Today we’d like to introduce you to Adam Seery.
Adam, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
For over 15 years now I have been helping business owners finance their commercial real estate properties. Out of college, I started working for a seasoned commercial banker named Todd Massas in Del Mar, CA. He was working for a national SBA 7a, 504 and conventional commercial lender named CNL Commercial Finance. I was essentially a runner learning owner-occupied commercial lending. Looking back, those were my most valuable years as I was entrenched in every aspect of the loan process and truly learned the art of the “deal”.
My big break came when CNL Commercial Finance sold to Lehman Brothers in 2014. At 25 years old I was given the opportunity to sell the full arsenal of Lehman commercial products. I took advantage and was top 10 nationally in production each year until Lehman folded in 2009. Post Lehman, a group of us was presented the opportunity to take over a failing bank in Orange County named Plaza Bank. Utilizing the quality of talent we had at Lehman, Plaza Bank quickly made a name for ourselves offering owner user products across California. Our balance sheet grew from $80 million in assets to over $1 billion in assets prior to the bank being sold to Pacific Premier Bank.
2 years prior to Plaza Bank being sold, I teamed up with Todd Massas, Evan Mitnick and David Scherer to form Harvest Small Business Finance. We purchased 1 of the 14 non-bank SBA lender licenses (SBLC), received approval from the SBA and negotiated with a capital provider. We opened our doors May 1st, 2016. Since that time, we have originated over $350 million in total CRE financing nationwide and are currently a top 15 SBA lender among all banks.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My immediate reaction to this question was to laugh… No, there have been many potholes in the road along the way. The whole Lehman debacle was a challenge in itself. Funny story, I was on my honeymoon in Bora Bora ordering a cocktail at the bar. The TV was on CNBC and “Breaking News” was rolling across the bottom of the screen announcing “Lehman Brothers will not be bailed out by the federal government”. You realize how quickly a good thing can change and what I learned was to always have a plan “B”.
Starting a business is no easy feat either!. We’ve grown to 67 employees within the first two years of launching Harvest Small Business Finance. Having that burden on your shoulders causes stress I’ve never dealt with as an individual producer. My new focus and attention are geared toward building a national powerhouse in the commercial real estate finance space all while creating a work environment built on teamwork, recognition and reward. As a company, our greatest asset is our employee base.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Harvest Small Business Finance story. Tell us more about the business.
We currently have two operating companies:
Harvest Small Business Finance is our SBA 7a entity. These loans have a 75% guaranty from the federal government and are typically used for situations where borrowers have been either ignored or declined from traditional bank financing. Loan amounts range from $200,000 to $5,000,000 and are priced as a fully amortized adjustable loan tied to prime. The property must be 51% owner occupied and we offer this product nationally.
Harvest Commercial Capital is our SBA 504 and Conventional lending entity. SBA 504 loans have a 50/40/10% structure on owner user purchase transactions. Harvest funds a 50% 1st trust deed followed by an SBA 40% 2nd Trust deed and the borrower comes in with a 10% down payment. Our conventional product is a non-SBA loan with a max 65% loan to value. This loan is used in circumstances where the borrower would not qualify for SBA financing due to some form or fashion.
The value of both entities is we are NOT a bank. We underwrite, approve, fund and service every loan we make. We have flexible underwriting and can listen to a story vs traditional bank “black or white” methods used to approve loans. Lastly, since all functions are done internally, the speed to which we can approve and fund a loan is second to none!
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I create my own luck.
- Address: 2533 S Coast Hwy 101 Suite 290
Cardiff by the Sea, CA 92007
- Website: www.harvestsbf.com
- Phone: 858-220-9106
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org