Timothy Hero has built his business around rental properties. The independent loan broker exclusively serves an investor community across 45 states. He works with fix and flip investors but specializes in those smaller mom-and-pop rental landlords with property portfolios in the one-to-four-unit range. It’s a niche, he explained, that’s about longstanding relationships with clients and with lenders.

The rental space is getting a bit crowded, though, especially in single family. As big institutional players start buying up swathes of properties, brokers like Hero have had to work hard to safeguard their clients’ competitive edge. Hero prides himself on being able to outwork any other broker, which has helped keep his business growing. He expects that his lender partners work as hard as he does, because by working with the right lenders, Hero knows he can secure strong deals for his clients. Through a combination of rate and high-quality service one lender has stood out for Hero in recent years: LendingOne.

“I checked out LendingOne and it just so happened they were headquartered in my home town of Palm Beach, FL.,” Hero said, when asked how the partnership began. “Their program fit with my rental business and their broker portal is absolutely amazing.

“I have 30-40 investors wanting quotes every week, and I can just log on to LendingOne’s portal and quote these borrowers myself. Some lenders make you send the info over to an account executive and wait for them to send you a quote, but I run on time. I’m able to do the volume I do because I don’t waste time or leave people on read. I like to crank out as much as I can on an hourly basis and I can’t do that if I’m waiting on posts to come over.”

Hero explained that with LendingOne’s portal, he can crank out loan quotes until two in the morning if he needs to. He can use the portal to assess what he made last year and see how quickly those deals were closed. As the markets his clients work in get more competitive, that speedy access to key early information is crucial to Hero’s continued success.

While the tech has been strong for Hero, the human relationships have been stronger. His account manager, Mark Zummo-Hurley, is available at almost any hour for a call about a deal. It’s a relationship that was forged with seriousness from both sides. Hero made it known early that when it came to generating volume, he meant business. Zummo-Hurley and the LendingOne team have responded in kind. Hero trusts that if he emails Mark at midnight, he’ll get an answer by 1am.

With strong technology and a strong relationship, LendingOne has come up big for Hero. Recently they were able to close a deal that nobody else would touch. It was for a strong borrower with a credit score that fell just below the minimum standards most saw. The score dropped, though, because of a single late payment in the past 60 days. In all other areas, Hero noted, it was solid. Unlike other lenders, who looked for reasons to reject, the LendingOne team was able to find reasons to approve. They saw past one small credit blemish to the wider opportunity of the deal and delivered for Hero.

Knowing he has that sort of a lender partner, Hero is confident in helping his clients navigate the tightening rental market. He can build strong pipelines and grow his volume, bringing in new business by doing deals for them they didn’t think were possible. His work ethic, speed of information gathering and communication skills have been key to much of his success. His partnership with LendingOne, too, has played a significant role.

“LendingOne has never failed me,” Hero said. “Their underwriters are very responsive. Right now, I have around $2.25 million in the pipeline with LendingOne. They are an extremely responsive lender.”