Ep. 89: Mitigating Risk in Hard Money Private Lending with Ruben Izgelov and Andrew Schnissel

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Lance is the Founder and Managing Partner of Verivest, an end-to-end real estate investment platform designed to bring transparency and trust to middle-market investing, and a Principal in Fairway America, a real estate private equity firm in Portland, Oregon.

Ruben Izgelov and Andrew Schnissel from We Lend join Lance to discuss their journey to private hard money lending. Ruben and Andrew attended law school together, which propelled them into their real estate partnership. We Lend operates nationwide and prides themselves on taking the appropriate precautions to mitigate risk. Their firm tends to look for seasoned sponsors; those who have a proven track record and those who haven’t been involved in fraudulent activity. Andrew and Ruben dive into why they only lend in the multifamily and residential asset classes.

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With over a decade in the real estate industry – acquiring, flipping, developing and financing over $350 million worth in real estate – Ruben has quickly become a renowned real estate expert, speaker, and guide for many professionals in the industry. The most successful time in Ruben’s career was during the 2009 financial crisis; during this time, he bought, fixed, and sold distressed properties, which showed his determination in both bullish and bearish markets. After using private hard money financing himself, he quickly saw the innovation desperately needed in the private lending space and decided to spearhead it by co-founding We Lend, LLC (a privately based hard money lending platform).

Ruben originally, however, started as a hard-working eight-year-old boy distributing flyers on the streets of New York, and to this day still takes that work ethic with him everywhere he goes. He is a graduate of St. Johns University and Touro School of Law, where he earned a BS in legal studies and his JD, finishing cum laude and magna cum laude.

As a Partner at We Lend LLC, Andrew focuses on raising capital and nurturing investor relations. His wealth of knowledge spans not only the Commercial Real Estate (CRE) financing industry, but also the world of residential real estate financing. Prior to joining We Lend, Andrew worked as a Managing Director at Leviathan Capital where he structured and financed commercial transactions across the nation. During his time at Leviathan, Andrew grew an extensive network of contacts within the CRE space, and spoke at numerous real estate conferences. 

Before Leviathan, he also helped start an asset-based lender in Great Neck, NY, and represented major real estate lenders at a boutique law firm. Originally a psychology graduate from New York’s Stony Brook University, Andrew went on to earn a J.D. in real estate law from Touro Law School. Outside of We Lend, Andrew is passionate about social impact work. When COVID hit NY, he worked with REBNY, NYC Landlords, and the City of New York to find properties to house COVID patients. 

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Episode 89