Shekhar grows Arcus from 7 loans in 2009 to $116M last year

by MPA24 Mar 2016
Shashank Shekhar came to the United States from India for a job. When the company he moved to the US with folded a year later, he says he knew 3 people in the country, and they were all people he knew from work, in other words he knew 3 other mortgage professionals.

This was in 2008. He had no sphere of influence so he did the logical thing: He started a mortgage brokerage at a time when that was a dirty word. In 2015, working as the only originator at his company, Arcus Lending, he closed $116 million in loans. He doesn’t take such success for granted, recalling 2009, which was his first full year in the business: “I closed 7 loans that year.”

You could say things have picked up a bit. He hopes to hit $150 million this year and $500 million in the next few years.

He has done it quite simply by making a name for himself, by building a brand from the bottom up. He said it was hard work without much payoff in the beginning but that now that the brand is built, it will remain strong and will pay dividends for the rest of his career.

“Most people start by marketing to their friends, networking though people they already know. I couldn’t do that. I knew I had to do something different in order to succeed. I’ve got an MBA in marketing and I reached back to marketing 101 and looked for ways to differentiate myself.”

He read a book that said there were two ways for someone to establish themself as an expert: Speaking and writing. “So, in 2009 I started a blog. I think there were less than 10 originators writing blogs then. I wrote one a week. It took 6 months before I got the first lead from the blog, but I just kept at it.”

He started writing his first book, First Time Home buying 101 at the same time. Today, he is a media star, with books, YouTube videos, the blog, a radio show and frequent appearances as a guest on major media programs.

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