Constructing Lending Solutions to Help JoCo Builders Grow

By Matt Kennedy
Marketing Coordinator

Every patio, kitchen remodel and home JoCo Builders constructs is custom-made to meet its clients’ needs. Similarly, when JoCo sought a residential construction loan to expand its business, Independent Bank listened to its needs and created a custom solution.

The relationship didn’t stop there. Lender Kevin Poynter and Independent Bank helped JoCo Builders grow their real estate investments by 50 percent. Cory Priest, JoCo Builders Owner/Partner, appreciates how Independent Bank responds to their needs, instead of having a bank tell them how things should be done.

“Flexibility is very important,” Priest said. “Independent Bank continually meets our changing needs. From operating lines to real estate notes, they cover it all.”

Based in Waco, JoCo Builders has focused its business on building quality by leading the way in energy efficient technologies to ensure long-term performance. Owner/Partners Josh Wadsworth, Rob Baker and Cory Priest believe the construction business is a “people business.”

JoCo’s partners follow Psalms 15:4, which includes a pledge to keep oaths even when they hurt. Ensuring quality may cost them money, but they gladly do it in order to do the right thing and stand by their word. Baker feels that same sense of integrity from Kevin Poynter and Independent Bank.

“Kevin’s not some pencil pusher,” Baker said. “He knows our business, has a deep understanding of construction and provides decisions quickly.”

Wadsworth agrees that the accessibility and quick decisions of lenders is important, but he also appreciates how Poynter listens to JoCo Builders’ business plan and helps them think through it. Wadsworth said that Independent Bank has helped JoCo build new niches in its construction business.

Poynter can knowledgably talk through JoCo Builders business plan due to years of lending experience within the construction industry. However, Poynter knows each company is different, so listening plays a vital role in developing lasting lending solutions.

When developing solutions for JoCo Builders, energy efficiency is a big part of the discussion. JoCo utilizes third party engineers to create a “whole-house” approach to lowering energy costs. This approach involves spray-foam insulation to fill every crack and crevice in exterior walls, double insulated vinyl windows and efficient HVAC systems. Feedback from clients like Lisa Watson provides further insight into the fruit of JoCo’s work.

“JoCo created a quality home that has the custom look and features we wanted, while being mindful of our budget,” Watson said. “The energy efficient options that our builder suggested have proven to be very valuable.”

As JoCo Builders stay current with the latest technologies to provide lasting quality, Independent Bank will be there to meet its changing needs. A relationship Wadsworth values.

“There is no way to quantify the impact people have on developing quality relationships,” Wadsworth said. “Independent Bank is great to work with because it has great people who really care about their bank, their customers and their reputation.”

Independent Bank. A Partnership You Can Bank On.

 

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Adriatica Women’s Health Knows Comfort is their Business

By Matt Kennedy
Marketing Coordinator

Trust is important in any friendship, relationship or business. In the women’s healthcare business, earning patients’ trust is a necessity. Adriatica Women’s Health in McKinney gains its patients’ trust by providing superior healthcare products and service, while striving to make each patient feel as welcome and comfortable as possible.

For over a decade, Adriatica Women’s Health has proudly served patients in the North Texas area and Independent Bank has been right there along the way. Adriatica Women’s Health physician and co-owner Lori Halderman knows the importance of consistent partners in the midst of transition.

“Independent Bank has been our business bank for 12 years,” Halderman said. “We moved into two new offices all due to Independent Bank. We are now in a beautiful office building in Adriatica [a McKinney subdivision]. The bank has also helped us through slow business times to maintain our cash flow.”

Dr. Tracey Banks, founder and president of Adriatica Women’s Health, agreed with the importance of consistency, adding that she feels like her lender, Kevin Griffin, has her back and that personal service is one of the things she likes best about Independent Bank.

“No matter what branch I walk into, everyone knows me before I blink an eye,” Banks said. “You can’t get any more responsive service.”

Banks is familiar with the need for responsive, personal service as she strives to provide the “wow factor” to her own customers by making them feel welcome in every part of their experience. Her patients and the community have responded positively. One customer said she literally loves going to her visits and wonders how many clinics you could say that about. Another customer praised the beautiful and homey atmosphere, along with the great doctors and nurses. Additionally, Adriatica Women’s Health has also been honored with “Best of McKinney” and “Best of Dallas” selections.

Adriatica Women’s Health first came to Independent Bank when it was comparison shopping for loans. A simple enough action that happens on a daily basis. 12 years later, we are delighted that simple action blossomed into a lasting relationship that gives Independent Bank the ability to help a practice that makes an undeniable impact in the lives of women.

Independent Bank. A Partnership You Can Bank On.

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New Location at Your Fingertips with iPhone® & Android™ App

By Matt Kennedy
Marketing Coordinator

You may have put down roots, but those roots can now stretch a long way. Independent Bank’s new Mobile Banking app for the iPhone® and Android™ will allow you to bank on the go, wherever you are.

Convenient and Secure Mobile Banking:

Whether you’re looking for a cup of coffee or attending a webinar, convenience is essential. Independent Bank doesn’t think banking should be any different. With the Mobile Banking app from Independent Bank, you can use Mobile Bill Pay, check available balances, view account activity, locate the nearest branch/ATM locations and transfer funds safely and conveniently from your smart phone.

FEATURES:

  • Mobile Bill Pay
  • Check real time, balances on accounts
  • View account activity on all Independent Bank accounts
  • Review pending items and search banking history by date and description
  • Locate the nearest branch/ATM locations
  • Transfer funds
  • Approve, cancel, or view transactions
  • Send and receive secure messages

Independent Bank’s Mobile Banking app is free and is available to all Independent Bank Online Banking customers. With the Mobile Banking app, you can trust in the same ease of access and password-protected 128-bit SSL (Secure Socket Layer) security given to our Online Banking customers.

*You must enroll in Independent Bank’s Online Banking and Mobile Banking services to use the Mobile Banking app.

Independent Bank. A Partnership You Can Bank On.

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Keeping it Simple Allows MOSAK and Independent Bank to Shine

By Matt Kennedy
Marketing Coordinator

Somewhere between thought and clarity lies the curse of business jargon. In a world where confusing phrases like “Synergizing logistics while utilizing core competencies” have become commonplace, Austin-based MOSAK Advertising and Insights works to reverse the business jargon curse.

MOSAK offers clear, simple advertising solutions, standing out from the pack to help businesses grow. Likewise, Independent Bank-Manor lender Jon Morgan works hard to maintain a straightforward, responsive relationship with MOSAK. A relationship that has stayed strong for the past four years by offering no fluff, just answers.

Independent Bank provides a working capital line of credit for MOSAK and recently delivered MOSAK the capital it needed to purchase their $2.4 million building. A move that Randy Cieslewicz, MOSAK Chief Financial Officer, described as very important.

 “Purchasing our building has proven to be beneficial to the strategic direction of the company,” Cieslewicz said.

Cieslewicz loves the business value that Independent Bank is able to provide, but he said the personal service MOSAK regularly receives is what he values most about the bank.

Monique Threadgill, MOSAK Founder and President, agreed that Independent Bank’s level of personal service stands out, adding that Independent Bank is extremely responsive, easily accessible and always helpful. She also loves that she can trust in the bank and the peace of mind it provides.

“Independent Bank gives us the ability to focus on growing and managing our business,” Threadgill said. “I love knowing that our bank is stable, secure and always looking out for our best interests.”

As MOSAK continues to operate under the slogan “Not Flashy, Just Bright”, they maintain a client-centered approach that focuses less on what will win advertising awards, and more about how their clients can improve their business. Independent Bank operates under the same customer-focused approach and is excited about partnering with an organization that shares its values.

Threadgill said Independent Bank makes MOSAK’s business run easier. You can’t get much simpler than that.

Independent Bank. A Partnership You Can Bank On.

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Independent Bank Helps McKinney Church Restore Historic Home

By Matt Kennedy
Marketing Coordinator

Weathered paneling, tattered blinds and worn carpet were just a few of the problems marking a historic home that had seen better days. The home, which sits squarely in the historic district of McKinney, TX on Lamar Street had undeniable charm, but needed help. When a “for sale” sign went up, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church stepped in.

With financing from Independent Bank, St. Peter’s was able to purchase the home, which is centrally located in an area that connects all the church’s other properties and will be used as a rental home. Rev. Michael Hoffman was pleased with the speed of the interim construction loan that Independent Bank lender Greg Steglich closed with St. Peter’s in November.

“The financing was an exceptionally easy process,” Rev. Hoffman said. “The bank met us where we were and responded to our unique needs.”

Once financing was secured, Ed Carel and Integrity Custom quickly went to work on the home. Carel, a contractor who has over two decades of experience in renovating historic homes, considers Rev. Hoffman to be a “visionary.” Carel met with the St. Peter’s staff in December and began the renovation project in January.

“St. Peter’s was wonderful to work with on this project,” Carel said. “Many of my vendors were willing to discount their work to help the church.”

Carel said that you need to posses a vision for “what can be” when buying a historic home. With patience, Carel said the result is worth it, as restoring “old gems” back to their original condition is what he loves most about his job.

“This house could have been easily passed up because of its poor condition,” Carel said. “It took only three months and a relatively modest budget to bring this piece of McKinney nostalgia back.”

The most dramatic changes to the home involved a skillful demolition of the main area. Carel’s team exposed and stained the wood floor that lay beneath the shag carpet. Cedar paneling was removed from a converted porch and makeshift living space to make it a porch once again.

“We had no idea what to expect,” Carel said. “Once we began the demolition of this area it was exciting to see much of the original material behind the shag and cedar on display once again.”

Carel said the finished product received many supportive comments from neighbors, some of whom remember the house when it was still in its original state over 40 years ago.

The renovated home was not the first St. Peter’s has renovated. As a church that has been a part of McKinney for over 130 years and is landlocked in the middle of the historic district, St. Peter’s has been creative with the growth of its facilities. The church converted a nearby home into its office and another home into space for its youth ministry.

According to Rev. Hoffman, the Lamar Street home could be used for a number of possibilities in the future, from a parsonage or rectory for a staff member to a shelter for families in need. Until the project is paid in full though, Rev. Hoffman said the house will be a rental property.

Rev. Hoffman considers St. Peter’s renovation of the Lamar Street house part of the church’s mission to impact the community, in much the same way the church feels called to work with local charitable organizations and schools.

“Churches are not institutions or buildings,” Rev. Hoffman said. “Churches are communities of believers who join together for worship and to work together to make a difference for the kingdom of God.”

Independent Bank shares St. Peter’s commitment to the community and is dedicated to continue efforts to better the communities it proudly serves.

Independent Bank. A Partnership You Can Bank On.

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Hassle-Free Loans Make Star Smiles Pediatric Dentistry Beam

By Matt Kennedy
Marketing Coordinator

Star Smiles Pediatric Dentistry in Georgetown, TX found out that stress is not part of the equation when asking for a commercial real estate loan from Independent Bank.

Relationships thrive when trust and responsibility are present. Independent Bank’s responsibility is to uphold our clients’ trust by treating them differently than large, impersonal banks. That responsibility extends to the perceived stressful task of asking for a loan.

When Star Smiles needed a commercial lot loan, they turned to Independent Bank. What they found was something different than they have ever experienced. Adrian Gonzales, Star Smiles office manager and partner, said that his interactions with their lender Chris Logue, Independent Bank-Georgetown President, and everyone at Independent Bank have been pleasant and easy.

“We gained simplicity and peace of mind from Independent Bank,” Adrian said. “Getting our lot loan for our new office was the easiest I’ve ever received. Chris has been great from the start and continues to provide great service.”

Other banks may tell you how your loan will be processed in complicated banking terms, direct your questions to an automated phone system, and extend the length of processing your loan. Dr. Kelly Gonzales, Star Smiles partner, found out that Independent Bank lenders like Chris Logue listen to your needs before conversationally explaining possible solutions, answer your calls personally, and work hard to find fast, lasting loan solutions.

“Our commercial real estate loan with Chris was the easiest we’ve ever experienced,” Kelly said. “Chris offers great rates, explains everything simply in layman’s terms and provides great tips on the banking process.”

Star Smiles prides itself on its well-trained staff that loves children and their “mother’s touch to children’s dentistry.” They provide specialized dentistry from infancy to teenage years and care for special needs patients of all ages. Star Smiles focuses on preventative care to help each child have “a smile that will last a lifetime.”

Star Smiles’ relationship with Independent Bank continues on. Once Star Smiles builds its new office, they will be able to offer the same great service geared around kids, only in an expanded and more efficient “child-friendly” environment.

It all started with a loan from Independent Bank, which Dr. Kelly Gonzales rates “five out of five stars.”

Independent Bank. A Partnership You Can Bank On.

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A Realtor’s Tips on Selling Homes in a Buyer’s Market

By Matt Kennedy
Marketing Coordinator

Desperately scanning the walls to search for areas in need of touchup paint. Cleaning twice a day. Setting out a fresh pot of coffee or baking cookies to help potential buyers feel at home.  In an age when the phrase “it’s a buyer’s market” is on the tip of every listing agent’s tongue, sellers must do whatever they can to entice house hunters.

Whether the market favors the buyer or the seller, Independent Bank’s motivation never changes. Independent Bank is committed to delivering “above and beyond service” through its two proven mortgage partners Square One Mortgage (North Texas) and Independent Bank Mortgage (Austin) in offering customers competitive rates and unmatched personal attention.

Independent Bank has worked with many great listing agents who know what it takes to sell a house. One of those agents is Denice Webb from Halo Group Realty. Webb is currently assisting several clients who are using Square One Mortgage.

Webb said the best way to get a home sold fast in a buyer’s market is to price the home at the seller’s lowest comfort level. However, she likes to appeal to a buyer’s senses by adding soft music or an appropriate scent when showing a home. According to Webb, improvements to the outside of a house can be just as important as changes to a home’s interior.

“Curb appeal is everything,” Webb said. “I always suggest brightly colored flowers planted in pots around the front and a clean, freshly painted front door.”

Visualization is an important part of a buyer’s process when looking at homes. Making a home look like a place where friends will want to visit and stay helps to “bring life” to a home.

“I love to make conversation pits to make the house look homey and inviting,” Webb said. “I like to put couple of chairs together with a table and a lamp between them. One chair usually has a pillow on it, and the other has a throw.”

Some improvements may seem important to the seller, but may not improve the resale value of the home.

“Everyone loves an updated kitchen,” Webb said. “But unless your buyers are gourmet cooks, they will not require high-end appliances. I would say to go with black or stainless appliances, but you don’t have to install the top of the line brands.”

As Webb continues the practice of making homes look inviting and “homey,” she said she will continue to use Square One Mortgage (a division of Independent Bank) because she believes they provide excellent service and they don’t lead buyers on by giving them a false sense of hope if they aren’t qualified to purchase a home right away.

“I always hand my buyers three cards in order to help them choose their lender,” Webb said. “I am always glad when they choose Square One and Independent Bank.”

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Building Relationships as Community Life Church Builds its Dreams

By Matt Kennedy
Marketing Coordinator

Responding to a call is paramount to the relationships Independent Bank lenders form with their customers. When customers tell us where they want to go and what it will take to get there, we take them seriously and diligently work to make their dreams realities.

Kevin Griffin, Independent Bank Regional President, responded to Community Life Church and its pastor Mike Banas in 2007 when they felt the call to purchase their first church property in McKinney, TX.

“Independent Bank allowed us to acquire five acres and our first building in McKinney as a young church,” Banas said. “They had faith in us when we thought we were the only ones who had faith in ourselves.”

Responding to a call is nothing new for Banas. He responded to a call in college when he became a Christian immediately after hearing a gospel message while walking through the campus of Arizona State University. He again responded to a call when he moved his family from Midland to McKinney after Pastor Joe Martin of Trinity Church in Dallas met Banas and discussed his desire to plant a church in McKinney.

As Community Life Church grows from a church that once met in an elementary school to a church of over 400 members, it still desires to be a church that involves every member of its congregation in an area of ministry and to help those in need, whether they be in or out of the congregation. Independent Bank understands that a church is more than its walls and we are proud when churches are able to use loans to extend the reach of their community.

“Independent Bank is a local bank with national influence that is willing to help every segment of its community.” Banas said. “We appreciate their investment in the people who invest in the community they live in.”

Independent Bank. A Partnership You Can Bank On. MemberFDIC_EqualHousingLender_2011

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Business Planning for the 2012 New Year

As the year ends, many companies begin the new year with a focus on business planning. One of the most important tools in business planning is formulating written goals. A Harvard Business School study found that only 3% of all business owners write goals for the upcoming year. The study also found that the 3% with written goals earned up to 10 times as much as the 97% who did not articulate their goals and plans. This study makes it clear that setting and writing goals and plans for your business for the new year can result in increased earnings and more customers.

Excuses for Not Setting Goals

Excuses for not identifying business goals as part of business planning are endless. Some of the most common excuses are that the process is difficult, goal setting takes too much time, written goals are difficult to finish, it is easy to put them aside, and that goals don’t address the actual needs of the business. Every one of these excuses, however, has a solution. Goal setting does not have to be difficult as long as you keep the process simple. One way to do that is to set goals in a series of brief sessions, which also solves the “time-consuming” excuse. At each mini session, require that at least one goal be completed so that they are not unfinished or put aside. Good business planning also requires that the goals be written to specifically address the needs of your business; many analysts recommend including all aspects of the business when setting goals.

The Nuts and Bolts

The biggest problem with incorporating written goals into the business planning process is that too many business owners do not know how to go about creating them. There are four steps to creating useful and manageable goals and plans for the upcoming year:

1. Write down exactly what is your vision for your business in the upcoming year. Include as many aspects of your business as possible, including marketing, accounting, office standards, and other business functions, as well as personal factors that can affect your business operations.
2. Write down what you want to achieve within each business and personal category. Be sure to consider marketing, finances, equipment needs, competitors and other factors that may affect you both personally and professionally.
3. Break each goal down into smaller goals. Set daily, weekly and monthly benchmarks and be sure that all small goals are attainable.
4. Develop a specific action plan. One way to make goals more attainable is by developing a specific timeline to focus on your highest priorities. Selecting a set time and day each week to focus on one main priority will eventually help you form a habit and provide increased consistency. Creating a habit makes it more likely that you will achieve your goals.

Success

Successful business planning requires more than just writing down goals and setting a schedule. The key is to get the plan started and then keep improving on the plan throughout the year. After you create a plan, spend 30 to 60 minutes each week dedicating yourself to the process of reviewing and adjusting the goals as necessary.

Since setting goals has been shown to increase profitability and build business, one of the most important things to do for 2012 business planning should be goal setting. To find bankers equally committed to your success and who are prepared with business banking solutions that can support your business plan and the growth needs of your company, visit www.independent-bank.com.

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Steps to Securing a Commercial Real Estate Loan

Becoming familiar with the process of obtaining a commercial real estate loan can reduce stress and give you a better chance of having the loan approved. Following a few simple steps greatly enhances your chances of qualifying for a commercial real estate loan.

Adequate Cash on Hand

One of the first things to do before applying for a commercial real estate loan is determine whether you have adequate cash on hand. This goes beyond the down payment; will you have enough cash to operate the business once the property has been purchased? When it comes to the down payment, be sure that you have between 20% and 30% of the purchase price on-hand when you apply for the loan. Once you have applied, be prepared to demonstrate that you will have the cash available to maintain the property once the purchase has been finalized

Know Your Credit Scores

As with any loan process, having excellent credit is crucial to obtaining the best loan rates. However, because commercial real estate loans are normally larger than a residential mortgage, lenders have more stringent credit requirements for approving commercial real estate loans. In most cases, the principals of the company must have credit scores above 700 to qualify for a commercial real estate loan and the company itself must have a proven track record of paying its bills on time and managing its finances responsibly.

Business Knowledge

An important document to have when applying for a commercial real estate loan is a business plan. A business plan outlines what you envision for as the future of the business, how you plan for the business to succeed and what your experience is in this type of business. If you are planning to open a retail store, it is important that you have some type of demonstrated retail management experience to present to the bank or the lender will be hesitant to invest in the commercial real estate for your business.

Of all the tips for obtaining a commercial real estate loan, one of the best suggestions is to use a local familiar lender. Local bankers who live and work in the communities they serve are more familiar with the area where your business will be located and are often able to provide valuable insight into how to help your business grow. To learn more about the advantages of securing your commercial real estate loan with a Texas bank that is dedicated to the economic vitality of your community, click here!

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