I just wanted to check in with my alma mater with an update of what is going on in my career. I recently had this article ‘CO’s 25 Under 35: The Top Young Debt and Equity Professionals of 2018‘ written up about me in the Commercial Observer, that I wanted to share. I look forward to checking in again soon.
“TJ Randall, 23, Loan Officer and Underwriter, W Financial. It’s a competitive lending market out there, but that doesn’t intimidate T.J. Randall. Perhaps he gets some of that valor from his father, James “Jim” Randall, who was both a lender and developer and made it onto a young professionals list himself back in the day (Crain’s New York’s 40 Under 40).
As an originator for W Financial, Randall has clocked up an impressive $210 million in transactions over the past year, closing $40 million in deals in July alone. Phew!
Recent transactions include a $20 million mortgage for an office property on Madison Avenue, where the borrower had another investment and needed to pull money out of the property quickly (from start to close the deal took two weeks) and a $14 million second mortgage on a development site in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on which W Financial already had the first mortgage. The property was rezoned to include residential development, increasing its value, and the deal closed in a matter of days.
“Our big competitive advantage is our integrity,” Randall told CO. “We’ve no interest in owning people’s properties. We see our customers as partners. We want them to take a loan from us but then take us out with a bank [financing] or sale.”
Speed of execution and flexibility are additional feathers in the bridge lender’s cap, with deals closed in less than 24 hours and no prepayment penalties after as little as 20 days.
Randall first interned for W Financial before being hired by the company a year later. He kept in touch with David Heiden, a managing partner at the firm, and considers him a mentor. “I’ve learned so much and had exposure to so many things. I couldn’t ask for a better boss,” he said.
The role keeps him on his toes, as every deal is different. “You have to stay sharp and be diligent in everything you’re doing,” he said.
To those entering the industry today, Randall advised to “use your network as much as you can, but if people don’t respond, just keep going. You’re going to get rejected 99 times, but it’s a great feeling when the one person who responds and you put a deal together. It’s completely worth it.”