Steve Callis is the Neighborhood Commercial Loan Officer in the Middle Peninsula. While he’s been with Chesapeake Bank for 15 years, he began in the construction realm during high school and college. There his tasks covered all phases of home construction including the installation of septic systems. Later on, he went to work as a Land Surveyor for Keller & Lewis. His roles may have changed significantly but he’s surprised how much of his previous experience helps him now when he’s onsite with a customer.
“When I go out for construction inspections or to review properties, it gives me a deeper understanding of the customers’ needs and the phase that they are in. At inspection time, if a homeowner is due for a draw, I know what I am looking at. I know the quality of the construction and if it’s done right because of my previous experience.” says Steve.
In his current field, his lending platform runs all ends of the gamut. However, his favorite product is the commercial loan. He says that most of his customers come in looking to expand or grow their business and this product is customizable.
Because Chesapeake Bank is small, and in the community, we’re not limited to an ‘it fits in the box or it doesn’t’ kind of thinking. Our lenders can be a little more open-minded to how the business functions and how we meet their needs.
For example, a customer may come in with collateral and request a loan for three years. Steve says “If I can see that the repayment plan on those terms may not be something that they can afford. I can recommend other options to get them the loan that works for their business.”
If you know Steve, it’s probably no surprise that his favorite quote is by Billy Graham. “When wealth is lost, nothing is lost. When health is lost, something is lost. When character is lost, all is lost.”
For him, that comes into play with every decision. It’s also why he likes working at Chesapeake Bank. He believes that our customers choose us because everyone wants to do business with someone that they know and trust.
Additionally, people want their loan to move quickly. “We don’t make decisions out of haste but we are fortunate to be in a position where we can make decisions more quickly than others.” Steve comments. He attributes this to having a strong relationship with all of the departments involved in the process including the outside parties, like the appraisers and title companies, etc. “We’ve really surrounded ourselves with people that share the common goal of helping the customer.”
The organization also gives each lender the flexibility to know their customer and respond accordingly. He’s proud of the fact that he seldom has to talk to a committee to make decisions. He knows what will work and what won’t. “We are fast and flexible but we’re also empowered to have the customer’s best interest at heart.” Steve adds. This makes business a lot more personal.