Brad is not on this list because he is one of my husband’s best friends for over 20 years, its Brad’s story, success and MY success with Brad that, I believe, makes him THE only mortgage banker to hire
When Capital Bank’s Brad Cohen was just 13 years old, he had started a door to door auto detailing business in the Bethesda Palisades. By 16, he had saved $8,000 and bought a 1984 Toyota Celica GTS, which allowed him to expand his business into other areas. When most kids were earning spending money by working at local fast food spots, Brad had earned enough to pay for half of his college education. Eventually, he had over 100 regular standing clients, a roster that included the CEO of Discovery Channel and some other high net worth executives. By 25, he had sold his client list and van for $40,000, which he turned into $400,000 in the stock market. When he bought the wrong stock on margin, he lost it all.
The stock snafu didn’t stop Brad from reaching success. After selling the auto detailing business in July 1997, he was looking for a job in sales when he was introduced to four mortgage business owners who encouraged him to give the mortgage business a try. When he first got into the mortgage business, having no experience, one of the owners asked him how he was going to get business? Brad told him he would pass out fliers, just as he had done with the auto detailing business. That owner looked at him like he had three heads. His first year, he closed 155 loans, 148 of which were refinance loans and he earned $131,000. By 2010, he was ranked #8 in the country for loan volume in Scotsman Guide, a leading trade magazine for the mortgage industry.
In the past three years since he joined Capital Bank, he’s closed over $600 million in real estate loans and well over $2 billion in loans since getting into the business. This was against his mother’s advice who thought he should stick with washing cars and become the “Car Wash King of America.” Brad shares, “I’ve always been goal-oriented. When I was 35, I utilized the services of my father, a custom builder, and built my dream house that went $441,000 over budget. I was initially panicked trying to figure out how to just make the interest only payments. When the rates dropped after the financial crisis in 2008, a refinance boom ensued allowing me to pay off more each year and I became obsessed with getting rid of the mortgage as fast as possible!” He says, “It was a very humbling moment to think you are giving advice to others and yet you have this enormous payment on a home you refused to cut back on when building. It took me back to the day when I lost the $400K in the stock market. It was a great life lesson that I have told hundreds of times and used to help my clients not make the same mistake I did. There were just too many sleepless nights.”
Within five years, as his 40th birthday present to himself, he wrote his last check to pay off the mortgage, a tactic he recommends to homebuyers, despite common advice to stretch out mortgage payments as long as possible for the tax benefits. “I would rather have no mortgage payment than a tax deduction that doesn’t make that much of a difference. Most buyers want a 30 year amortized loan but when refinancing, I always recommend a shorter term,” he adds. What tips does Brad have for mortgage loan bankers who are new in the industry? “You’ve got to be a self-starter. You also need to treat people the way you’d like to be treated. When I was washing cars, I’d treat the car as if it were my own and I treat clients’ money the same way,” he says. “Everybody has the same tools and is offering the same interest rates. What matters is your ability to get the loan done and how effective you are.”
Brad treats your money like it was his own. Brad has consistently been in the Nation’s top 25 Loan Officers for three years. Brad has closed over 600 million in the last three years alone. 80% of Brad’s business comes from past clients and referrals. Like I said in the beginning, Brad is the ONLY person I would hire when it comes to helping with a mortgage. He is just THAT good!
Bradley Cohen, Sr. Mortgage Banker
Bradley Cohen NMLS #177019
Capital Bank N.A. NMLS #401599
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender