lifted his spirits again: “I struggled rather a lot, but I understood in a short time why I got into this business, which was education. I began blogging in 2009. I used to be certainly one of the primary 5 – 6 mortgage brokers back then – nobody else was doing it from the attitude of constructing this educational platform. At this point, many individuals were leaving print and going surfing to view the news. That’s after I began constructing my company’s foundation in providing education to prospective homebuyers.”

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