Cliff Bernstein Fairway Independent Mortgage

Making Mortgages a Cinch in a Pinch!

“I’ve been in the financing side of real estate since 1996,” says Cliff Bernstein, branch sales manager of Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. 

“My prior career was on Wall Street, but I find working on Main Street a lot more rewarding. Rather than taking in money, I am giving it.” Although he was quite successful, living in a nice apartment in Manhattan, Cliff wasn’t happy. 

“A friend of mine who was an attorney opened a mortgage company in New Jersey. I used to check it out after my day job to see if it was something I would be interested in,” explains Cliff. He then moved down to Florida and started his own company several years later called American Home Lenders, which grew to multiple locations. 

Navigating through unfortunate events like the dot-com bubble and the Great Financial Crisis was challenging. As Cliff says, “Difficult times strengthen our foundation and create a more effective and knowledgeable professional moving forward.” 

“My passion was helping clients,” says Cliff. “Servicing clients properly and running a mortgage company, managing staff and operations was becoming more difficult. It was time to choose a lane.  For me, the choice was easy; I choose my clients every day and twice on Sunday.”
Fast forward 11 years, and here we are today, Fairway Independent Mortgage, which he loves. Fairway Mortgage is a top 10 lender in terms of loan originations. 

“We’re extremely good at what we do,” says Cliff. "Every team member is guided by our core values. Our underwriters take a make-sense approach that’s not often seen in the industry. We follow conventional guidelines and have no additional requirements (called an overlay). At Fairway, we consider our customers and referral partners family; it’s who we are.” 

Helping REALTORS® and Their Clients 
“My focus is building the business of my referral partners. They are my true clients.” He is eager to please REALTORS® and helps them any way possible. Going above and beyond comes naturally to Cliff. His years of experience and expertise help him exponentially with his clients. 
“In the first 5 minutes of a conversation, I can see what the issues are and how we are going to overcome and structure,” he says. He jokes, “I’m kind of like the guy in the circus who can guess your weight.” With his problem-solving ability and seeing solutions, Cliff will always find a way for clients. 

“I will always fight for my clients and be their advocate. Industry guidelines are constantly changing; it is why I must be a student of this business.” Cliff is always there to hold the hands of his clients, take them through the process from start to finish, and make it seamless for them.  

 “I’m here to be a resource, educate, and always be available.” He jokes that he has been on call 24/7 for the past 26 years. 

Outside Interests  
When not working, Cliff enjoys working out. “I used to train for my body, but now I do it more for my mind than anything else. In this business, I need to stay mentally sharp.”

Final Thoughts 
Cliff has a heart of appreciation for the hardworking REALTORS® in the area. He concludes, “This is a great time to purchase a home. I know the second half of the year is going to be dynamic for purchase volume.” Stay tuned!

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
2600 N. Military Trail, Suite 270
Boca Raton, FL 33431