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Welcome to the Family – 2 Happy New Year! Over the last month or two you may have noticed the mysterious disappearance of our company-wide newsletter that was previously being sent out each week. Well, we’d like to think there was a good reason – we used that time to work on something better! This year we will be sending out a monthly newsletter in this interactive e-magazine format for you to enjoy. This will allow us to really focus on collecting and creating quality content and updates over the course of a month. If you have any suggestions, recommendations or have any content to contribute, we’d love to hear from you!

Your Marketing Team


Special Announcements – 2 Anniversaries – 3 Happy Birthday! – 3 Employee Spotlight – 4 Monthly Recipe – 4 Client Testimonials – 5 “1 Billion Plus Reasons Why You Should Be Active on Facebook” – 6 “How to Stop the ‘Let Me Think About It’ Objection” – 8 Family First Funding Video – 9 Upcoming Events – 10 Important Training – 10


welcome TO OUR


It’s exciting to watch our Family grow! Please wish a warm welcome to the individuals listed below who joined us during the months of November, December, & January.



Gerardo “Eddie” Gomez

Nicole Baniowski

Daniel Lohn

Angela Johnson

Jennifer Nina

Amanda Miele

Edward Kenmure

Michelle Weedo

Regional V.P. of Business Development – Miami, FL Branch Manager/Mortgage Banker – Toms River, NJ Branch Manager – Miami, FL Regional VP – Toms River, NJ


Loan Officer – Forked River, NJ

Michael Clark

Sales Manager – Red Bank, NJ

Michael Seidel

Loan Officer Assistant – Red Bank, NJ

Adam Shayanfekr

Loan Officer – Rockville Center, NY

Manuel Teixeira

Loan Officer – Toms River, NJ

Patricia Novella

Loan Officer Assistant – Union, NJ

Elaine Madsen

Loan Officer – Pompton Lakes, NJ


Cillian E. D’Auria

Born on November 14, 2016 Congratulations to Raquelle & her husband on the birth of their baby boy! PAG E 2

Marketing Coordinator – Toms River, NJ Closer – Toms River, NJ Processor – Toms River, NJ Processor – Toms River, NJ

Erin Kilmer

Processor – Toms River, NJ

Angel Capalbo

Accounts Payable – Toms River, NJ

Emely Suazo

Receptionist – Queens, NY

Ashley Wilson

Customer Care Specialist – Toms River, NJ

Da’Nei Moore

Receptionist – Toms River, NJ

thank you TO OUR DEDICATED EMPLOYEES! Congratulations to the Family members that are celebrating their employment anniversary with Family First Funding this month (as well as those we’d like to recognize for the months of December & January). We thank you for your contributions to our success and your dedication to our company values.



Sedzad Mujakic

Joanna Arnold

Closer – Trinity, FL

Heather McClure

Loan Officer – Leighton, PA

Brad Spingham

Loan Officer Assistant – Toms River, NJ

Opening Manager – Toms River, NJ

Mary Albanese

Branch Manager – Forked River, NJ

John Yurkovich

Branch Manager – Woodbridge, NJ

CELEBRATING 3 YEARS Jonathan Almaraz

Underwriter – Toms River, NJ

Brenda Piazza

Processor – Toms River, NJ

Misty Alexander

Loan Officer – Leighton, PA

happy birthday! JANUARY 1 -- Lourdes Gomez 3 -- Allison Whalen 7 -- Cheri Sievers 13 -- Emily Braun 13 -- Kevin Moser 16 -- Theresa Avison 16 -- Michael Bottles 16 -- Natalie Gray

16 -- Ray Morgan 20 -- Angela Johnson 21 -- Amanda Miele 23 -- Gerardo Gomez 24 -- John Cainzos 27 -- Keila Villarreal 28 -- Rick Bottino 30 -- Joseph Szefinski




1. How long have you been with Family First Funding? “I will be here for 4 years in February.” 2. What are some fun facts about you? “I love spending time with my husband, family, and friends. Also, I make a killer Key Lime Pie!” 3. Why do you enjoy working at Family First Funding? “I love the feeling of teamwork and family at Family First Funding. There is a great sense of support and always someone to assist with questions.”

Joanna Arnold Opening Manager

delicious RECIPE FOR YOUR SUPERBOWL SUNDAY! MINI TACO BOWLS Ingredients: 1 lb Ground Beef | 2 tbsp Taco Seasoning | 1 diced Tomato | 6 Jalepeno Slices 12 Corn Tortillas | Shredded Cheddar Cheese Instructions: 1. Brown ground beef and drain. 2. Dice jalepenos and add to beef. 3. Add ¼ cup water and taco seasoning and cook over medium heat until water is absorbed. Reduce heat to low. 4. Heat each corn tortilla in microwave for 30 seconds to soften. 5. Using a 3 inch cutter (like a jar lid) cut 2 circles from each tortilla. 6. Press each cicle into the cup of a mini muffin pan, fold ing sides as needed. 7. Place in 350 oven for about 12 minutes (until tortilla is crispy). 8. Place each shell on cooling rack and fill with taco meat. 9. Top with cheese and diced tomato and a leaf of cilantro (optional). *Recipe courtesty of Pinterest: PAG E 4



Gabriel Gillen & Justin Hatfield “I will forever be grateful to have worked with this company. They gave me a mortgage when no one else would. Everyone was so helpful and efficient and I would send anyone to them. Thank you again, especially to Gabe and Justin!” - Desarae & Daniel Tramontozzi

Dan Ernest & Jayce Evans “Dan Earnest exceeded our expectations and his (and his team’s) knowledge and professionalism allowed our transaction to process smoothly and successfully close. Dan went above and beyond and we will absolutely refer him to anyone in need of financing. He and his team proved to be skilled professionals and Dan displayed a true heart for helping people.” - Thomas & Joanne DeMase Joseph Albanese & Kristine Acosta “Awesome!!! Joseph and his crew where truly hopeful and helpful and we’re very successful in getting us a mortgage, the Torres family are very thankful thank you so much for getting us into our home.” - Jesus & Monzon Garcia and Zonia Torres Derek DeGutis & Justin Hatfield “Family First is just that, they make you feel like family and they put you first! Thank you again for your help and I look forward to doing business with you in the future.” - John Cahill James M. Dolan & Kristine Acosta “Michael and Jim are total professionals and made us feel that they were doing everything in their power to protect our interests. A very positive experience - we will gladly recommend them!” - Richard & Maryanne Derosa Anthony Barber & Brenda Piazza “Thanks to the team at Family First Funding and the excellent service that was provided to me without hesitation. Any qeustion was answered promptly and without fail, they guided me through a dream that I didn’t think was possible but I’m living proof that the American Dream can be achieved if you have the helpful team I had in my court. Thank you all again and again and again!” - Jason English John Yurkovich & Raquelle Gray “John is such a great prompt person, no matter what time of the day he was always there for me. It was definitely a pleasure doing business and I will be back again. Raquelle definitely got the job done, she follows up and literally chased down the underwriter to get my closing done. I am impressed and I am definitely a returning customer.” - Olacia Lee A job well done to our amazing Family First Team! Stay tuned for more testimonials each month. PAG E 5

1 BILLION-PLUS REASONS why you should be active on


Source: National Mortgage Professional

1,440,000,000 The number is staggering and potentially career-ending for mortgage lenders who ignore it. That’s the total number of monthly active users on the social medium Facebook. That number alone is reason enough to use it regularly in your business. But Facebook can also help turn you into an expert in your community. Just by sharing knowledge and relevant news about the mortgage industry, you can become the go-to source for all things mortgage related in your area – a perfect way to capture the attention of prospective borrowers. Plus, Facebook advertising also gives you tons of targeting layers like age, location, recent life events and interests. Plus, it constantly adds new targeting filters and functions that help you reach even more niche prospects who closely meet your customer criteria. Talk about pinpointing a target audience. PAG E 6

Another Facebook mortgage ad tool is “Website Custom Audiences” that lets you create Facebook ads that target users who have visited your website. Several apps specifically for Facebook have emerged. Consider these: – Helps you host contests,

showcase promotions and highlight special offers. – Lets you easily create

quizzes and other fun tools for engaging content. – Helps you make your

Facebook business page both sleek and stylish and tabs allow for easy lead capture. But the latest offering is just as cool. It’s called Facebook Live and it lets you stream live video on the internet. When you use Facebook Live, you’re automatically featured at the top of Facebook users’ news feed. What’s more, statistics show that live video is

viewed more than recorded video.

avoid a lot of light directly behind you because it’ll wash you out.

How can mortgage lenders use Facebook Live?

Sound good: A common mistake for

Webinars: Host live webinars targeted to

potential borrowers. Plus, they can submit questions just like a real-life seminar.

Mortgage Talk Show: Offer the latest news in the industry. In short, become the Lester Holt or Diane Sawyer of mortgage lending in your town with your own “TV” show! Facebook offers these tips for using Facebook Live:

Promote: Tease upcoming Facebook Live broadcasts for more viewers.

Plan better: Take the time to plan what you want to do in the video, whether it’s a few key talking points or to have a few questions ready ahead of time in a Q&A, in case incoming comments slow down.

Invest in some equipment: A shaky live stream turns off viewers so consider a tripod or other stabilizing tools, especially if you’re taking viewers on a tour of an open house. And check the shot before going live.

Get the lighting right: If you’re indoors, be

beginners is overlooking sound. Consider an external microphone to make sure your viewers can actually hear you.

And if the Facebook Live option makes you a little nervous, you can also stream prerecorded videos. Hey, that has worked like a charm for TV for decades. Some businesses promote their Web series to “air” on Facebook Live at a certain time like TV shows. After they are streamed, Facebook Live videos function as normal Facebook videos. Some business owners believe videos may perform better if they begin as live ones. NowThis, a news company that publishes entirely on social platforms, experimented by streaming a 38-minute compilation of its favorite viral videos via Facebook Live. The stream received more than 20,000 views and 500+ comments, according to Facebook’s counters. Yes, all the new-fangled Internet tools, apps and options for mortgage lenders can be a bit overwhelming. Just take it one step at a time and you’ll slowly be right there in the businesswinning mix.

sure you have plenty of good lighting and

Check out what your team members are doing on Facebook! Jerry DeMaio (Red Bank, NJ): “The Tom & Jerry Show” – Jerry uses Facebook

Anthony Barber (Toms River, NJ): Community Ads - Anthony incorporates community and local events/news into his Facebook campaigns. He also adds helpful articles for followers on hot topics in the industry.

Live to do open house tours with his real estate partners and provides educational content to home buyers.

John Yurkovich (Woodbridge, NJ): Facebook Ads – John runs sponsored Facebook ads to reach potential borrowers. Visit his page to get ideas for successful ad campaigns!


The Upfront Close:

Source: National Mortgage Professional by Dr. Kerry Johnson

How to Stop the “Let Me Think About It” Objection A client or prospect said, “Let me think about it.” You agreed and have spent several hours calling them to no avail. They have gone radio silent. But you were so sure they wanted to use you for the refi. A real estate agent seemed totally committed to referring business to you. She said, “Let me think about it and we’ll talk soon.” You were so excited that you nearly put a down payment on that new car. The problem is that for every hour you chase someone, they have robbed you of about $300 in cash. Think of this as just dumping $300 into the garbage. It’s the same. Wouldn’t it be better if they just told you upfront they wouldn’t do business with you? Wouldn’t you save a lot of time if they just said no? Isn’t bad breath better than no breath at all? The answer is the Upfront Close. Here is a phrase you can say during the fact finding opening interview from now on that will help you stop from wasting your time: “At the end of this process, we may decide to put together a mortgage plan to help you hit your dreams and goals. If we do, I hope you will decide to implement it. If it doesn’t make sense, I hope you will tell me that as well. I only want to do what is best for you. But I would rather you not wait a few weeks or months. That tells me you don’t have enough information to make an informed decision. You don’t want to hurt my feelings by saying no. Is that okay?” You have just given them permission to be honest. You have allowed them to be direct. Isn’t that better than chasing them for a decision and wasting your time? The crazy thing is that they nicer you are, the less direct and honest your prospects and clients will be. They don’t want to hurt your feelings. When my daughter Caroline was a freshman in high school, she was already playing on the varsity tennis team. I was so proud of her. Just like her dad who played on the pro tour in the 1970s, I was sure she would play Division I tennis with a full ride and eventually turn pro. I called a college prep athlete packaging service to shoot video of her playing tennis and called college recruiters around the U.S. The problem was the sales rep was so bad that he annoyed me immediately.


“Caroline, you want to make your parents proud by going to a good school, don’t you? Mrs. Johnson, you love your daughter and want her to be happy, don’t you?” I looked at my wife Merita and just shook my head. The rep went on for another hour and said the fee was $3,000. Which credit card would we like to use. I told him what you should never hear, “Let me go think about it,” fully knowing we would never engage his company’s services. The sales rep must have called 10 more times leaving voicemail after voicemail to get an answer. But if he would have used the Upfront Close like you will now do, I would have been honest and told him that we wouldn’t use his services. But isn’t that better than wasting time making 10 follow up calls? Do you want to increase your sales and stop wasting your time? Use the Upfront Close with every prospect or client from now on. Bad breath is better than no breath at all.

meet our


Our first-ever Family First Funding video is now live on our Facebook page at Be sure to like our page (if you haven’t already), like our video post, and most importantly SHARE it! Tell all your followers that our number one goal is to treat each of our clients as a part of our family and to give us a call for all of their mortgage needs. PAG E 9



January 21st FFF 2017 Kick Off Party at 6pm Jumping Brook Country Club, Neptune

February 9th Jeff Lobb 1st Time Buyer Event at 6:30pm Richmond Hill, NY

February 1st New Hire Training at 12pm Toms River Corporate Office

February 20th All Offices & Branches Closed in Observance of Presidents’ Day

February 7th Jeff Lobb Event at 7pm Kearny, NJ (Union Branch)

March 1st New Hire Training at 12pm Toms River Corporate Office

February 8th Jeff Lobb Event - ReMax at 1pm Essex County Country Club, West Orange



How to Do a Free Throw

Click here to see Anthony’s Throw...

How NOT to Do a Free Throw

Click here to see Scott’s Throw...

Scott Weikel and Anthony Barber went to the Sixers & Knicks game on January 11th and got the opportunity to do free throws on the court. The whole drive down Scott bragged about how awesome he was going to do - check out the videos above to see the outcome! PAG E 1 0

Family Forum Jan 2017  
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