From The Ground Up

October 14, 2021

Dina Steinberg with Ira Zlotowitz

Mr. Ira Zlotowitz is the founder of Eastern Union, a real estate commercial mortgage brokerage firm, as well as the developer of eCALC, the Eastern Union app that helps investors value properties and underwrite transactions. In this piece, he explores the do’s and don’ts of building trusting relationships with clients from the ground up.

Reaching out

The first thing to be sure of when attempting to attract new clients is that you are maintaining your company’s online and social media presence. Your business should be accessible and easy to find.

Next, you are ready for outreach to potential customers, which consists of two key methods:

One way is to get recommendations from existing clients. When you call a would-be buyer with the referral of an existing client, you have a fairly high chance of securing the account. However, gaining recommendations takes an investment of time and money, possibly including treating your clients to upscale restaurant meals and luxurious vacations in the hopes that they will share their business contacts with you.

The second option is to reach out through cold calls and emails. Naturally, this method has a lower success rate, but it also entails less cost and exertion.

It is important to use data analysis to weigh the costs and benefits of each process. By studying the facts and figures, you can make an informed decision on how much of each kind of outreach your company should do.

It is a numbers game; play the right cards and use your time and resources wisely to win.


Trust is integral, and it starts with being a real person when dealing with your clients. Be authentic; be honest about being human.

At the beginning of any deal, be upfront with your consumer regarding the objectives you hope to accomplish. Once you have both settled on the expected results, you can move ahead. As things develop, be sure to keep the client in the loop.

Bear in mind that most issues happen because of dishonesty; it is the root of many disagreements and disputes. Clients want to have faith in your trustworthiness and to know that you have their best interests in mind.

It is only natural to want to hide the glitches that inevitably materialize along the way while working with a client. Often, we feel that we can solve the problems on our own, and we tell ourselves that there is no need to involve the patron.

In truth, though, when you alert your client to issues, you are covering yourself in case things won’t turn out all right. If the deal goes sour, the client will feel that you have at least warned them and were honest about what you knew.

On the other hand, if you do manage to straighten out the snag, they will know that you did something special for them and be grateful that you were able to keep things on track.

You may feel defeated when you share the problems, but ultimately, you are gaining your customer’s faith in your honesty. It’s a classic case of “Lose the battle and win the war.”

Clear the air

Even if you do everything right, there may still be times that your client is disappointed in the results you produce. They may yell, they may scream, and they may choose to end your business relationship.

Separate the human from the business. Apologize, and to do whatever it takes to make sure that your client is appeased, whether or not they will be using your services in the future.


Early on in my career, a deal with Mr. Mark Green* came up.This was in the first year or two sinceEastern Union’s establishment, and the contract was 10 times the magnitude of any I had been involved in until then. We engaged a third party in the deal, and they ultimately could not deliver on their end of the arrangement. Throughout the process, I was honest with Mr. Green about what we expected and how things were looking.

When the deal eventually fell through, Mr. Green was infuriated. He told me, “I’m done working with you. Lose my number.”

Still, Mr. Green and I needed to end off on good terms. I walked to his office and knocked on his door, something I had never done before or since. I apologized to him, and we cleared the air.

It was not about business or finances; it was about two people making peace and moving on.

As an interesting epilogue, two of Mr. Green’s sons-in-law are among the most well-known frum businessmen today, and I have connections with both of them. If I hadn’t walked over and apologized that day, these valuable relationships could never have developed.

*Name has been changed