As an entrepreneur, I understand the importance of the word “innovation”. It’s the cornerstone upon which all entrepreneurs build their empires. I’ve spent the better part of the last 15 years at the helm of Geraci LLP, a law firm that specializes in private money, hard money, and non-conventional lending. During my tenure, I have worked hard to create an environment where innovation can grow. We’ve instituted a combination of early adoption of technology, including developing proprietary solutions to address client pain points; heavy marketing emphasis, including creating a conference line; and staying committed to providing exceptional client service. Because of this recipe, we have grown from a relatively unknown entity to the largest law firm in the private lending space.
Law firms are notoriously slow to adapt to change, eschewing it for the notion that “if it isn’t broken, why fix it”. However, embracing change and making innovation a priority is one of the key driving forces behind our success at Geraci LLP. We recognize that, in the highly competitive legal industry, firms that fail to innovate and adapt to changing market conditions risk becoming obsolete.
Harnessing technology has been a cornerstone upon which we have relied since the firm’s inception. It has led to improved efficiency, enhanced accuracy, cost savings, and improved client service through the automation of tasks and reduction in human error. We were early adopters of artificial intelligence – prior to the recent push that has grabbed news headlines worldwide. You can find examples of this in social media planning, ad copy and headlines, project management tools, and podcast overviews.
Lightning Docs is our fully automated, cloud-based loan document solution. This software allows our clients to create legal documents at the touch of a button, reducing time and effort yet improving accuracy and consistency. We continue to invest in its growth, diving headfirst into the inevitable future of the legal and real estate industries – advanced automation-powered companies backed by exceptionally qualified subject-matter experts. Since 2018, the platform has been used to generate more than 30,000 loans equal to almost $17 Billion across the nation and will only grow from here.
Technology aside, the team at Geraci has also been at the forefront of developing new legal structures and regulatory frameworks for the private lending industry at large. This has included working with state and federal regulators to create new laws and regulations in support of the industry and provided greater flexibility and opportunity for private lenders.
For example, we have been an advocate in several different legal areas nationwide. Along with American Association of Private Lenders, for whom we serve as General Counsel, we have successfully represented the private money lending and hard money lending industry against such dangerous bills as Florida’s licensing system and led changes to California’s SB 1079, a bill that basically let anyone who barely qualified as a non-profit (and those who would scheme for profit) to buy a piece of property for a below-market price at auction.
The importance to the industry is that, at no cost to our clients, we are able to assist key influencers in defending private lenders’ rights to do what they do for the economy: use creative solutions to help their clients achieve results.
At Geraci, we feel we are part of the private money lending and hard money lending industry and ecosystem. As a result, we have the duty to make this industry as free from additional, burdensome legislation as possible while understanding the role, motivation and responsibility of legislators. Our goal is to help guide them to make laws that truly support all people rather than random, half-baked ideas that give little guidance to the regulated and no protection to the beneficiaries of those laws.
A culture of innovation cannot exist without a parallel culture of continuous improvement, experimentation, and teamwork. At Geraci LLP, we have fostered this culture by encouraging our employees to think creatively, challenge the status quo, and take calculated risks. We also foster many opportunities for employees to collaborate outside their immediate team, leading to new insights and innovative solutions to complex challenges both within the firm and in the industry at large.
By encouraging our employees to embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and improve rather than something to be avoided at all costs, we have created a culture ripe with innovation and idea-sharing.
Our marketing strategy at Geraci LLP is designed to build a strong brand and establish us as a trusted leader in the private lending space. This has involved a significant investment in marketing and branding activities, including advertising, public relations, content marketing, and an internally managed conference line – a unique innovation for a law firm.
One of the key elements has been building a strong online presence, and through that, establishing our attorneys as thought leaders. This has involved the development of a comprehensive website that provides information about our services and expertise, a blog that publishes regular updates and insights on the private lending industry, and an easy way to reach out to our experts. We have invested time into a strong social media presence, multiple newsletters, started a private lending podcast, and manage a bimonthly magazine to reach a wider audience and engage with potential clients.
In 2015, we tapped into the private lending industry’s desire for in-person collaboration, learning, and networking by launching a conference line. Geracicon has grown to host over 500 attendees at each of our twice-yearly events. Our conference line has become a platform for collaboration, continued learning, and deal flow. Attendees return year after year to discuss all things lending and make new business connections that benefit them for years to come.
In conclusion, over the past 15 years, I have led Geraci LLP with the theme of “innovate or die.” Through our commitment to innovation, we have grown from a relatively unknown law firm to the largest law firm in the private lending space. Our success has been driven by our willingness to embrace change, challenge the status quo, and take calculated risks.
Looking to the future, we remain committed to innovation to benefit our employees and clients alike. We will continue to invest in new technologies, tools, and services that can help us stay ahead of the curve and continue to provide value to our clients. We will also continue to invest in marketing and branding activities to build our brand and establish ourselves as a leader in the private lending industry.