JT Bramlette

LESSONS AS LIFE

            Many investors flaunt success with “Rolexes and Roller,” or Fendi and Ferrari.  In more cases than not, they confuse symbols as the goals of their pursuit rather than rewards of their success.  The effect is to separate these gurus from the people they clam to want to help most.             

            JT Bramlette grew up in a middle-class family in Dillon, Montana.  Like many families, their real assets were measured in strong values and hard work.  “At 18, I was married with two kids and had to make my own way,” Bramlette said.  “My first real estate lesson was renting a home and having no idea how I was going to pay for it.”

            Bramlette wanted more for his family.  He attended a real estate guru seminar where he learned there was money to be made in trading real estate notes.  “This business is simply buying and trading debt at a discount,” he said.  “Do it right and often enough and there is a nice profit to be made.  Simply: shoot straight, work hard and do decent volume.”

Bramlette opened a small office where he heard this question frequently: “If you buy discounted deeds, do you lend money on houses with trust deeds?”  After the third request, Bramlette added a “Get Your Mortgage Here” sign to the front door, knowing he could find a mortgage broker somewhere to help his client through application, qualification and closing. 

            “At 19, I knew little about mortgages and credit, but I knew people with solid backgrounds in consumer lending, marketing and valuing the security of land who, as professionals, were pleased to help if I offered them incremental value as a partner or added sales,” Bramlette said.  “This is where I first learned that success is about and dependent upon, the people you surround yourself with.”

            Within two years, the mortgage business had two offices and Bramlette began lending to developers.  This evolved to representing a hard-money lender and originating $20 million in loans each month to developers from Florida to California.  “My next lesson was, ‘like prospects and customers clump together.”  Treat one well and they will tell their friends and business will follow.  This taught me the power of leveraging group behavior positively and the result was we grew to huge volume overnight.”

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