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Danny Nicolo, President & CEO Meadowbrook Financial Mortgage Bankers From Butcher to Broker to Banker “Our values are crystal clear at Meadowbrook Financial Mortgage Bankers— our communication, leadership, excellence, attitude and respect—if an LO believes in those values and works really hard, they are going to be very successful with us.”

APRIL 2012 

WISCONSIN MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE

 NationalMortgageProfessional.com

22

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ach month, National Mortgage Professional Magazine will focus on one of the industry’s top players in our “Mortgage Professional of the Month” feature. Our readers are encouraged to contact us by e-mail at newsroom@nmpmediacorp.com to be considered for a future “Mortgage Professional of the Month” feature article. This month, we had a chance to chat with Danny Nicolo, president and chief executive officer of Meadowbrook Financial Mortgage Bankers. A 1986 graduate of Xaverian, a private college preparatory high school in Brooklyn, N.Y. and worked for his family’s catering business, A&S Italian Marketplace. Danny pursued architectural engineering after high school with two years of undergraduate work at the Pratt Institute. He became more involved with the family’s catering business, and from 1989-1997, opened up several A&S Italian Marketplace locations for his family in the Tri-State New York area and Long Island. He also began investing his savings in the real estate market. His desire for a greater challenge and a chance to improve his quality of life, Danny was eventually led to the field of real estate and the housing finance

industry. Working as a loan originator in 2001, Danny was able to build relationships with his clients similar to the relationships he built with his family-owned Italian markets. In 2004, he applied for his New York State Mortgage Brokers License and in 2008, applied for his New York State Mortgage Bankers License. Danny is currently president and chief executive officer of New Yorkbased Meadowbrook Financial Mortgage Bankers, a full-service mortgage bank offering an array of products, from purchase, to refinance, to construction lending. Danny is known as the man who has made the transition from “Butcher to Broker to Banker” in the mortgage industry. How does one go from owning and operating a chain of successful Italian gourmet markets, A&S Italian Marketplace and being the entrusted butcher in the community, to owning a mortgage bank? Although the food industry is a great business, you would have to spend every day of the week in the stores to become successful. After many years and countless days in the stores, watching customers loading up their coolers

in the summer and spending time with their family added to my drive in changing careers. I decided to challenge myself and seek other opportunities to earn a better quality of life for me and my family. First, I started investing all of my savings into real estate. When going through the whole process of buying properties and meeting with originators, we would discuss mortgages and it became very intriguing to me. I started understanding the origination end of the process. I started spending many hours with clients from the store who were in the mortgage industry and took courses. My wife also started pursuing a career as a title closer at the time. It was the ideal career path for her because she was doing something she wanted, and introduced the both of us to the world of real estate, and buying and selling properties. I applied from my own broker’s license and began working out of my basement, processing and closing mortgages on my own and became very successful. I attribute much of my success to my experiences as a butcher where you establish and develop relationships with your clients and they learn to trust

you due to your service and quality recommendations. If I could build up a successful Italian butcher shop, then I could use those same fundamentals in starting up my mortgage business. How did you turn those referrals into business and maintain your mortgage business? I began building my base of referrals by telling people that I was starting a parttime mortgage business, and if they needed anyone for their mortgage needs, I was available. I used to work 70 to 80 hours a week at A&S, and never saw my family. I wanted to make a change to see my kids grow up and see my family more often. Many of my first clients were from my Italian marketplace, and I built upon that through referrals. My first six to eight months beginning in the mortgage business part-time back in 2001, my clientele was strictly customers from my Italian market. From there, through referrals and word-of-mouth, my mortgage business grew, and in 2004, I decided to obtain my New York State Mortgage Broker’s License. Taking the relationships I built from my store with my customers made it a

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