Rising from the Ashes

Pasadena financial company finds a new kind of success

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 | 12:21 am

Let’s go back to the summer of 2008: the summer games in Beijing had just opened in a spectacular display of pomp and ceremony, Senator John McCain chose Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate in the Presidential campaign, and Barack Obama would pick Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate. Turmoil continued to rage in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the US was in economic turmoil of its own. The sub-prime loan market was about to implode.  When it did, it took with it millions of dollars of bad loans and hundreds of thousands of Americans suddenly lost their homes.

Big mortgage companies went out of business, banks closed their doors or consolidated, and the world economy went upside down.

Waleed Delawari’s very successful Pasadena financial services business took a big hit of its own.

“I started in this business back in 2001 where I co-founded a company that was highly successful,” he told Pasadena Now recently. “I was the poster child of ultimate success at a very young age, but now I’ve known success through failure. But that failure was probably the biggest success that I’ve had in this profession. It forced me to examine what I did wrong, because now everything that I worked for was gone.”

Delawari continued. “There is no ceiling as an entrepreneur, but there is also no floor. So, I was fortunate enough to experience both spectrums. Therefore, failure changes the way you approach everything in your life, including your friends and your family as well as your business. Imagine losing all your relationships, and losing the relationships that helped build your business in the first place. That was gone.”

But there is a reason that Delawari’s business logo features the mythological phoenix, and just as the logo represents “rising from the ashes,” Delawari slowly but surely put the pieces of his former business back together. He knocked on doors, talked to his clients, and methodically rebuilt the business he had grown and lost. After being in a smaller location over the past few years, the company opened its brand-new offices on Walnut Street just two and a half months ago.

“The industry really rebounded specifically in the lending industry as well as in the real estate market.” Delawari continued: “with the interest rates being so low, the ability to purchase more expensive properties has increased for borrowers. Furthermore, the value of homes continues to rise and the former days of the bursting of the real estate market bubble are slowly disappearing. The quality of loans today have vastly improved.”

Delawari describes his business thusly: “We are a high volume firm which allows us flexibility for our clients. We have a very diverse clientele base, from the celebrity clients to the average consumer looking for a $100,000 loan. But regardless, we give each client the same service. We treat everyone the way that we would treat our own family or our own business – their interests become our own. That’s how it should always be.”

Unlike a bank that is very traditional,” he continued, “we have flexibility. We do not look at clients as a number of bottom line. We have a more holistic type of view – we focus on the individual. With some banks, there are so many levels of staff and departments that a client must go through that they lose the personal correspondence. Here, we ensure that you maintain contact with the same person you began your transaction with, from loan opening to loan closing. Furthermore, we ensure that we have provided you with all the educational aspects of your loan, including your exact qualification amount, your loan product and how it works, and the amount of money you saved. We want you to feel fully comfortable with your loan experience and are here to answer all questions you may have.”

Like any successful company in any field, Delawari credits his company’s success to the basic notion of service.

“It is the simple things that we do,” said Delawari. “It’s that type of constant reinforcement that is available to you at any time of day – not just from 9 to 5. The transparency and flexibility that we offer, and the ability to streamline the loan process as well as cater to the client’s needs is what makes the difference – even if the client has been declined multiple times by previous banks.”

“And this happens whether the loan is $100,000 or it’s $15 million,” he added.

Having climbed out from a deep fall, Delawari understands financial cycles and feels better equipped to handle them these days.

“I don’t have the luxury of hiding behind a big name,” said Delawari. “So we as a company, and as a group must always be competitive, yet careful in our approach. If I make a mistake, I can’t blame it on anybody but myself. I always keep that in mind.”

Finally, Delawari has some simple and elegant advice for his new customers: “I always tell clients, ‘Educate yourself’ and, ‘Meet with a professional.”

“If you break your leg, you’re not gonna go to the dentist, you’re gonna go to an orthopedic surgeon, a specialist who is a professional. It’s a very important relationship. I am not here to be your mortgage broker for one transaction – I want you to be so happy with your experience that you return to us for future transactions as well. I am here to be your mortgage professional for life.”

Delawari Financial has been through the hell of the financial crisis – and is back to make a difference.

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This listing is brought to you by Delawari Financial Group. Waleed Delawari is one of Pasadena's leading mortgage professionals. Since opening his own brokerage firm in 2001, Waleed has successfully closed over one billion dollars in mortgage loans and successfully helped thousands of borrowers purchasing Pasadena Real Estate.