“I built my real estate sales based on treating people the way you want to be treated. Everything is about building an amazing relationship with people. Once you do this the money will chase you”- Benaisha Poole-Watson
As CEO of Prime One Lending Group/Prime One Home Loans, Benaisha Poole-Watson is a ‘change maker for the culture. She’s an assertive businesswoman dedicated to making change in communities nationally; Poole-Watson’s main objective in business is to economically empower people and put financial stability in their hands and mindset. She is a real estate broker in more than 16 states, all the prime markets. The icing on the cake is that she is a black female business owner; an entrepreneur and the owner of her own Federally Chartered Bank in the state of Texas, but they are Direct lenders in every state including Alaska and Hawaii. She can finance commercial real estate up to 650 million dollars.
One thing that Poole-Watson noticed was that the biggest problem in black communities is having access to capital. Immediately once she qualified to seize the opportunity to make a major move to be a changemaker Benaisha didn’t leave the deal sitting on the table.
Working as a real estate professional she was already at the pentacle of being in the real estate business, selling 400 homes per month. “What I noticed in transactions is that 50% of our loans were being denied because we have job loss and credit issues that cause disruptions in our packets, we have life in our packet. I was tired of seeing our people of color not being able to pass go. They could make it around the monopoly table but were not able to pass go. The other 50% getting approved were not being treated fairly with comparative rates and comparative services. So, me being able to provide this service was “MY WHY;” This is the reason I wanted to own my own bank”. – Benaisha Poole-Watson
Upscale: You wanted to be a safe space and a haven for our community and our culture to have access to capital. That’s incredible. Did you ever think you would be able to have your own bank?
Benaisha: We would have our own access to capital. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think about anything in financing, I can meet a person and become friends with them. I never thought about putting something in a person’s hands that would change their whole trajectory. Now I would have access to financing. I could put you in a house and change your place and space life for 7 years because the average person stays in the house for 7 years. I was also very blessed and thankful to be approved.
Upscale: I think you were about to tell me about your Board Membership earlier.
Benaisha: Yes, I also sit on the Board of Directors for the National Mortgage alliance. I was appointed to that after 6 months and I am not even a loan officer. I don’t do loans. I’m just an OWNER. I obtained the basic ability to be a boss. Somebody must be able to get in the room. So now that I am in the room, I can find out what they are talking about. So now that I am in the room you can’t do the things you did before I got there.
Upscale: As an owner, do you have a statement that you stand by?
Benaisha: I built my real estate sales based on treating people the way you want to be treated. Everything is about building an amazing relationship with people. Once you do this the money will chase you.
Upscale: Name 3 things you make sure to do when dealing with clients?
Benaisha: I interview, I touch, and I talk to people. I look forward to 20 years from now growing BIG like a company like NACA that cares about people and are against predatory lending; knowing that I made a difference in thousands and even millions of lives.
Upscale: Do you have any outstanding experiences that make you feel like you are doing right by people? Is there anything that stands out?
Benaisha: The best experience I can recall is building a relationship with a single black woman, and I was able to gain her trust in order to help her sell her land. It started off with me providing her education about her transaction and instructing her along the way. The trust level became so high that months later she kept my phone number and later came back to me to purchase her forever home and we closed in 30 days. Even after that was a done deal, she let me know that she has much more real estate to purchase. One kind gesture led to multiple sales. Long story short.
Direct lender in every state including Alaska and Hawaii.