If It Was Easy...

Mortgage and Lending with Guaranteed Rate, Marin County, CA NMLS: 22343

If It Was Easy...


As 2016 drew to a close, two seemingly unrelated events came together for me in the form of an unexpected realization.  First, I did a careful review of my past year's production in order to measure progress, spot trends and recognize where improvement needs to be made.  Second, I caught the broadcast of the Ironman Triathlon World Championship on TV.  


So let's start with a little background on the more interesting of the two.  Sometime back in the late '80's, I must have been watching TV with my dad on a lazy weekend afternoon when we inadvertently stumbled across the telecast of some Speedo-clad lunatic fringe attempting to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles (back-to-back-to-back) across Hawaii's lava fields on the Big Island.  We couldn't stop watching and the seeds of the sport's sadistic curiosity were apparently sown for me on that day.  Of course, NBC would interweave these powerful and inspiring human interest stories into this otherwise unglamorous and grueling event so that by the time we'd finished watching it, I recall that maybe we both felt like we were ready to don running shoes and pound some pavement.  Never mind that Chicago's outlying suburbs, in winter, didn't exactly mirror the imagery and climate of Hawaii.  From the comfortable confines of our living room, I suppose the only things that separated us from the glory of that finish line on Ali'i Drive were...years of demanding endurance training and unbending determination.  But now, as I watched the broadcast, I did so from a very different place than 25 years before.  More on that later...


Let's change channels and go back to reviewing my loan files from 2016. What stood out the most is that my team takes on a lot of really tough cases.  Now I'm not talking about subprime, credit crises or stated income.  I am specifically referring to self-employed borrowers with complex income profiles, challenging non-warrantable condominium projects, foreign national buyers and non-permanent resident aliens on work visas and, especially, jumbo loan options for the buyer who has less than a 20% down payment.  All of these represent scenarios in which the prospective borrower can end up watching from the couch and not realizing their dreams of home ownership.  Perhaps they will deal with the uninspired loan officer in the lobby of their bank.  Maybe they'll take matters into their own hands, rocket through a slew of slick online forms, then realize that their specific questions require human intervention but never seem to elicit a confident response from the series of clerks on the other end of the toll-free number.  Whatever the case, these buyers will quickly learn that their case is not a "slam dunk" and they may even deem their hopes to be impossible.


As I mentioned earlier, the teenage fascination with the Kona Ironman exhibited karmic qualities, and so it was that age at 30 I took up the sport, learned how to swim, bought the first bike I'd owned since my Sears Free Spirit a lifetime ago, and started training.  Many, many miles later, I "cracked the code" and qualified for the Ironman World Championship for the first time in 2008.  It wasn't easy to do, but it was worth it.  "If it was easy, everybody would be doing it."  We used to say that in training and we used to say that in the race itself.  Now I hear myself repeating the same thing in my profession.  All those great loans that other loan agents can't or won't do?  Not only do I have a history of getting them done, they are the personal victories we share with our clients.

 Anything is possible, 



Robert J. Spinosa
Executive Loan Advisor
NMLS: 22343 CalBRE: 01297944
Cell: 415-367-5959 Fax: 415-366-1590
rspinosa@rpm-mtg.com    www.rpm-mtg.com/rspinosa 
1058 Redwood Highway, Frontage Road, Mill Valley, CA 94941


RPM Mortgage, Inc. – NMLS#9472 – Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the Residential Mortgage Lending Act. Equal Housing Opportunity.


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Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS, Broker
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate!

Rob what a great story and I love how you connect the Ironman Race to your business.  Great fit!  Anything is possible if we put our minds to it and believe it. Very impressive indeed!

                                            Featured in BananaTude Group!


Jan 06, 2017 08:01 AM #1
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Rob - Kudos for an amazing accomplishment. Mary and I are bikers - not so strong anymore, but we used to do some big rides here in the mountains, and I can't imagine sandwiching one with a long swim and a marathon.

Jan 06, 2017 01:42 PM #2
John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

Love the post, Rob - I've just tapped into distance running and will eventually move onto tri's - not sure if I'll ever do an ironman (the idea of 26.2 running keeps me away), but I can appreciate the work it takes.

Love the "rocket through online forms" statement, too --- I see whatcha did there ; )


Here's to an amazing year for you, in and outside of business.

Jan 06, 2017 03:02 PM #3
Jerry Murphy, CRS, SRES
Long Realty West Valley - Anthem, AZ
Anthem, Phoenix, and Scottsdale AZ Real Estate

Great job Rob.  I too am an Ironman triathlete, although I haven't qualified for Kona.  I'm doing my second Ironman here in 2017.  It takes a special breed to do Ironman, and yes, it's gives you the wherewithal to accomplish Herculean feats in our business lives too.  Best wishes to you.

Jan 06, 2017 03:18 PM #4
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Awesome!  I love a good challenge - I took up Bikram yoga 4 years ago and can't get enough of it.  But it's more grueling than any run I took in all my years of running.  What is that important?  Just as you said - it's about our character, determination, and desire to get it done.

Jan 06, 2017 03:42 PM #5
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good evening Rob Spinosa,

Loved your story and connection with your business. You need to connect with my son John Dunham. He has 2 Iron man races under his belt, is running in the Boston Marathon this April, is a Broker owner for his firm Juice Homes and works with many athletes.. ..you have a lot in common!

Jan 06, 2017 04:10 PM #6
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Hi Rob

That's a great story - congratulations!! That particular sport has always really impressed me. You should come out here to Carlsbad for our Triathlon!

I liked the connections you drew between the Iron Man and your business!

Wishing you much success in 2017!


Jan 06, 2017 06:07 PM #7
John Dunham
Juice Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
N Central Austin

Great post and reflection Rob.  The days of Mark Allen were very inspirational ~ congrats on making it Hawaii, a huge accomplishment!

Jan 06, 2017 08:01 PM #8
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Congratulations on qualifying for the Ironman World Championship and for getting all those difficult mortgage loans closed! 

Jan 07, 2017 05:43 AM #9
Harry F. D'Elia
Real Estate and Beyond, LLC - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

We know a lady that competes internationally. Best of luck to you this year

Jan 07, 2017 06:46 AM #10
Vickie Teel
Allison James Estates & Homes - Punta Gorda, FL
It's all about YOU!

Wow Rob that's amazing! Here's to great success for you in 2017!

Jan 07, 2017 07:54 AM #11
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

It's obvious that you are a man that likes .. and does not shrink .. from challenges, Rob Spinosa.  Whether personally or professionally.  

As a fellow LO, I admire that greatly.  And an extra benefit ... I also know that I have a true professional I can refer in CA with pride and the assurance that my clients would be well taken care of.  

Happy New Year ... hope it's successful for you on ALL counts,


Jan 07, 2017 08:08 AM #12
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Rob is a warrior...Good man to have as a neighbor or on a team!

Jan 07, 2017 09:04 AM #13
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

Well that's a terrific story.  I agree whole heartedly!  If it was easy, everyone would do it lol.  Congrats on the Ironman stuff although I have yet to watch that and have me inspired to actually DO that LOL!  So glad of your accomplishments!

Jan 07, 2017 03:58 PM #14
Sham Reddy
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Thanks for the great information!!!

"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it."  We used to say that in training and we used to say that in the race itself.

Jan 07, 2017 06:24 PM #15
Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

Love your anaolgy and drive. Great post, well done.

Jan 08, 2017 08:28 AM #16
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Nice analogy; hope things work out for all your tough cases and for the lender.

Jan 08, 2017 03:23 PM #17
Cody Carmen
Adhi Schools, LLC - Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Market Analysis--Educational Content, Adhi Schools

Great way to connect your personal life to your business. A competitive athlete (that learned to swim as an adult) clearly has the necessary drive to solve problems. It's important for professionals to be able to demonstrate this tenacity, so great story. 

Jan 09, 2017 09:43 AM #19
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Rob Spinosa

Vice President of Mortgage Lending, Marin County
Can I Get a Jumbo Loan with 10% Down?
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