Jeff VanNote
Millennials Real Estate Jeff VanNote

Tell the Truth & Be able to PROVE IT!

If ONLY real estate and mortgage lending were this convincingly easy! Today I made the analogy to myself like “Today’s MILLENNIAL home buyer is like a girlfriend or boyfriend that was either cheated on or is suspect of being cheat on…” Now, what the hell do I even mean by that? I am going to tell you in a long winded answer.

First, Today’s MILLENNIAL consumer is overly educated, thanks to google, and is overly anxious, thanks to social media and instagram making everyone feel insecure and way behind schedule on “adulting” “money” and success. Now, there is always an exception to the rules, and this does not mean every single MILLENNIAL is like this, however, the majority that enter into the “I have begun looking to by my first property journey”… ARE. So what does this all mean? Well… It means that you are not going to be able to lie to them, bullshit them, change their mind, or convince them that anything is their fault. Oh my god, you are probably thinking. Now, if you are thinking “god, he is so right” or “well now how the hell am I supposed to deal with these Millennials?” … then you came to the right place.

GO DIGITAL. From 2007 through 2016 100% of my mortgage referral business was through my ground and pound, shake hands and kiss babies tactics of acquiring new relationships, leading to new business referrals. In 2017, in the age of social media and the heightened frustration of dealing with know it alls, I decided to start telling and showing the ugly truths of real estate, mortgage lending, life, and business, through my social media platforms, to which took a life of itself. I can’t tell you how many texts and emails and calls I would get “Jeff, have you gone mad?” “Jeff, why would you say that, We know it is the truth but…” “Man, you have changed…” But what everyone (mostly everyone) didn’t realize was, I didn’t care what anyone said, I was set out to change the game, change the way things were done in an outdated, under serviced, under educated, and way under caring industry, respectively, the mortgage business, in conjunction with the real estate industry. So what did the industries need first? A good guy. What did it need 2nd? Someone who was trained by dinosaurs yet understood the Millennial way, incorporating technology. 3rd, what did it need? Someone with experience, massive experience, and an understanding of how to break information down to which the uneducated consumer could understand and digest and easily implement. Lastly, truth and transparency with real life examples.

As I purposely shifted my business from 100% ground and pound to 100% digital, I have been tracking the messages and results. Now, don’t get it twisted, I already had a half a billion dollars in closed mortgage loans from the last 13 years. I had over 1,000 closed clients, and a contact list of 13,000 people, so the foundation was already set on that front, but I am talking about NEW client acquisition directly from social media. So what did I do? There was no blue print for this. I went to my drawing board and tapped into my creativity. I branded myself as “The Mortgage Quarterback” as this plays into my passion and life experiences from football, and the topic was mortgage lending (which is so much deeper than just mortgages, but real estate, business, life, family, etc). This was my Batman / Bruce Wayne model. Now with that, had to come a network, or a team… home buyer huddle (, and every quarterback has a playbook, so, I wrote “The Mortgage Playbook for Millennials” available on Amazon. Now it is important to note I surrendered my residential mortgage loan originator license in 2017. You are going to ask why? Well I enjoy self torture. No, not at all. Actually, I knew that money would always pull me back in and if I continued to just do mortgage loans, yes, I would continue to make $500k per year for a very long time, but I would never be able to scale and make millions eventually per year and hit the masses, as I would constantly be pulled back into time wasting, corporate bullshit, and annoying people’s problems and lastly, the blame game. The blame game is when a mortgage company employee is lazy and inadequate and always blames the loan officer as to what is wrong and why something wrong happened when in reality, they dropped the ball.

My approach was, if I didn’t have my ability to go out there and just do mortgage loans, I had to survive on something brand new. If I always had a fall back on income, I wouldn’t be as creative, I wouldn’t be able to purely think outside the box, and I wouldn’t be as hungry. And I was absolutely right. HAVING to survive is a scary thing, that’s for sure, and what people don’t realize is, once our human instincts kick in like oh shit, I have to survive, we tap into a different layer of our brains, to survive. So 3 years later, well, almost, 35 months, here I am, telling you about Millennials and what to do!

Now back to Millennials. If you have ever cheated on a girlfriend or “someone you’re dating” whether it was really cheating or not, I am sure in today’s day and age we have all gotten “who are you texting?” from someone close to us. More often than not, There is a follow up “yeah well show me!”

Oh boy…

Well, this ladies and gentlemen… best describes the Millennial consumer searching for real estate and mortgages… They want proof of EVERYTHING. If you tell them their offer wasn’t accepted, they want a screen shot proving it. If you tell them their mortgage rate is 4%, they are going to show you what google shows them… like this…

And… they are going to want to know WHY they are not getting what google is telling them, or what their co-worker is telling them, and they are going to require proof of it. And if you do not have proof of it, they are going somewhere else, period end of story.

Back to social media for a second. Last july I launched my podcast, called DEPOSIT THAT. I had been meaning to launch this for some time, but I just had to get other things in order first and honestly I couldn’t think of a kick ass name. So, here we are, with deposit that podcast ( Why a podcast? Why deposit that? Well, podcasts are growing and as I ride the trains in NYC every single person appears to be listening to a podcast. I always knew I had valuable stories, a charming personality (haha TBD) and a strong network that people need to hear from. So, Like that, I just launched. Deposit THAT means I want you to listen to an episode, and I want my guest to leave you with ONE thing to implement into your life, your business, or your daily routine. There are tons of good advice on each episode that last a little bit under an hour, but the key is to just try and learn one new thing per week from someone you hopefully will admire or relate to. By doing this, I believe the “social media world” gets to see who I really am, who I associate with, and everything that I am about. It gives people an added level of trust, once they contact me for my services offered, which are a lot.

Combining instagram into the current discussion, I get multiple messages per week from unknown people (people I have no clue even follow me) and it is as if they all copy and paste the same line “Hey man, Hey Jeff… I have been following you for a little over a year now and I…. (insert need or request or question here)” And I reply to every single message and person… so this entire comfort level thing takes time. Millennials today want to get to know you directly through social media FIRST before they engage you. SO how does this relate back to real estate or mortgages? Well, I noticed a pattern of people contacting me up until the end of 2017 asking me a million questions, sensing doubt in their voice, sensing lack of trust (not to my doing) simply due to their lack of understanding and trillion variables in real estate. What is crazy is that I brought in over $100,000 of revenue just off instagram ALONE last year for my hard money lending and NON-QM mortgage lending platform, without spending one single penny on marketing or advertising. I did it all organically, where I told the truth, shared my stories, shared my advice, unraveled my hardships and thoughts behind my initial decision making, and so much more. What’s even crazier is I was able to refer out over $10,000,000 in residential mortgage loans to people all over the country. So, the system works, but it takes time!

Now back to MILLENNIALS and real estate… Millennials, most of them, were not punched in the mouth, and many of them have mommy and daddy still making decisions for them and giving them money to buy real estate, all of which is fine. They are easily impressionable and unfortunately all listen to these “Get rich quick scheme” and “HG TV flip this house” crap that is not reality. They all also have some elaborate earth shattering million dollar real estate plan and dream which I think it is great to fantasize (in not just real estate related topics) but they need to be brought back down to earth to reality, and they need someone to shake them and wake them up to accomplish one small task first, BUY YOUR FIRST PROPERTY.

But how do you get them to buy their first property? Spend time educating them. But you don’t have time to spend 2–3 hours every single time. Make videos! Send them daily videos of advice. I literally just got off the phone with a girl who was referred to me by a past client, she needed some guidance. She first started off with “I don’t know if I am even qualified…” I said let’s just go over some basics… What do you want to buy and where? She says “I have looked at co-ops in NYC” ok.. I said. Well what is your income? She goes $81k through year end. I said that’s great, did you have any other income prior? She said oh yeah, I forgot… Another $90k before that in 2019… I said awesome, so you make about $170k per year. How much do you have saved? $300K she goes. I said “wow, I am really proud of you. You are overly qualified!” She replied with a shock, “Wait, what? REALLY?” I go yeah… you are ahead of about 95% of the first time buyers I speak with. Now let’s get back to your focus. Here are the pros and cons, condos, co-ops, multi-family homes.. She goes I always wanted to buy a multi family! I said that would be my best advice. She then said, “Well, I want to buy an investment property out of state”.. So I had to reel her back in, after giving her the pros and cons of that theory. But, you see.. Millennials are VERY creative and they (I included) have what is called Monkey Brain, which is what makes us all easily distracted. I have found it best to be very clear and very direct based on immediate specific needs. Do you want a dream home? A dream condo? Here it is. Black and White, Do you want a multi family for say $1.2 mil, here are the numbers, here is what it will cost you ($700 per month out of pocket after collecting rents), or do you want to rent for $4000 per month in NYC at a sick place, and buy an investment out of state, all cash or with a mortgage? Because if so, here are your options. Now, you have it in front of you. 4 options. 1, do nothing. 2, buy your dream home or condo, 3, buy a multi family where you live in it for super cheap and you have the investment factor, or, rent here and buy something out of state that may have great appreciation upside. I then sent her a copy of my book, (e-book) so that she can fill in the blanks and help her along her way, referencing my theories and why I think the way I do. It will also be able to be used as her guide from now until she is fully ready to move forward. I then sent her a few realtor episodes on my podcast so she can take away tips from men realtors, female realtors, and new condo development realtors. Since she is so intelligent to begin with, she now has free access to schooling from real vetted professionals, to be able to make her own theory and decisions after being properly educated.

To close up this this article, MILLENNIALS want things now, but more importantly, they trust no one, not even themselves, and they want the truth. Not only do they want the truth verbally, but fact finding and verification in writing. If you are an expert and have patience and compassion, the right MILLENNIAL will be loyal to you, trust you, and refer everyone to you. But man, you have to earn that. It doesn’t come over night. In their mind, there are millions of people that “do what you do” the question is, do you have enough in your arsenal to PROVE that you are worthy to receive their business, their relationship, their money, and their referrals.

I am going to leave you with one thing, just like this is a DEPOSIT THAT episode… It’s a marathon, not a sprint, when it comes to relationship building.

Now… Take it to the bank, and DEPOSIT THAT!

About the Author.

Jeff VanNote entered into the residential mortgage game at age 20 in December of 2007. He quickly rose to be recognized nationally, first in 2010, and then was awarded 3-time most influential mortgage industry professionals in the country all before age 30. He currently runs his own real estate advisory firm, is the author to “The Mortgage Playbook for Millennials” runs @TheMortgageQuarterback instagram platform, and is the host of the DEPOSIT THAT podcast and on itunes and spotify, along with youtube — He is most proud of being a father to his son, Jeffrey Jr.

Jeff can be contacted at or on any social media outlet you may find him.


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