Real-estate investor avoids ''no-guns'' Fifth Third
In light of your recent posting on your web site about Fifth Third's profits falling, I thought you might find my story about their bank relevant to this discussion. I am currently in the process of starting a new real-estate investment company. We are in the process of getting pre-qualified for the loans we'll need to purchase our first investment property.
My mortgage broker gave me the name of a loan officer at Fifth Third and another bank to contact. Just out of curiosity, I called the Fifth Third contact and left her a voice mail. I told her I might be interested in applying for my loan there, but only if they don't display those discriminatory signs at her branch. I told her if they do they were probably wasting their time to even call me back. I explained that I was an OFCC member and that I would not do business with them so long as those signs were present.
The next day she called back. I wasn't home but my wife took the call. She told my wife (paraphrasing) "we certainly don't want people with guns in our buildings, because of recent robberies, a burglary and a murder". My wife wasn't 100% sure she said "murder", but she's pretty sure she said that. She also said (paraphrasing) "most banks have those signs up".
I called her back that evening but got her voice mail. I left her another message where I made the following points:
1. There are 44,000+ CHL permit holders in Ohio and there hasn't been a single incident involving them doing something criminal or improper in any business.
2. Fifth Third has been robbed several times in spite of their "no guns" signs, so they obviously are useless.
3. When they disarm their customers inside their buildings, they also leave them vulnerable when going to/from their parking lots.
I again reiterated that I would not do business with them until those signs come down.
Right now it might be easy for them to dismiss our business as not much of a loss because we're just getting started. However, we will build this business into a multi-million dollar business in the long term. I have asked our mortgage brokers to avoid contacting Fifth Third for all future loans. I've also asked my realtor to avoid showing me any properties that Fifth Third owns as an REO.
In the long run their ignorant policy is going to end up costing them many thousands of dollars in lost business with us if they don't change their ways. I will also try to get the word out to other investors, contractors, etc. as I network with them in the months to come to avoid Fifth Third for the same reason I am. Thanks.
Gary Martin, President
Sparkling Homes, L. L. C.
''No-guns'' Fifth Third profit falls 6 percent in first quarter