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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Commercial Edition   |   June 2005

Close more commercial loans: 7 tactics

In my position, I constantly interact with mortgage brokers who want to increase their commercial-loan production. Some brokers are trying to find their first commercial deal, while others want to increase their commercial-loan success.

To boost their commercial business, I have developed a list of seven simple, effective and inexpensive tactics for brokers to employ, regardless of their commercial-loan experiences.

1. Add the word “commercial” to all of your marketing material.

It shouldn’t cost much, if anything, to add the word commercial to each marketing piece with your name or your company’s name on it. This probably is the easiest and most-visible way to establish yourself as the commercial expert in the office. Start with business cards, Web sites, fliers, direct-mail pieces and promotional items such as pens, pads and mugs.

2. Join an association or group with people who specialize in commercial loans and services.

If you want to be active in closing commercial loans, you need to network with bankers, commercial-real-estate agents, insurance agents, lenders and other professionals who work with commercial clients. Most likely, they will belong to at least one group that charges little or nothing to join. Ask for referrals to groups or individuals who might participate in these groups, and join today.

3. Review your closed loans, and con-tact your self-employed clients.

Some of the best sources of commercial loans are customers with whom you have closed residential loans. Simply dig through your old files, locate the self-employed borrowers and let them know you now offer commercial-mortgage services. Many of these clients actually own commercial properties and may be in the market for a loan. A wealth of commercial leads may already exist in your database of clients who know and trust you.

4. Be your office’s commercial contact.

Many mortgage companies have one or two people who serve as the commercial expert(s) in the office. These individuals might not have extensive experience in commercial lending. However, they could have employed some of the tactics in this article and developed a reputation, or even a designation, as the go-to person for commercial loans.

In a mortgage company with 10 or more loan officers, you already have a large pool of referral sources at your fingertips. If you don’t establish yourself as the commercial expert in the office, somebody else will.

5. Inform existing referral sources that you handle commercial loans.

Call on your real-estate agents, accountants, financial planners, insurance agents, bankers and other valuable contacts to let them know you offer commercial-loan services. There are fewer commercial lenders than residential lenders, so your contacts could find great value in referring their commercial clients to you, even occasionally. Leverage the trust and respect you have gained from your current referral sources and add even greater value to these relationships.

6. Educate yourself in commercial lending.

A key to building a thriving com- mercial business is to educate yourself about this segment of mortgage lending. Doing so adds credibility, builds your confidence and helps you better recognize and handle commercial opportunities. Many lenders regularly offer free educational sessions, and some even will provide a free meal.

Another option is to ask a local commercial lender to conduct a brief tutorial. Many associations also offer valuable commercial-mortgage training seminars.

7. Build relationships with local commercial lenders.

Commercial lenders want to establish relationships with mortgage brokers who are serious about closing more commercial loans. These lenders often are able to add great value to a commercial-loan business.

Form at least one relationship with a contact who specializes in a certain type of commercial lending. This can be a large banker, community banker, wholesale lender or hard-money lender. In addition to providing support and education, this network will become your trusted source for closing commercial loans. Start this network now because implementing these seven tactics will undoubtedly produce commercial leads for you. 


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