About the Author: Juan Barcelo is vice president of sales at Silver Hill Funding. He is a results-oriented commercial and residential real estate finance professional with 12 years of experience in sales, management, and relationship management.
Have you ever heard a marketing expert talk about the importance of “getting your name out there?” In the commercial mortgage industry, effectively broadcasting your ability to close commercial loans can only be accomplished through the adoption of a multi-pronged marketing strategy.
Focusing your efforts on the following 7 channels can help you increase small-balance commercial production by connecting you with potential clients and new referral sources.
1. Organic Marketing
If you regularly close residential deals, reach out to all your current and past customers (especially the self- employed) and let them know you are doing commercial loans now. You can easily locate your self-employed clients by searching the R.E.O. section of their 1003 applications.
2. Marketing Materials
Add “commercial mortgage lending” to all your marketing materials. Silver Hill provides customizable flyers and other collateral you can use to promote your small-balance commercial business.
Reach out to your existing network of realtors and tell them about your small-balance commercial product offering. Ask them to guide you to the right commercial realtors that see and/or list these types of properties
Make contact with local and community bankers who regularly see these types of loan requests. Typical bank underwriting requirements restrict them from lending to a wide range of credit-worthy borrowers. Instead of issuing a flat denial, many banks attempt to appease their clients by referring them to a professional who can meet their needs.
It’s important to develop relationships with other types of lenders as well. As you assemble your stable of lending partners, try to include a healthy mix of lower credit lenders, higher-balance lenders, hard money/bridge lenders, bank and non-bank options, and everything in between. Your goal should be to give yourself the opportunity to provide solutions to a wide market of potential customers.
Business-to-Business networking events, chambers of commerce events, and tradeshows are excellent resources for growing your personal business network. Not only are these events full of networking opportunities, but you can also improve your expertise by attending panel discussions and workshops.
Social Media channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are increasingly important networking tools within the mortgage industry. Be sure to include small-balance commercial lending in your social profiles and make an effort to join and participate in relevant discussion groups.
6. Target Marketing
Identify a particular property or borrower type that plays into your specific strengths as a mortgage broker. Then deliver targeted advertisements that position you as a unique solution provider. One effective tactic is to include recently closed loans and client testimonials in your communications.
7. Broker Colleagues
Fellow commercial brokers within your network may currently be sitting on potential small-balance deals. If they don’t wish to close these deals themselves, they may be happy to pass them along in exchange for a referral fee when the loan closes.
Examine your current strategy to determine your effectiveness across each channel. If you take some time to strengthen any neglected facet of your marketing efforts, you’ll put yourself in a much better position to receive quality small-balance leads.