planners, estate planners, invest- ment specialists or tax experts, and will not advise you in those matters. Always seek the advice of a licensed professional. This article is for informational purposes only, contains the opinion of the author, not necessarily the opinion of Se- curityNational Mortgage Company, and should not be construed as lending advice. Loans are subject to borrower qualifications, including income, property evaluation, suf- ficient equity in the home to meet LTV requirements, and final credit approval. Approvals are subject to underwriting guidelines, interest rates, and program guidelines, and are subject to change without no- tice based on applicant’s eligibility and market conditions. Refinancing an existing loan may result in total finance charges being higher over life of loan. Reduction in payments may reflect longer loan term. Terms of the loan may be subject to payment of points and fees by the applicant. Equal Housing Lender. SecurityNational Mortgage Compa- ny Inc. NMLS# 3116. Any amounts, figures, payments or loan terms stated are based on continually changing markets, rates, loan pro- grams and borrower specific qual- ifications, and subject to change without notice. See loan officers featured for a personal consulta- tion and accurate pricing. The above information is the sole in- tellectual property of the author. Any distribution without written consent of the owner is strictly prohibited © . Aaron Chapman has been in the fi- nance industry since 1997. His clientele ranges from first-time home buyers to those investing in multiple properties for long-term cashflow. He is presently ranked #14 in an industry of more than 300,000 licensed loan originators.

Arizona freeway that August, my beard some- how had grown in through the scars and scabs on my cheek. I committed to not shave or trim it until I learned how to walk again. Allowing my beard to grow and deciding to not share the same wardrobe as those in my industry, I find it very easy to share a space with other pro- fessionals and not communi- cate with any of them — to be completely alone among

to their question: “Who is this and why is he on this stage?” Often, presenters who look like they were anticipated to look do not receive the attention they de- serve. My appearance has become a disruptor, and I know it is best practice to not just jump on stage and sound ignorant. If you choose to be the unexpected presenter because of your appearance, you better be the unexpected presenter in the level of content you provide. Immerse yourself to the deepest level of your contribution, and you’ll eventually achieve status of subject-matter expert. But that is not enough. You must develop the ability to present complicated in- formation in a way that the general public can easily comprehend. When I am called upon to pro- vide material to an audience, it is typically to share information about real estate finance. Rather than offer information on the nuts and bolts of how to qualify and what pro- grams exist, I tend to lean toward the mindset of the individual real estate investor to chip away at their fears and prejudices toward the erroneous “debt.” We can find fear and error everywhere, but misper- ception, assumptions, and misinfor- mation cause frustration that can halt the progress of the motivated investor. Turn faulty expectations into motivation to fill your mind with the most useful information so your mind can be what it was intended: your best tool. • DISCLAIMER: SecurityNational Mortgage Company, and its loan officers, unless individually li- censed and specifically denoted in their credentials, are not qualified to, and are prohibited from rep- resenting themselves as accoun- tants, attorneys, certified financial

Aaron Chapman (left) speaks on the Lending Panel at the Think Realty Conference & Expo in Atlanta.

Top of Mind

many. People don’t typically envi- sion a person whom they come to see on stage and take notes from to look like I do. When an event pro- gresses and the host introduces me, a subject-matter expert on finance as it relates to real estate invest- ments, there is a noticeable adjust- ment in the audience’s attention. What they expect in the outward appearance of one who is in the banking industry and what they see before them are complete opposites. Because of the contrast between the mental ideal and what they see, the question “Who is this and why is he on this stage?” certainly comes to the minds of most audience members. It’s this juxtaposition of perception versus reality that results in greater atten- tion. They want to hear the answer


by Aaron Chapman


ne would think a crowd of hundreds would be the place

things happened in my world, which amplified this phenomenon. I awoke in a cold, white room, the surroundings blurred. Then, light from the fluorescent tubes above me came into focus. Taking in my surroundings, I viewed a familiar face to my right and asked, “Where am I?” My wife’s soft, but tired voice responded in a way that felt as if it was the hundredth time she answered, “You are in a hospital. You were in a motorcycle accident.” In the passing days, I realized my

world drastically changed. Multiple surgeries, a need for a wheelchair, and reliance on others was some- thing I was going to have to get used to. Although the price paid was ex- treme, I did notice in a photo taken by my wife that the bare patch on the right side of my face, which be- fore the accident had prevented me from full beard growth, had filled in. I had always been frustrated with the bare spot on my face, but after a high-speed skid on the hot

where an opportunity for personal time doesn’t exist, but it seems the larger the crowd, the more alone one can feel. I’ve experienced entering a room full of professionals and have found I can have plenty of alone time if I choose. But being alone in a crowded room can quickly turn in the opposite direction and time for personal reflection is so far behind you, a trip to the restroom even lacks privacy. A few years ago, several

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