Bryan Bergjans is the Senior Vice President of Military Lending for Caliber Home Loans and for him, education on home loans is a priority. As a Navy reserve officer himself, it’s not just a career for him but a deeply personal issue he’s committed to.
A few months into 2021, he found himself having a conversation with SHRED Media CEO Josh Pitts about the need for deeper conversations on the VA Home Loan benefits with the military community.
Both saw the importance of creating a weekly series that covered everything from the markets, issues and successes. “We decided it was the perfect time for us to create a show and podcast dedicated to helping military members and veterans become homeowners,” Bergjans explained. “Collaborations and sharing strategies will only help more people.”
With this goal in mind, they’ve set their targets on ensuring guests on the show, aptly titled Operation Va, come from a wide range of backgrounds within the real estate and lending fields. This opens the opportunity for ensuring the message about veteran homeownership being a bigger priority spreads even further.
“It’s important that they understand that this isn’t just a customer. This is a military veteran who at one point basically was willing to give his or her life for this country when called,” Bergjans said.
When Caliber launched their Military May initiative, they wrapped it up with a hour-long show dedicated to highlighting the stories of America’s heroes in honor of Memorial Day. One of the guests was Medal of Honor recipient, Florent Groberg. His story of quite literally jumping on a bomb to save the lives of his fellow troops drove home the meaning behind doing business with a veteran.
Bergjans was adamant that the country as a whole understand that every veteran makes a viable and undeniable impact in the security of our nation.
“After my deployment to Afghanistan, I had a new respect for postal clerks in a combat environment. I saw them in up-armored vehicles on a two-hour trip just to get everyone their mail,” he shared. “That’s the real deal and people don’t understand that. Sometimes you get transactional and you forget. Shows like this remind you of why you want to fight for these people.”
As the country continues to see home values skyrocket in a sellers-market with low home supply, it may be easy to overlook a VA Home Loan opportunity when another buyer is walking into the office with cash offers. Both Bergjans and Pitts want to remind everyone how wrong that move is, he said.
“The show is evolving into a bunch of different things. Advocating and reminding are the two big points of the show,” he said.
Bergjans was quick to point out that it isn’t all about Caliber Home Loans either. They’ve had loan officers from various mortgage companies on the show to talk about their experiences and educate from their perspective and knowledge.
“The goal is to also practice what we preach. Collaboration, team effort and it will take a village. By bringing people in that aren’t Caliber is one way how I can show ‘this is how you do it’,” he explained.
Bergjans said the response to the Operation VA has been overwhelmingly positive. He’s seeing a number of industry partners come forward and ask how they can help or be a part of what they’re trying to accomplish.
“That’s the whole point of the show with Josh,” he said. “Things can get lost in translation sometimes and hopefully this show can help them take a step back and do more for their military clients”
With Operation VA, its one more way those in the lending and real estate world receive the reminder of why it’s important not to leave VA Home Loans and therefore veterans, behind. With only one percent of the nation stepping forward to defend and protect the other 99 percent, it’s a somber reminder of standing for important values and doing the right thing first. Good business will follow.
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Caliber Home Loans, Inc. is a mortgage servicer registered with the Superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services. If you are a customer whose property is located in the state of New York, you may file a complaint and obtain further information about Caliber Home Loans by contacting the New York State Department of Financial Services Consumer Assistance Unit at 1-800-342-3736 or by visiting the Department's website at www.dfs.ny.gov.