We had the good fortune of connecting with Milad Shamoun and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Milad, what role has risk played in your life or career?
You will never reach your true potential living life in comfort and routine. You’ve got to take some risks, especially in business. Risk and opportunity come hand in hand.
I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for risk taking. I grew up watching my father taking risks throughout his life for my mother, younger sisters and I. I was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1995. I am a Catholic Chaldean Iraqi. The Chaldeans were an ethnic group that lived in Mesopotamia in the first millennium and may be best known by their appearance in the Bible. Living in Iraq wasn’t safe for Chaldeans because the country was under Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship. There were also no opportunities for kids growing up. Knowing all this, my dad sold everything we owned in Baghdad, risked his life, and smuggled us out of Iraq in 1996. We lived in Beirut, Lebanon in poverty for 4 years until we were accepted as refugees and the United Nations helped us move to the United States in 2000. My parents left everything behind in the country they grew up in and took a huge risk so their kids could grow up in America and have an opportunity to become successful. I’m forever in debt to them.
Fast forward 15 years, I joined the Marine Corps because I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life after high school. Leaving behind my family in Nashville, Tennessee was scary. I’m very close to my family. I am an only son and the oldest of three kids. I saw an opportunity in joining the Marine Corps and I took that risk, hoping it would pay off. I was stationed on Camp Pendleton in 2015 and that’s how I got to San Diego. I was honorably discharged as a Sergeant from the Marine Corps in 2018 after serving 4 years. The Marine Corps taught me so much- how to be a leader, how to live on my own, how to confidently talk to people in position of power, and much more. Because of the Marine Corps, I was able to buy my first property in Oceanside, California at 21 years old. Because of the Marine Corps, I was able to buy my parents a house in Nashville, Tennessee at 23 years old. Would you say that taking a risk to join the Marine Corps, leaving everything behind in Nashville, paid off? I’d say so.
I always planned on moving back to Nashville, Tennessee after my time with the Marine Corps finished. Staying in Southern California was never the plan. I took another risk in staying in Southern California because I saw a bright future in Real Estate and Financing Residential Properties. I knew I’d be successful at it because I love helping people, I’m very good at sales and I’m a natural hustler. I’ve been a Mortgage Loan Officer for the last 3 years now and I love it. I’ve worked for Mortgage Companies such as CrossCountry Mortgage and EZ Fundings.
Just like in any business, in Real Estate and in Mortgages, your network is EVERYTHING. The more people know you, the more people know what you do for a living, the more successful you’ll be. I took a big risk in May of 2020, when Covid-19 was at an all time high. I decided to rent my condo out in Oceanside, and move to a high rise apartment in East Village, Downtown San Diego. I did this to expand my network. Since moving, I’ve met so many people and I’ve grown my network exponentially. A lot of people in San Diego know me by my Instagram handle, @247Lender. I chose this IG handle because I make myself available to my clients and my referral partners 7 days a week, including after business hours. It’s not lost to me that Real Estate deals are often negotiated when the client is not at work. Generally speaking, this is after 5PM on weekdays and on weekends. This is how I set myself apart from the bigger banks that are only open during business hours on weekdays, and are closed on weekends and federal holidays.
In September of 2021 I decided it was time for me to start my own mortgage team. I had been thinking about doing it for a while, but the thought scared me. It’s a huge risk, but I saw an opportunity and like I said earlier, risk and opportunity come hand in hand. My best friend Jon P. introduced me to his cousin Mark Maroki a few months ago. He had told me that Mark is in the Mortgage industry as well and that we should connect. Mark and I met for the first time and had dinner in September of 2021. I learned that Mark had also been thinking of branching off and starting his own team. We talked about our strengths and weaknesses, and learned that we compliment each other perfectly. I knew I had found my business partner after our first meeting. From there, we just ran with the idea. In the last 6 weeks we’ve formed our Corporation, California Modern Mortgage Inc (doing business as Modern Mortgage), secured store-front office space in La Jolla close to La Jolla Cove, merged our businesses, hired an operations staff and it’s been an amazing ride so far. I’m the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Mark is the Chief Operating Officer (COO). I focus on our referral partner relationships with realtors and am in charge of operations while Mark focuses on the clients and handles our social media/marketing. In our first month we opened 7 new escrows, all while getting moved into our office, figuring out flow, hiring an operations staff, etc. The support we’ve received from our family, friends, referral partners and clients is what keeps us going. Our office is located at 1110 Torrey Pines Road Suite J, La Jolla, CA 92037. If you’re ever around, stop by and say hi!
As you can see, I grew up watching my family take risks, and because of that I feel like that’s what molded me into a risk taker. I’ve taken risks my entire life, and every time it’s paid off. I refuse to look back when I’m an old man and think to myself, “what would have happened if I had taken that risk?” Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.
What should our readers know about your business?
I am the CEO and a Senior Loan Officer at Modern Mortgage. We do purchase, refinance and investment loans, however we specialize in purchase loans. Interest Rates are historically low right now. So many people have entered this industry because rates are so low. We anticipate interest rates rising next year, putting those Mortgage Loan Officers that only focused on refinances, out of business.
We are experts at helping Realtors get their offers accepted, even in a very tough sellers market. Realtors love that they are able to contact us 7 days a week, including after business hours. Being able to service Realtors and Clients 24/7 is how I built my brand and IG Handle @247Lender.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would definitely take them to my favorite restaurant, Born and Raised in Little Italy. For sight seeing, Sunset Cliffs is a must!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Mark Maroki, my business partner is who I have to shoutout! He is the Chief Operating Officer for Modern Mortgage and plays a vital role in the success of the company. Follow him on Instagram! His handle is @MarkMaroki.
Other: My partner’s IG: @MarkMaroki Modern Mortgage’s IG: Modern.Mortgage