By Robert Swart on August 11, 2021
For the past year, Greg Bozek and his Azulow Inc. team of residential mortgage brokers have made it possible for many people to receive the key to their new home in St Petersburg and Tampa Bay Area through personalized mortgage solutions, fast customized quotes, great rates, and service with integrity.
“What makes us different is that we are a small and agile company where our clients have direct access to me throughout their loan application process. It gives our clients that one point of contact that is the single communication line that keeps them informed promptly throughout the process. This is only made possible by having the right people in the right positions supported by our investment in the right technology in terms of systems to organize the workload and make this happen.
The mortgage process is a big unknown for people and it can be scary with all the unknown lingo, verbiage, and pitfalls. We are committed to successfully guide them through the process so they can have the lifestyle they and their family deserves.
Although we have the entire portfolio of mortgage loan products including non-QM loans, we have obtained efficiencies through our investment in processes and technology that allow us to provide our clients with a substantially lower price point in both the interest rate and the overall cost to bring the file to closing.
Our aim is to disrupt the market and provide a more efficient and effective service to our clients that is simpler, quicker, less complex, and at the lowest cost through our continuous investment in technology and competent people. ”
The Azulow team’s unique approach has also earned them rave reviews from their clients as can be seen from some of the reviews below.
“Greg was always available to answer my questions and if something wasn’t clear, he always made sure I understood. The best part was being able to communicate with Greg directly. I would highly recommend his services.” – Dan
“I worked with Greg Bozek to get a loan for my first time buying a house and he was incredible! I had no idea what I was doing, and he took the time to explain everything to me in terms that made sense. He was always available to call on his cell phone and told me to call him whenever I needed to. He worked hard to get me a low interest rate with low money down for my mortgage loan, which is exactly what every home buyer wants. I felt as though he really had my best interest in mind. I highly recommend Greg for anyone looking to get a mortgage loan!” – Ashley
“I would highly recommend Greg Bozek and his Team to assist you with your next mortgage. He was highly competent, professional, and a joy to work with!! He helped us find a very competitive rate and went above and beyond to make the process as smooth as possible. I would highly recommend him to family, friends, and anyone interested in finding a talented and committed individual. Thank you, Greg!” – Steve
Greg grew up in Chicago and moved down to St Petersburg in 2009 and is the owner of Azulow Inc. Both Greg and his girlfriend, Mary Deemer, love the volleyball scene and the social aspect around it. They make sure they take advantage of beach volleyball year-round. They also play through the Tampa Sports Club or in some of the tournaments that come through town.
He loves his rescue dog, a mix between German Sheppard and Labrador, called Odin, and two kittens. When Odin went through his growing pains as a puppy, the relationship was a bit more strained as Odin ate everything from slippers, the couch, and work papers. Now they have a great relationship and Odin is a great addition to the family.
They are always willing to get involve and active in the community helping out whenever there is a need such as the red tide or when the hurricane hits the beaches.
Greg is what we like to call a Local Biz Hero, a self-made entrepreneur who brings true value to his community. High standards of professionalism and the strong work ethics of small business owners like Greg are the foundation of the St Petersburg economy.
We sat down with Greg for a quick interview:
Q: Why do you do what you do?
A: “It was a natural transition from the auto industry to working with mortgages and I enjoy what I am doing. The hours are better but there is still stress because I am wearing many hats right now.
We helped a veteran who has to get a different home because the loss in the family in the current home had too much emotion attached to it and he and his family needed to get a new home. We helped him with the financing, and we had to go a different route instead of a VA loan route. There were a couple of issues along the way, but he sent us a text and picture of the keys in his hand and the front of the house and telling us what great job we did and how his family is so happy.
It is messages like this that after a tough day reminds me why I went into this business and at the end of the day when I put my head down knowing I did the right thing to help people and I do enjoy that feeling of purpose. I tell people that I am like their financial lifeguard and am going to make sure that they make it back to shore safely and I am here to help.
It is such a good feeling to know that you could play a small part to improve someone’s life. That is why I get up every morning.”
Q: How did you get into this profession and where you are today?
A: “It was just the next natural step in my career. I started in sales selling Oldsmobile for Jack Hagerty Oldsmobile in Chicago. I grew from a sales position in the company to a Finance and Insurance manager. When General Motors closed Oldsmobile, I stayed in the auto industry for a little bit longer. Many of my friends that were finance managers went into mortgages.
I guess it was normal growth in my career. I just grew from the finance side in the auto industry to the finance side in mortgages. It was just a natural transition. Looking back, I saw many other loan officers that went through the same transition.
I have been a licensed loans officer since 2006. I have got in just before the market crash, so I was on the tail end of the technological advancement in it. I started with an application on a piece of paper, and I have seen the industry grow to where it is.
Back when I was in Chicago working as a loan officer, Amir Mouyed was that successful person that I looked up to and then learned and tried to emulate him in the tasks that he did. I have learned a lot about the business from him and he had a big influence in terms of my growth as a loan officer. He would always say, Greg, you must know yourself to become the best that you can be and secondly you must find a good woman because you will have the support that you need. I think I can finally tick off those two.
Just before I started my own business, I was with another mortgage broker and there were always heated discussions around the pricing structure. They wanted to do it drastically differently. When the file was closed, I was taking losses on the file just to fulfill my promise to the clients. That was when I realized that unless you are completely in control you are never able to deliver to customers what you wanted. That was kind of the last straw that broke the camel’s back.
In July 2020, I have decided to get out and start my own company, Azulow Inc. because I realized that it’s the technology aspect that is missing in an industry with very fragmented processes. I am using technology to make the lending process simpler, faster, and easier for the borrower. The old systems will have to give in at some point in the future because there are so many new players like me entering the market that putting on bandages won’t be able to solve the problem anymore.
We were recently credited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and we are a member of the Mortgage Action Alliance, Brokers Better Network (part of the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts – AIME), Equal Housing Lender, and is a licensed Florida Mortgage Broker.
Starting my own business was the best decision ever and I never looked back.”
Q: Being a mortgage broker, Greg works directly with many people, we asked him what’s the most unusual situation that ever happened to him on the job?
A: “We were closing a file for a VA IRRRL refinancing deal, but he was deployed in Egypt at the time and that was quite a process to coordinate everything with his active-duty status. I had to get up early sometimes, 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. because with the different time zones that were the only time, he was available. Even today I tell the veterans that it doesn’t matter if you are deployed in Egypt, we will still close your file.”
Q: If you could share one tip with the readers for choosing a mortgage broker, what would it be?
A: “When most people refer to a good deal, they refer to the interest rate and costs. In fact, that is only the beginning of it.
First and foremost, hire a loan officer and hire the deal second. The reason is that you are going to work closely with this individual, and this person will guide you through the process. You must be comfortable with the person you’re working with. The best is to pick two or three people you are comfortable with and then see which of the three will give you the “best” deal. Don’t chase the interest rate in itself because if you end up with a terrible loan officer, you may regret you ever started in the first place.
As far as a good deal is concerned, it is very easy. It is called a loan estimate and it is a standardized form. All you have to look at is Section A and Section J. Everything in between is going to be the same and can be manipulated to make it look pretty but whoever you choose for the title only look at Section A and Section J to find a great deal.
Make sure that all the loan estimates look the same as the standard form. Put your loan estimates next to each other, look at Section A and Section J and determine who is giving you the best deal. None of the numbers can be hidden that way.”
Q: What do you love about your community/city?
A: “Every day I ask myself why it took me so long to move down here. The weather and economics are better, and the people are very pleasant. St Petersburg is the closest to a community neighborhood feel that you get in the northern cities but without the snow and high taxes. The people in the community are friendly and care about each other, almost like a country feel.
Having grown up in Chicago I am very conscious about the architecture and the layout of the town, how walkable it is, and all the growth that happens in stores and restaurants. St Petersburg ticks all the boxes and even has its version of a Lakefront Park. All the elements that make the place feel like home are pretty much here. It is on a smaller scale, but I’ll take that anytime with the weather and everything else that Florida offers. “
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: “I have many hobbies but with Covid and starting a business it kind of put a pause on that. In a way, it was a good thing because it gave me the time to focus on growing my business.
Before the lockdown, we did a lot of outdoor activities. We love going to all the nature areas locally and throughout Florida because there are so many of them. We especially enjoy going to the different botanical gardens all over Florida. The tropics and the tropical feel in Florida are such a relaxing feeling and that is the kind of stuff we are trying to do. “
For those of you who are looking for a professional and caring mortgage broker for any type of home financing, Greg and his Azulow Inc. team should be your first choice. Call Greg at (727) 510-2015, or visit www.azulow.com – Seriously Great Loan Officers!
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