Set it Up: 5 Steps Before You Source
You are convinced that small-balance commercial real estate loans present a good opportunity to diversify your business. Now, you might be wondering how to get started. Before you begin sourcing commercial opportunities, it’s wise to spend some time planning and setting yourself up for success. These five steps will help prepare you for growing your business with commercial transactions.
Set realistic expectations, and build an action plan to support your goals. The plan does not have to be elaborate to be effective. For example, your goal may be to close one or two small-commercial transactions the first year. Your plan might be a 30- or 60-day kick-start of action steps to learn about, set up, and promote your new offering. You may find it helpful to follow the SMART approach: make your goals Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
A basic understanding of the nuances of commercial lending, along with and skills required to qualify, originate and process small-commercial transactions – can provide enough knowledge for you to bring in that first loan. Industry trade associations, events and lenders are resources that may offer educational options such as seminars, webinars, online training and self-paced courses.
Find the lender or lenders you will work with for small-balance commercial loans. Be sure to choose a lender that is credible, transparent and capable of closing transactions in a reliable, consistent manner.
Identify simple changes you can make to your materials and brand presence, to advertise your expanded product offering. A good place to start is with easy changes such as adding commercial messaging (“Now offering commercial financing,” or “Ask me about commercial financing solutions”) to your email signature, voice mail greeting, on-hold message, LinkedIn profile and website. You may also consider adding commercial language to your business card and other print materials now or in the future. Wherever you have a presence, include mention of commercial.
Now it’s time to get the word out. By diversifying your offering with commercial, you are strengthening your position as a trusted advisor. Reach out to referral partners who may not have a resource for their clients’ small-balance commercial real estate financing requests. Let clients in your current book of business know that you offer solutions for their commercial financing needs.
With these fundamental steps covered, and your branding as a trusted advisor in place, you will be ready to begin sourcing commercial transactions.