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Meet Aaron Pfeffer of Spyglass Lending in West Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aaron Pfeffer.

Aaron, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
As my dream of becoming a big Hollywood writer/producer was fading in the mid 2000’s, I was supplementing income by notarizing sub-prime mortgages and then ultimately originating them during the boom. Like everyone else, I had no idea that a meltdown was coming in 2008, but I still remember immensely disliking the product I was selling and searching for middle ground. Enter Hard Money lending!

To me, it’s a great business because it satiates my appetite for finance, and unlike foisting toxic loan products on an unsuspecting public, the money I broker now is strictly for real estate investors who understand exactly what they are borrowing the money for. Hard Money is short term bridge lending at a higher interest rate for Flippers and Landlords who need working capital before they get their long-term financing in place. This works on both residential and commercial real estate, and I broker loans for both types of investors, including ground up construction.

There is a common misconception that Hard Money is this predatory product for desperate homeowners in need of cash, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Certain financial institutions and ultimately private individuals lend out their money to real estate investors, and I bring the two together for a fee. The nuts of bolts of each transaction may be complex, but the concept is simple, and I love that it’s often like piecing together a puzzle to make each transaction work. It’s just as mentally rewarding as it is financially, and understanding how to leverage this type of financing has allowed me to invest in my own real estate projects as well.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road has absolutely not been smooth! In late 2007 and early 2008 as conventional loans were clearly tightening and foreclosures starting mounting, I made the very poor choice of investing in out of state properties hoping to make a quick hit with no real idea of what I was doing. By the end of 2008 I was in way over my head, in mounds of debt, and saddled with decrepit properties I could no longer sell.

2009 – 2012 was a four-year journey to climb out of debt and actually educate myself as to how real estate investing really works. I earned my Broker’s License (way more intensive than just a real estate Sales Persons license) and tried my hand at every facet of real estate: standard realty, conventional financing, hard money, local investments. Oh, and I was working as a bartender at the Sunset Marquis Hotel just to pay the bills and get back on my feet. These were 90 hour weeks! Still, I wouldn’t trade those days for anything and like to think of them as my own form of Graduate School.

By 2012, I had stabilized my life (at least financially) and focused entirely on hard money lending and real estate investments.

Spyglass Lending – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Spyglass Lending is a one-man operation (best to keep the overhead low) that brokers financing specifically for real estate investors. We’re known mostly for funding flippers of residential real estate, but we’ve helped fund plenty of commercial refinances and ground up construction projects too.

Knowledge of the industry is what sets me apart from my competitors. I get a ton of referral business because some investor I worked with told another investor “hey, talk to Spyglass” after they were tired of the run around from a bunch of other competitors bumbling through the process. I keep it very simple: fund flippers, conservative construction projects, and refinance larger loans at low leverage, and I know what’s really going to get done or not, so there is no more wasted time on either end. I also never forget that Spyglass Lending is in the service industry, which means every client gets 100% attention no matter how big or small the loan is. Believe me that’s why I’m still in business…

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is how well I’m sleeping. Okay, I just became a new father four months ago so sleep is more of a commodity now! But there were too many restless nights before 2012. That was the year I honed my focus on business, met my now wife, and really left any thought of getting back into Hollywood behind me. Suddenly there was maturity, clarity, and integrity in my daily routine. And ultimately, there was sleep! Take care of your simple human instincts (eat well, move your body, get that sleep), and suddenly your days are open to any possibility of success.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 925 N. La Brea Ave
    Floor 4
    Los Angeles, CA 90038
    CalBRE #01976495
  • Website: www.spyglasslending.com
  • Phone: 323-306-3296
  • Email: aaron@spyglasslending.com

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Wilma Alpon

    January 8, 2018 at 23:46

    I’d love to work with Aaron in the future. Sounds like a great business associate.

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