We had the good fortune of connecting with Steve Hill and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Steve, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I’ve always enjoyed being my own boss, coming up with my own ideas for marketing, expansion, new processes, and having no barrier to implement them. I always tell people ever since I went self-employed I’ve had 0 conference calls, 0 memos, 0 manager meetings, 0 annual performance reviews, 0 quarterly goals…. but with that comes a lot of added responsibility, because each month also starts out at 0 income.
What should our readers know about your business?
I hear all the time about what a refreshing tone I have on the phone. I never try to be pushy, and view what I do as customer service. I try to educate people about finance, mortgages, and the different options available. I also try to give people 2-3 options and explain them as best I can, so they can make the best possible choice for them and their family. And I’ve always gotten satisfaction from helping people, so that can get me out of the numbers, which makes the job worthwhile. It hasn’t been easy – it took about 5 years to make the transition from wholesale to retail, and about 10 years to have a fully self-sustaining business. Overcoming the challenges was not an option, I had to make it work. I just showed up each day and tried to do my best, learned anything I didn’t know, and tried to learn from my mistakes. We always try to put the client first – nothing is ever transactional. For us, it’s about the long-term interests of the client and what’s best for them. It’s a longer-term approach to business building, but in the end I feel it works out better.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Terranea Resort is always on my list of places to take friends from out of town. The drive to get there is beautiful – most everyone can’t resist taking out their phone to take photos – and Nelson’s is such a quintessential California spot to eat with great ocean views. Plus if we opt for a hike beforehand, no one judges you for sporting activewear. I tend to like the more quirky, historic places around like Los Angeles. Catching a movie at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is a must. Tropical drinks at Tiki-Ti is another good one – it’s one of the original tiki bars in LA. I took family to Pann’s diner over the holidays last year, and it was one of their favorite places we went albeit one of the least fancy. The original mid-century structure stands out La Cienega, and the inside is filled with all kinds of locals. It’s a melting pot, and you can’t go wrong with soul food.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Andrea Hanna, who was an account executive I assisted during my first job at a wholesale mortgage lender. Without a doubt she’s the manager I learned the most from during my early years. I learned about the speed the business moves at, answering the phone every single time it rings, planning for the month ahead, how to structure loans, how to push things through with management, how hard to work, etc… we worked very well together for many years during the last mortgage boom.