creating 150 single-family rentals. That is when I really got serious about real estate, and it is also when I realized that there was a huge, gaping hole in the banking industry when it came to lever- age and real estate investing.

way I did. So, I created Crestar Funding, which was our initial name, and started lending and doing deals. About six months in, we realized, “Wow. This is a much bigger opportunity than we originally thought.” We changed the name to LendingOne in 2014.

because we are real estate investors. In my experience, “typical” private lender or hard-money lenders do not. They have probably been around for years. They may have a website, but most of them do not provide reliable quotes right out of the gate within a couple of minutes of your application. If they do automate, then they’re unreachable in person, which is their other mistake. TRM So, it’s a myth that borrowers just want to apply for a loan online and get it? > Continued on :: PG 113

TRM What kind of hole?

TRM Is that success because you are a technology-enabled lender?

BG Well, I owned all of those tax-lien properties outright, so I wanted to use leverage on them to fund future investments. I was talking to all the usu- al suspects about borrowing money for fixing-and-flipping to rentals, and it became clear that no one really was very good at figuring out how to do that. Even worse in some ways, I felt they just didn’t understand customer service the

BG I think that has a lot to do with it, but it also has to do with how dedicated we are to treating people in such a way that the entire borrowing and lending experiences are really pleasant and easy. The technology has a lot to do with that, but it is also the LendingOne team. We understand real estate investors


Bill Green is the co-founder and CEO of LendingOne and aweekly columnist at Inc. com. His book, All In: 101 Real Life Business Lessons for Emerging Entrepreneurs, is available onAmazon and on shelves. Learn

more at or

by Carole VanSickle Ellis

hen Bill Green founded Lendin- gOne in late 2014 with co-founder

grandchildren became a bestselling book for entrepreneurs, and how real estate in- vestors should look at life in order to keep their feet planted firmly on the ground.

involved in real estate a long time! That started in 1978, and I took the company public in 1996. When I sold the company and left in December 2001, we had $650 million in sales and 2,300 employees. In 2014, it was acquired for $1.6 billion, so I kind of wish I’d gotten the memo to hang around a little longer! After that, I ran a private equity com- pany for several years. We made invest- ments in nine different companies, and I served on the board of each company and helped them grow. At this point in time, they have all been sold, merged, or closed, depending on what we deter- mined the right exit strategy to be. I finally entered the real estate sector in earnest in 2008 when I acquired a tax lien company and bought $300 million worth of tax liens on about $2 billion worth of residential real estate. At the end of that, I had foreclosed on and owned 450 homes. I wound up whole- saling 150, fixing and flipping 150, and

Matthew Neisser, they did so in response to what they found to be banking indus- try “disinterest” in providing funding for real estate investors. Likely, the banks wish they had been a little more interest- ed now. In just three years, LendingOne has invested $300 million in various real estate opportunities, with $200 million of that activity occurring in 2017 alone. Green himself credits the company’s unique, “technology-enabled” lending for the success. However, there is much more than fin- tech to Bill Green. In fact, the first thing he said when Think Realty Magazine interviewed him was, “I’m a triathlete, a serious wine collector, and a family man,” adding, “being a family man is what I’m most proud of.” In this in-depth, per- sonal interview, Green delved into the mechanics behind the meteoric growth of his company, how a keepsake for his

How did you


get started in real estate?

BILL GREEN At heart, I’m a serial entrepreneur more than a real estate investor. What really launched me into investing in general was that in high school, I started a company selling anything I could sell out of the trunk of my car. I am not a silver-spoon kid; my parents couldn’t afford college, so I dropped out and started selling anything and everything at the flea market. I eventually focused providing for the multifamily market (mainly apartment buildings), selling maintenance supplies, plumbing, hardware, and electrical products. I had to learn all about that industry and its needs, so I’ve been

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