Salvador Lopez is a Loan Officer in Opportunity Fund's Los Angeles branch. He's been with Opportunity Fund for two years and enjoys working with clients.
Tell me about a ‘typical’ day for you:
The first thing I do every morning is plan my day – see which businesses I need to visit to help them complete an application or provide business counseling. Then I look at a map to schedule out the route I will take. My territory is big – I cover central LA - everything from the San Fernando to the San Gabriel Valley.
While I’m driving to all the businesses I answer incoming calls from new clients wanting to apply for a loan. Today I visited a new client – a sunglasses wholesaler, who was referred by another customer. We talked about how he manages the business and his plans for growth. Because of a loan modification on his home, he wasn’t able to qualify for a bank loan, but luckily Opportunity Fund will be able to help.
What is one thing about your job that might surprise your co-workers?
Because I am often the only person from Opportunity Fund that our clients meet, sometimes clients ask me if I’m the owner of the company. Also, I often drive more than 140 miles a day.
What is one of the most challenging parts of your job?
The most challenging thing is trying to get our customers to understand that it is important to have a business plan and accounting system in place. For even very small businesses, they should have a marketing and pricing plan. Last week I visited a business with $50,000 in monthly revenue without any accounting system. It takes time to explain to an owner why their business will benefit from making those investments.
What are the most rewarding parts of your job?
The best is when clients call to ask if I have time to talk about improving their business, because they value my advice. Also, when clients ask me to come to their business to show me how they have improved it with our loan. It’s so rewarding to see the business succeed.
In your opinion, what makes Opportunity Fund a unique place to work?
Opportunity Fund is serving that niche market – businesses that need advice and money – not just the money. I love to advise businesses, and Opportunity Fund gave me the opportunity to do what I love.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was 5-6 years old, I wanted to be a priest. When I was a little older, I met a Toyota executive for the first time. Since then I always wanted to be an executive – a business man. I’ve always loved business.