Nine steps to commercial
n Find a commercial lender that accepts “residen-
tial style” submissions.
n Work with a good account executive.
n Look for deals that fit the lender’s underwriting
n Become document efficient.
n Be loyal to your lender.
n Seek out a partner if you get overwhelmed.
n Learn the ropes as you go.
n Market yourself and your lender’s products.
n Provide great service.
in the business. Don’t let that stop you. Consider it a
challenge to go to the next level in your career.
Find commercial clients
Networking, marketing and meeting with prospects
are the keys to filling your pipeline with deals. Get out
there and let people know you do commercial loans.
This is where it is important to know which commercial loans you can offer and to whom — based on the
criteria of your chosen lender.
Good old-fashioned cold calling is a great way to get
new business. Place online ads, attend investor meetings and events where a funding source is needed.
Reach out to past borrowers to see if they own investment or commercial properties. Have business cards
printed and hand them out whenever you get the
You also should create a new commercial website
or update your old website to include the commercial
side of your business. It all adds up at the end of the
month. You need to use multiple sources and methods
to get deals coming to you. Once you hit what works,
do more of that.
Providing great service also will make other professionals want to work with you and increase your referral business. A reputation of good service takes time
to build, but can happen faster than you think if you
stand above the competition in your responsiveness
Once prospects come in the door, treat them right
all the way to closing. Be upfront, honest and forthright. If there is a problem, say it. Don’t hide problems
that could blow up your deal. Ask questions and provide solutions. Follow through with what you say you
will do, and don’t make promises you can’t keep.
These traits will make you stand out in a crowd of
originators as a professional who can be trusted with
commercial business. Who knows, at some point, you
may decide to leave the residential side of the fence
and stay on the “greener side” for good.
n n n
Is commercial mortgage lending for you? Only you
can answer that question. Partner up and try a few
deals and see where it takes you. This time next year,
you could be thankful for a lot more than just a good
turkey on Thanksgiving. n
by doing. The larger loan sizes and fatter commission
checks mean it takes fewer loans to earn a nice living
compared with residential mortgages, but a lot more
also can go wrong. Commercial mortgages are less
The way you keep moving is to keep bringing in
new deals, keep your pipeline full and, like any other
job or profession, do your best and work smart. There
is always something new to learn, even after decades
<< Paychecks continued from Page 100 “Once prospects come in the door, treat them
right all the way to closing.” As your pipeline begins to fill, work on document
efficiency. The faster you can provide the underwriting team with the documents needed for a loan, the
faster your deals will close. In commercial lending, the
appraisal is often the big hang-up in timing. If it takes
two or three weeks to get loan docs to the lender,
another three to four weeks for the appraisal and then
processing time for post-appraisal reviews, your paycheck can get delayed by a month or more.
Know what documents you need, get them all from
your borrowers up front, make sure they are accurate
— no missing signatures or omitted crucial information — and send them to your lender in a timely manner. This will greatly speed up your closings and get
you paid sooner. If paperwork is not your forte, hire
someone to help get it done.
Finally, be loyal to your lender. A lender that consistently funds your deals, combined with an AE you trust
— a good AE is essentially your business partner — is
the perfect match. Don’t shop your deals around. Stay
where you have good support. It’s much easier to fill
your pipeline and churn out closed deals when you
have a solid team in place that you trust to get it done.
Instead, work on building your volume and that loyalty
will pay off in your bank account.
Find a partner
If the commercial side of your business gets a bit overwhelming, seek a partner. Commercial and residential
deals are like apples and oranges: They are highly
different from one another in how they are analyzed,
what documents are needed to get them funded, and
the timing of the whole process.
Combining your talents with another professional
who is more familiar with the commercial market may
be a solution. Look for someone who sees the benefit
of teaming up and whose personality and work ethic
match your own.
Perhaps you are good at marketing and finding
prospects. Maybe your partner is good at speaking the
commercial language to borrowers and/or handling
the processing. Whatever your arrangement, just be
clear about who is doing what and how you each get
paid. Generally, neither partner makes money unless
deals fund. After that, be fair about how you share
commissions and honor the agreed-upon split.
You might even enjoy working with another professional on deals more than going it alone. Commercial
lending can be less overwhelming when you have the
right person to learn with.
Learn on the job
Speaking of learning, if you think you can learn all there
is to know about commercial lending quickly, it’s not
going to happen. You simply have to start and learn as
you go. It will take years of work and many closed and
dead deals to gain a complete understanding. Every
transaction is different, and only after repeating the
process over and over again will you start to understand what to throw out, what to keep, what to look
for and what not to waste time on.
Make no mistake, however. Starting is the most
important part. This is a specialty you learn by doing.
Yes, you can get training. You can read and study and
get tips from lenders and colleagues, but hard-core
understanding of funding commercial deals comes