Join Steve Iskander, the founder of Intrepid Finance, as he engages in an insightful conversation with Shane, the founder of Funder Intel. In this article, we explore their discussion about the world of business lending and the innovative solutions Funder Intel provides to brokers, offering a comprehensive perspective on the finance industry.
Steve Iskander: Join me as I sit down with Shane Mahabir, the founder and president of Funder Intel. As we take a deep dive into what fuels broker growth, as well as a fascinating business lending industry. We’ll learn a little bit about funder Intel and the game-changing technology and solutions that they’re providing the lending and brokerage industry. I hope you enjoy it. Hey, Shane, thanks for joining us today and jumping on.
Shane Mahabir: Appreciate you having me, Steve looking forward to this. Yeah.
Steve Iskander: No, absolutely. I wanted to have you on a little bit to tell us a little bit about your experience and background and what led you to launch Funder Intel.
Shane Mahabir: Yeah, absolutely. You know, so funder and sell developed over several years, you know, being in the business. So I, you know, I started out in the alternative finance industry in 2014. So working in IOL relations departments, you know, for a start-up back then, moved on to a couple of different funders, worked for a broker for a period of time, and then started my own broker company, and then kind of the pandemic happened, you know, I was, I was still working for a funder at that time and, you know, I, I, I had looked at different ways to, you know, bring in more income or find really solve the problems that I was having, in IOL relations and I figured out other people were having some of them too and that was connected with new partners and so forth. And so I started kind of, you know, really, just testing out dabbling with ideas and, and, you know, launch something very basic and minimum, which is totally like night and day to what it is now. You know, but that was, it, it was, it was, you know, wanting to have my own thing and finding out how can I solve some problems people are having and bring value. And now you’re kind of seeing after a little bit of time, a couple of years now, I’ve added so much to it. It’s, it’s really a different, you know, platform than what it was a few years ago.
Steve Iskander: Yeah. So, absolutely. So, so, right, I cut your background. So you used to be an I, you used to be an I O manager. So you brought on different agents. You were a broker yourself, you went out on your own as your own brokerage, and now you’re providing funder intel to people. Can you to solve some of the challenges that you felt yourself in? The industry as being a broker and maybe even a broker manager. Can you explain to us a little bit what exactly is funder Intel?
Shane Mahabir: Sure. Yeah, 100%. So that’s what I was doing. Isolations, you know, you bring on new brokers, new I OS, and to help deal flow, right? So, there are definitely platforms, websites, you know, groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, whatever to find people, network or in-person events, and all that. But it was, you know, my idea to find something to create something more central and to have everyone, you know, as time went on, to have everyone reveal their true identity, right? So there’s a number of different iterations that I went through of the total idea to where it is now, and that’s, you know, information resource, media, education is really, you know, an all-in-one platform, right? So funder Intel, you can think of if you’re getting into the bus business, lending industry, fintech, alternative finance, commercial finance, you want to find out as much as you can and be able to connect with people network with people. And so that’s hopefully one of your stops is Intel because we have that in different forms. So whether it be articles or videos like this, we interview experts and members of the industry, new or experience. You know, we have a couple of different courses and then vendor list. So people are always looking for, you know, new companies to work with. So whether it be loans, lines of credit S B A loans, you know, MC A S, and then other software providers, third party, you know, companies, you know, whether it be collection companies or C R MS phone systems. So if you think about, you know, kind of like a, like a, like a nerd wallet in a sense, or there’s other companies out there that provide, you know, you know, information that leads you to that product that you need for your business. That’s what we offer, right? So, and then there’s a community forum so you can directly connect with people, you know, put your messaging out there, promote your company, grow your brand. And then also directly message and connect with people in our, you know, kind of our social media profile section, right? So you can view all the members of our site, which is over, you know, 1500. And you can, you know, which is small, relatively speaking, but it’s vetted, the people are vetted when they come into or Intel. So, you know, you’re working with, not just, you know, some screen name behind a profile.
Steve Iskander: Yeah, absolutely. And as you know that Intrepid, we use funder Intel, not just for all the intelligence and education pieces, but to be able to collaborate with, with other community members because we haven’t seen really a one solution, if that’s what I want to call it in, in the, in the alternative or the funding industry, that shows where we can go to help find funders that could help us place deals as well as work with the community. Work with the others on the forum and the other brokers in the community forum on what are some of the challenges that those guys are facing. So, you know, us being a member ourselves, but could you tell us a little bit about who can become a member of funder? And is it, is it only brokers? Is it only lenders? Is it open to anybody? Is there any fee associated with it?
Shane Mahabir: Great question. Yeah. No fee definitely free to create an account. And it’s industry members. So almost anyone within the really anyone within the industry. And then, you know, we, we don’t cater to business owners unless they’re going to become a someone in the industry, a stakeholder or broker or funder. So it is for industry members only. And there’s a you know, the vetting process is simple if you’re just someone that’s straightforward about who you are and that is having a real name. And we can verify that, right? It shouldn’t be that complicated, but some, I maybe unsurprisingly, so make it a little bit more complicated. And so they don’t have an online presence. So we have to ask for, all right, your, you know, social media profile, like really mainly linked in or let’s see your website. Do you have an active website? If we can’t get to the bottom line of either you have a real name that we can trace, or you work for a real company. You know, we’ll do some other things and ask for a photo ID If you’re looking to take one of our courses like the broker course or the underwriting course and you, you’re not in the, in the, in the industry yet, then yes, submit a photo ID, or we could verify your phone number or something to that extent. And that, then you can take our course and, and you know, so what that brings that we feel brings to the site is some integrity and some vetting of All right, if you’re interacting with someone within the site, let’s say it’s some sort of software or someone’s selling you leads, you’re buying leads from someone that posted in the forum. Well, now, you know that all right, funder Intel li knows who this person is. There’s not the, you know, just like they’re gonna, you know, sell you something and then run, we’re gonna have, you know, the ability to trace who that is. And to help people out, and obviously, we hope that never happens. But when you’re doing business, and you’re doing networking, you’re networking out there, you want to know that person is legitimate and that they have all, you know, good intentions behind them for the most part. Right? And that’s part of our efforts to help the industry, you know, kind of change and, and evolve and, and this, this goes into some bigger things that, that I can go into as far as how things are evolving with different law changes and so forth because of the repercussions of, of you know, business actions and, and practices.
Steve Iskander: Yeah, I love the part of the transparency, and really, I don’t wanna say checking the accreditation, but understanding who the user is behind that community forum, and you talked a little bit about OK, community forum, there’s the ability to buy leads through directly through your platform as well. Obviously have the listening to the different services that are out there and the online training. But what are some of the other challenges that early-stage brokers and people have, and how could funder intel fulfill those?
Shane Mahabir: Sure. And, and just to, you know, with the, the leads for just to go back that really quick. There’s a company that we, you know, have on our website. We don’t necessarily sell them directly. So they’re coming through in our broker course. They are able to get that through that company. So we don’t originate the leads and so forth. So, but as far as the challenge is, four brokers, you know, four new brokers are, are less, less than a year in the business. There’s many, for the experienced ones. You know, I mean, I guess the two, the two main things are always leads. Right. And, staffing. So if you are just a one or two-person shop, and that’s what you intend to be, there’s nothing wrong with that, and you don’t have the problem of staffing, right? But as you grow and if you’re a 5 10, you know, 50-person broker company, then staffing is a huge problem where no matter where you are in the country, right? So some places are better than others, you have to adjust to pay, and you have to, you know, pay them accordingly, so they stick around. And then leads is an ongoing battle. Now, as a new broker, the additional challenges are getting on with different funders and lenders of all the different business, loan products, right? So if you are brand new, you don’t have deal flow yet, you don’t have leads, then some funders won’t even on board. You, right? You, well, you know that and, and so we help out with that part of the process with providing companies that will onboard new brokers. And then we also are developing some things, you know, in the pipeline that we’ll announce, you know, later on. But help new brokers get on board and be able to submit their deals. Now, the next thing is all right. So leads ongoing. It’s an ongoing things. People don’t want to do certain portions of lead generation. So whether it be co-calling, or email blasting, or networking. And so they have to find out how to get that done if they’re not the ones who are doing it. So they’re gonna hire someone they could do, you know, virtual assistant overseas. And, so we help them out with some of that advice, just free knowledge, you know, forum or in articles and then some of it, you know, we can also help that, you know, in a separate, like one on one, you know, consultation. But that’s, you know, the, the main issues now there are also people that once, if they’re, if they’re, you know, within a few months of starting, they’re gonna go through those, those kind of tough times which everyone goes through and that’s really building your pipeline, right? So you’re gonna have those deals that fall apart, you know, on the f at the finish line, you’re gonna have, you know, slow times where you’re not getting, you know, the submission packages in, you know, you’re having just your, your world’s falling apart, right? For some of these guys, like, oh, how is it gonna get better? How am I gonna break that, you know, get over that hump and, and it really takes one, you know, kind of the, I mean, to be direct, I mean, it takes the financial capacity to withs that sustain that or withstand that. And then two, just mentally that hurdle is, you know, it’s gonna come, you just have to know that, and everyone’s pipeline, all those negative things, all those things that deals fall apart, someone, you know, steals your deal or, you know, just the the the merchant was lying or whatever the case is that naturally happens to everyone. You, as a broker, just have to build up your pipeline enough to where that’s not gonna affect your day. You’re moving on to the next one. You got five other people in the pipeline for, you know, that week, let’s say, closing, and you just keep on moving on. And so being a broker is probably mainly about that is keeping up your pipeline full enough that you’re accomplishing your goals of what whatever those are. I I like that you’re providing all the necessary tools, especially for these early-stage brokers is we right?S
Steve Iskander: We’re a direct funder, but we also syndicate, and we work with brokers direct. So working with these early-stage brokers, could you share maybe a success story or two of, you know, how you were able to work with an early-stage broker and get them up and going and how they became successful utilizing Shane and the Funder Intel?
Shane Mahabir: You know, there’s, there’s one that stands out and, you know, a couple of other people and, and not even, you know, visitors site, they’ve become members. And then another, the, the main person that stands out is someone that, found our site. He had already taken a course, a broker course, even though he was in banking forever, he took a course to find out and, and it, you know, it was a pretty penny, it was, you know, upwards of 50,000 for the course covered, you know, everything in commercial finance. Right. And then he found funder and sell, and he, you know, kind of start, you know, browsing the site and found, you know, things that could help him. And then he decided to take, our broker course, and honest, honestly, that was kind of in our infancy like, you know, as far as the course is concerned. And we’ve evolved, we’ve added content to it, and so forth. But the way it stood at that point, he felt it was more direct, more focused on what he was trying to do with alternative financing products, right? Alternative to bank financing for those that aren’t familiar, but, you know, and, and he swore by it and he said that look, he, because one of the things that you’ll want to create no matter where you are in your, in your building of your business is creating processes and systems, right? And that probably goes for any business out there, but specifically this, right? So you’re, yeah, you’re connected to technology in some way or form some fashion with, you know, your C R M or your phone system. And so, you know, we taught, we teach that in the course. And so he found these things going out on his own in hours to be very focused, very streamlined, like, all right, you’re getting the building blocks, the basics, but then you’re also getting, you know, advanced knowledge where you may need, where you’re gonna need it in a year or two and, and down the line and you know, I still talk to him, you know, every couple of weeks, maybe, you know, a couple of times a month. You know, he has some good things going on that he’s gonna share, you know, with, on our platform as far as what he was doing before. Now he’s involved with some, you know, credit building part that he’s gonna bring in, you know, clients and that and that, yeah, and that origination flow. And so it’s, it’s just one of those where I kind of preach the people like there’s, there’s more than one way to skin the cat, right? But how do you create something that’s successful? And that people can mimic and go out on their own because there’s nothing guaranteed. It’s what you’re gonna put into it. But, you know, that that’s where it’s, he’s also found funders to work with, and we made that as simple. And so I’ll mention like our MC A funders list because that’s my background. It’s the focus. Mc A is our focus of our site, but we spread out to all commercial finance, but our funders list is the most complete funders list around. So if you haven’t seen that yet, really, there’s nothing else online like it. Proud to say that because we put in a lot of work, and it helps people identify for the MC A revenue based financing and, and sales based financing as the lawmakers are calling it nowadays, that you can find the category of paper or, you know, funding files that these funders do their underwriting guidelines if they’re actively on boarding I OS and then you can hit with the click of a button, ask us to connect you to the ones that are participating, but also the ones you know, that are verified or that they’ve claimed their profile on Funder Intel. And this gives brokers a, you know, leg up where they don’t have to do that research, they can go on if they, yeah, if they, you know, got someone that hit them up on, you know, locked in or, or their email, they’re like, oh, who’s this person, you know, go to Funder Intel? They’re not on Funder Intel’s MC A funders list, you know, what have they been doing? They could be a brand-new funder, and we’ll be happy to, to add them. They just submit some information, basic criteria. It’s on the website. But we, we go through MC A contracts, we go through isa agreements, and we find out, you know, you know, the real people behind the company before we add them to the list and verify them, right? So, that’s a key to some of the, the feedback. That’s part of the feedback that we’ve gotten, you know, from visitors from members that helps them in their day-to-day business, whether they’re even thinking about it, they just boom, pop on to the Funder Intel and, and see if someone, you know that that wants to help them with their deals is on there. And that’s kind of where we’re going with, with the things that we have planned in the future, is adding more information that’s gonna help you grow your business and just providing value as much as possible.
Steve Iskander: Absolutely, love it, man. Absolutely. Love it again. We’re, we’re fans, we’re raving fans, we’re us Funder Intel. So, now, right, we can, when we are early in our infancy and looked and utilize funders Intel system as we launched, but what advice would you give to a prospective broker that’s thinking about going in the brokerage or the funding business brokerage side of things or, and, and really isn’t sure where they should begin.
Shane Mahabir: Nice. Yeah, I mean, you know, one thing is, is to take advantage of all the knowledge you can wherever you’re at, you know, on whatever platform. But specifically, you know, the, what is, an I O and what is an MC A, you know, articles on our site are key, you know, car probably our most visited ones because it gives you those, those, that information that’s gonna let you know. All right, what you’re in for and then, you know, partake in the form, ask some questions, simple questions, no questions. You know, a bad question. You know, but just know there, it’s, it’s not difficult. It’s not, I should say it’s not complicated, as far as what you need to do in the business, but it’s not simple, right? It’s, it’s hard work. And, but everyone can get through it. You just have to know what you’re good at and what you’re not good at and how you’re gonna make up for the things that you’re not good at. Right. And so, you know, there, there’s a ton, also a ton of different kind of, you know, niches or roles you can play. So, you know, I got into this space kind of doing more of, of this now and not being working for a funder or working for a broker, if you feel like you’re better at underwriting, maybe that’s, you know, the part of your brokered shop that you’re gonna do the best. So you’ll have someone that’s originating the deals and selling the deals, but you’re moving the files to the right funding company, right? And, and, and scrubbing at the, as they say, which means that they’re reviewing the information that is needed for a file to be sent to a funding company. And you know, look as a new person coming into this. There you know, no shortage of people that are willing to help to, willing to answer your questions, and hopefully you can find them, some of them on Funder and oh, you can find some of them on Funder and yeah.
Steve Iskander: Absolutely. And then, you know, again, we can attest to that. So Shane, if we get in contact with you, how do they get in contact with you and Funder? And Yeah.
Shane Mahabir: Absolutely. I mean, the main thing is to jump on either the site, you can become a member, and then you can direct message me on there. You can email me at info at funder intel dot com and, and it is of course funder Intel dot com. There’s also a live chat that I’ll answer to on there as well. So if, even if before you’re a member, you can live chat with me, those are the main ways and, and the phone number is on our, our website, but I’ll let you know it’s 954.861.0821. If you want to give me a quick call, I’ll be happy to discuss any questions you may have. And thanks again for joining us today.
Steve Iskander: Shane, you made me realize just how difficult it is to be a business broker or a business lending broker, especially starting out. But with resources like such as Funder Intel, how they can continue to thrive and be successful as a business broker. So I appreciate you sharing all of your experience and insights with us and especially appreciate everything you do for the community.
Shane Mahabir: Thanks again, appreciate you having me on. And you know, always good talking to you. You know, if I can be of help to you or anyone else, you know, Intrepid, you know, I appreciate it. And so everyone check out Intrepid if if you haven’t already from Intel.Speaker: spk_0
Steve Iskander: Sounds good. I appreciate you again. Thanks again, Shane.