Start asking questions that will help you understand the work better.
The Associates Home Loan of Florida, Inc. is a Tampa-based financing company currently led by Frank Grimes. Serving as the president, he established this business almost 22 years ago. Ever since then, his primary focus has been steady-paced growth and long-term relationships. As far as offering goes, Frank Grimes welcomes people who are looking for favorable mortgage rates, large personal loans, tools for rebuilding credit, and private equity lending. Also, since he surrounds himself with enthusiastic workers, Frank Grimes achieved a notable reduction in company’s turnover ratio that used to skyrocket.
Where did the idea for Associates Home Loan of Florida come from?
I developed a blueprint for the business while I was still in college. The idea itself practically came out of nowhere as there was no formal brainstorming that took place.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
To briefly summarize it, my days start early and end late. I allocate enough time to my family, which should always be the top priority, and then spend the rest of my day working. Sometimes, of course, things come up, and I have to shift my schedule to meet deadlines.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I reach out to specialists who can help me turn a simple idea into an actual product or service. Knowing what you do not know and asking people for help is the best ability you can have.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The fact that private lending is slowly moving towards faster solutions where people can get their applications processed within minutes. When I first started, everything had to be done manually, and life in finance was nowhere near as impressive.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I always hear people out and do not allow myself to judge a book by its cover. After working with thousands of clients and employees, I learned that almost everyone has a chip on their shoulder and deserves a chance to prove themselves.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Start asking questions that will help you understand the work better. I used to struggle with my first jobs because I was too scared to ask my supervisors how to do certain things. In retrospect, this probably cost me a promotion or two as I might have seemed like an inferior worker.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
Lending is never bad for you! Many people think that having loans will cause nothing but problems with debt. I strongly disagree. See, I believe that borrowing money can help you build credit, learn how to practice healthy financial habits, and acknowledge the importance of capital.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I ask people to tell me how I am doing. Even as the president, there is no reason why I would not request feedback from low-level employees. After all, they are the only ones that will be blatantly honest about their views.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Offering free quotes, advising appointments, and low rates. People love taking advantage of experts’ free time as it is the cheapest way to get complicated questions answered. Additionally, I learned that the best way to attract clients is to let them see a sneak peek of the professional who they can work with to get their loan.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I was unable to grow some businesses before starting The Associates Home Loan of Florida. The primary factor was inexperience which, if I may add, is no longer an issue.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Get into the world of finance and offer to handle money for others. Invest their capital and work for a percentage-based fee of the gains. I mean, it does not get any easier to trade than having someone else give you the funds to do so.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought a Bluetooth headset that enables me to use my phone in a hands-free manner. Since I am often on the move, having a tool that helps me talk with my associates or clients at all times is useful.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Google calendar is the only app that I profoundly use on my phone. It enables me to keep track of all of my meetings while synchronizing every change to all of my devices. Since I always look for ways to be more efficient, I certainly value the ability to have my agenda loaded on every piece of hardware within our office.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. It teaches you to make better decisions and put your future first.
What is your favorite quote?
“If it does not challenge you, it does not change you” by Fred Devito.
• Being successful means that some days will last forever as one works towards their goals.
• Judging people is the quickest way to misunderstand someone’s point of view.
• Customers are going to appreciate free products and services, which is why good marketing should involve free items.
• Lending can be a beneficial project for those looking to build credit and learn about responsibility.
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Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.