Complicated paperwork and the hassle of going through a long and drawn out equipment financing process is something that Lee Simmons didn’t have time for.
When he discovered that Stearns Bank could handle his commercial equipment financing of an asphalt hot box for his business, Jackson Seal Coaters, without being buried in paperwork, he was elated.
“When I would call other banks about commercial equipment financing before they would know nothing about our business,” Lee said. “Because they wouldn’t know anything, they would always ask for this insane amount of information that was highly detailed. I didn’t have time for that. These guys didn’t understand what I was buying or understand what the equipment did.”
How The Equipment Financing Relationship Took Off
When Lee was referred to Stearns Bank, he started talking with account manager Ryan Anderson. Once Lee saw that Ryan had an understanding of what his business did, and how the equipment would help him, the equipment financing relationship started to take off.
“Ryan had an understanding of our industry and that allowed him to help me the right way,” Lee said. “I was definitely turned off by other banks and the hoops they were going to make you jump through. You don’t have to be an engineer — or have a degree — to know what makes for decent financing.
“Stearns Bank asked for reasonable things from me. They didn’t badger me. I’m a small business owner and my time is precious.”
Jackson Seal Coaters has been in business for four years. Lee found it difficult to find the right equipment financing relationship because his business is still somewhat in its infancy.
He appreciated the empathy and hard work Ryan delivered for him from start to finish.
Lee was so impressed that he has already referred Stearns Bank to others in his industry and anticipates on coming back for another equipment purchase in 2018.
“Ryan was the first one who proposed a down payment option to me,” Lee said. “That really helped us pay some down to get the financing going. Ryan had a humanity about him and never seemed rushed on the phone. He was a good listener. For me, the first few minutes of a phone call will go a long way. People are human beings and want to feel appreciated. Ryan definitely made me feel that way.”
The Relationship’s Future Looks Bright
Jackson Seal Coaters typically refurbishes large parking lots for businesses. The parking lots can range from 200,000 to 500,000 square feet. The business just doesn’t do seal coating, but they also do repair work throughout the year when it’s needed for customers.
“We make the parking lot look good. Our concept is to put them in place and then continually maintain them throughout the year,” Lee said. “Businesses tend to forget about their parking lots, but signing up with us is inexpensive since we maintain it all year long.”
Lee employs four other people and they started to use the Hot Box immediately after purchasing it. Jackson Seal Coaters typically works more in the warmer months, but still has plenty to do in the winter.
“You need the right equipment for this profession,” Lee said. “This can get to be ridiculously hard work if you don’t.”
Lee, 57, plans to finance future equipment purchases with Stearns Bank because of the relationship he’s started with Ryan.
“We will keep using our line of credit and buy some more equipment in the spring and summer,” Lee said. “We’re really loyal and we want to grow this relationship. Ryan and Stearns Bank – they are people who you can trust.”