After Rocky’s Deployment, Agents Get Money For Small Business Loans

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Dawn Belliveau’s own bank rejected its first attempt to obtain a loan through the Paycheque Protection Program.

The program aims to support small businesses during the coronavirus“Economic trouble. In a nutshell, it lends to business owners – including real estate agents – up to 2.5 times their monthly payroll. If the borrowers use most of the money to pay employees, they don’t have to repay the loan.

Shortly after the program launched in April, Belliveau – an agent for Sotheby’s International Realty in Kennebunk, Maine – contacted the same bank she had used for decades to secure one of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The bank refused him.

Dawn Belliveau

“My bank told me I needed to have a line of credit or a business checking account,” Belliveau told Inman. “And it had to exist before February 20.”

Belliveau therefore switched to plan B: PayPal.

The online payments company was receiving a positive buzz from members of the real estate industry who had failed to secure loans from their own banks. So Belliveau jumped in line and filled out his own request. She said the process was “very easy”, but unfortunately he also failed to get the much needed financial help.

“Less than 48 hours later, I received an email telling me that I had been refused because I had not provided enough information,” she said. “I still don’t know what I was missing. There was no phone number to call. I emailed them and got no response.

Nevertheless, the third time was the charm of Belliveau; she eventually applied to a local bank in Bangor, Maine, and her application was accepted. She plans to finally receive the funds this week.

Belliveau’s experience highlights both the strengths and weaknesses of PPP. On the one hand, thanks to the last round table the program was tasked with giving away nearly $ 660 billion in what is essentially free money.

But on the other hand, the deployment of the program suffered from glitchy app interfaces, a lack of information, insufficient funding and a convoluted system like that experienced by Belliveau. Today, almost a month after the start of applications, many players in the real estate industry have received money. This in turn has garnered praise for the program from officers, although some hiccups remain.

Belliveau perhaps summed it up best: “It worked well, but it took a lot of running to get there. “

Patricia laforte

Patricia Laforte, a Realtypath agent in the Salt Lake City, Utah area, also suffered slowdowns en route to getting her loan. Laforte has commercial accounts with Chase and Wells Fargo, and initially tried to work with these banks. It did not work.

“I tried to apply through Wells Fargo, but they kept saying they weren’t quite ready yet,” she said. “They were installed, but not for me. Chase was pretty much the same.

Like Belliveau, Laforte finally turned to PayPal. But in her case, the online company came along and received the funds on Monday.

“PayPal has been awesome,” she said.

Despite Belliveau’s experiences, PayPal’s positive handling of the program has appeared in a number of conversations Inman has had with agents.

Spencer frazier

For example, Spencer Frazier, a team leader at Blue Water Realty in the San Diego area, told Inman he applied for a loan just before lawmakers approved the second round of funding in late April. Frazier went with PayPal after reading success stories on the popular Lab Coat Agents Facebook group, and within days he had his money.

“It was pretty easy,” he told Inman.

Justin French, an agent for Keller Williams in Nashville, Tennessee, also applied through PayPal and shared a similar success story.

Justin French

“It was extremely user-friendly,” he said. “I applied early Monday morning around 8 am Thursday at lunch time, the amount hit my bank account and I almost fell off my chair. It was just a big blessing.

In an email to Inman, PayPal said it accepts applications from PayPal and non-PayPal customers and processes applications on a first-come, first-served basis. The company created an online application for the program and was able to “act quickly and make sure we were submitting the correct information.” PayPal declined to say how many PPP requests it has processed so far.

French sentiment is a marked departure from what real estate professionals were saying about the program in the early days after its rollout. In online forums, on social media pages, and in many conversations with Inman, agents initially tended to share more frustration than praise for the PPP. Common complaints included never hearing from lenders and having to spend hours on applications.

It is not entirely clear how many real estate professionals applied for the program, although the initial $ 349 billion funding round eventually did. distributed a total of approximately $ 10.7 billion to industry via nearly 80,000 loans. As of May 1, more than half of the program’s $ 310 billion second round of funding had been exhausted, although officials have not provided an up-to-date industry-specific breakdown of who receives the money.

A recent Inman survey over 500 real estate professionals found that as of last week, 12 percent had requested and received money, while 25 percent had requested but never received a response from their lenders.

Another 7 percent had been rejected or could not complete the application process.

Obviously, the problems with the program have not completely dissipated, with the biggest hiccup apparently being that some applicants have had – or continue to have – difficulty receiving funds.

But the chorus of grateful voices is also increasing, suggesting that despite its issues, PPP is actually making a difference.

Kyle whissel

Kyle Whissel was one of those agents who praised the program. Whissel, an eXp Realty agent in the San Diego area, told Inman that he initially researched five different banks and ended up choosing one in the Los Angeles area. This meant he had to drive two hours north in order to open an account where the money would end up. But he got his money in the first round of PPP funding.

“They were super responsive,” he said of his bank.

Most of the agents who spoke to Inman for this story operate solo, either as sole owners of their own companies or as independent contractors. This means that they plan to use their P3 funds – which in most cases were in the mid-four-digit range – to pay themselves.

Whissel’s situation is somewhat different: he has a staff of 15, and with business in his area down by about 50 percent, he was faced with the prospect of putting five of them on leave. Now, however, he won’t have to.

“I’m super grateful for this,” he said of the funding. “Even having to think about firing or putting people on leave is a heartbreaking feeling. “

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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