Romney Navarro brought his extensive experience in structured finance and commercial lending to the Noble Capital family of companies in 2018. While jamming to 90s hip-hop, he oversees business development and all marketing functions for Noble and its affiliated entities: Streamline Funding, Emerge Real Estate and Acute Financial. He is the co-host of Noble Capital’s Real Wealth Blueprint radio show and the founder of the Investment Real Estate Roundtable of Texas – which has over 4,000 members in the five major metro areas of the state!
On top of all that, Romney is a dad of two who loves to cook and is a big fan of comedy. He is also a major contributor to Austin Habitat for Humanity and Helping Hand Home, a nonprofit providing haven for abused children.
What else could you possibly learn about Romney? Let’s find out:
How long have you been an AAPL member?
What AAPL benefit do you MOST value?
I am a huge fan of the AAPL’s Annual Conference because it is a platform to not only meet relevant players in the industry but also to pick up on some of the best and most effective tricks of the trade. While I cannot totally attribute our success to just this conference and the relationships that I/ we have built along the way, our company’s portfolio has grown from $25M at the time we started our relationship with AAPL to over $175M today.
In addition to the conference, I am also very keen on the content that AAPL pushes out to its members by way of relevant articles and lender education/training modules (which we have used numerous times in training our new and existing staff).
We are believers and advocates in AAPL’s Code of Ethics which we have prided ourselves on following since we first learned about it in 2013.
Why did you become a member?
At first, we didn’t become members of AAPL, instead we decided to simply attend the annual conference to see what the association was all about. After attending that first conference we were “all-in” and became members immediately upon our return to Texas.
We became members for several reasons, notably marketing, networking and education but ultimately it boiled down to community. With AAPL we felt like we were immediately accepted into the (growing) community of private lenders and felt that with this platform we would be were fortunate enough to learn and grow simply through association. As anticipated – we were right – we have remained even more engaged than ever before and continue to reap the benefits of our involvement and membership with AAPL.
What is your favorite AAPL memory?
I’ll never forget one time when I was asked to teach a course on marketing and the best practices to use for the Certified Private Lender Associate (CPLA) designation. Having received my designation in 2013, I have had plenty of time to promote this highly-touted and well-received designation to my audience of borrowers and investors alike.
As it turns out, my portion of the presentation was the last 30-45 minutes of a long eight-hour course. Experiencing how the course ran in Las Vegas, I felt like the best thing for me would be to come into the class with a lot of energy in an attempt to “pep up” the attendees.
Remember, there are many late nights in Las Vegas, so I fully expected to be standing in front of a class that was running out of steam. It was finally my turn to present. I stepped up to the microphoned podium and (as planned) I came in with A LOT of energy – and I do mean a lot.
So much so that about 45 seconds into my presentation, one of the attendees raised his hand and asked, “Sir, can you slow it down and turn down the volume?” I was humbled by this as my plan, to some degree, backfired but of course took notice of the situation and backed away from the microphone to proceed (at a little slower pace) with my segment of the curriculum.
That, in and of itself, was a funny story. However, what proceeded was one of my favorite memories. I was so embarrassed by essentially screaming into the microphone that -contrary to my outgoing personality – I made every attempt to avoid that guy for the remainder of the conference.
To make a long story short(er.) At the end of the conference, he approached me and said, “Man, you were going 100 MPH up there.” I told him that that was my intention and we had a good laugh. Then he told me, “That was probably my favorite part of the whole conference.” That statement alone made agree that I did the right thing.
The icing on the cake to this whole experience was that, as it turned out, every one of those attendees passed the exam and obtained their CPLA designation and a little part of me is happy that I had something to do with that.
Why did you decide to enter the private lending profession?
Before the Great Recession of 2008-2010, I was a commercial lender originating loans for one of the country’s premier commercial lending firms.
For several years, I made a career of writing these commercial loans with relative ease and was fortunate enough to see a lot of personal and professional success across the state of Texas. When the recession hit Texas (as one of the last states affected), things changed. I was at a stand-still in my lending career as the capital markets that I had gotten accustomed to working all but dried up. I could no longer lend money the way I had come to understand. During the recession, I had some important decisions to make. One of which was do I remain in lending? After all, I think I am good at it –or- do I change careers?
As I weighed my options, I realized that the only way to remain in lending was to get into the private side of things as the conventional capital was no longer predictable; nor was it even available for a good while.
At that point, I met Jadon Newman with a small Austin firm called Streamline Funding which was owned by Noble Capital. We instantly hit it off. He asked me to help him grow his private lending business as the firm was steadfast in focusing on growth – even through the worst of times.
As it turned out, we grew and it all worked out. As a result of that ground work that we laid, I am now a partner at Noble Capital along with Jadon, Chris Ragland and Grady Collins. Three of the most brilliant lending minds in the industry.
While I entered the private lending space as a matter of career development and even survival, I have remained in the space because as lenders we have the ability to impact lives far beyond anything we would ever do in the traditional world. My very first was made to a borrower in San Antonio, she ended up making something to the tune of $60k on the transaction. It was right then that I learned the power of a private loan.
Since then I have continued to monitor my clients’ earnings and to-date we are approaching nearly $200M in borrower profits. This is what keeps me in the game and excited about the future.
Every one of those dollars of profit have made an impact in somebody’s lives.
What are some accomplishments you are particularly proud of?
I would say that my biggest accomplishments are A) never losing any investor capital, B) growing a team of winners internally and C) continuously improving not only our business but hopefully making a positive impact on the industry.
What is your favorite book, and why?
I have so many of them as I try to read a book every week. For some reason, every year, I come back around to reading “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Classon. It’s likely my favorite because of the how effortlessly the message is delivered in a fictional format but also because of the profoundness of the message of money. There is so much good in that book – which more than stands the test of time – that it may as well be called the ‘Wisest Man in the World.’
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