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Commercial Department: From the Editor: March 2015


From the Editor

Small is big in business development

Have you ever thought about the Netflix button? It’s that little red rubber thing on your DVD player remote that shoots you straight to Netflix, allowing you to bypass menus and other time wasters.

The Netflix button is convenient, but it also prevents you from even thinking about or seeing Netflix’s competitors. My DVD player remote has a Netflix button, but my DVD player also came preloaded with applications from Amazon and Hulu. I cannot remember the last time I looked at those applications, let alone used them. I shoot straight to Netflix.

If you are not a Netflix subscriber, that glaring red button stands out pretty well from all the other buttons on the remote: a throbbing, unceasing advertisement for Netflix — it begs you to press it, to subscribe, to be part of the one-button club.

That little button was a killer development for Netflix; it keeps users hooked in, and entices new ones. All Netflix has to do is sit back and wait — and hope that Amazon or Hulu do not finagle a deal with the DVD player manufacturers to get their own buttons.

It would be great if there were a similar device for commercial lending: a button exclusively for mortgage brokers that would match borrowers and lenders, and do all the paperwork. While we wait for that miracle, you have this issue of Scotsman Guide, which we have loaded with ideas for commercial lending business development.

First, I need to point you to our Q&A feature on Page 18. This month we interviewed Mukesh Mowji, owner of The Hotel Inventory and an hotelier, about the recent increase in lending for hotel construction and renovation. I came up with the idea for the column after binge watching the reality show “Hotel Impossible” on Netflix.

On Page 41, Sabal Financial Group CEO Pat Jackson covers the growing demand for small-balance debt, typically loans between $1 million and $10 million. This is definitely a growth area; Freddie Mac recently launched a small-balance multifamily program. Large banks have stayed away from this type of lending since the recession, leaving room for smaller lenders and brokers.

Developing your creative-thinking skills is important for business development, and on Page 38, Chase Capital Advisors Managing Partner Jerry Sager advises mortgage brokers on how to ferret out interesting financing deals by collaborating with lenders.

When it comes to construction projects, finding ways to make loans more efficient can be difficult because of recent advances in project management technology. Trinity Real Estate Solutions Inc. President Brad Meyer has found a few more small tweaks that you can use to cut loan costs. Read more on Page 60.

One caveat about the Netflix button: it will not last long. Remote controls will probably disappear soon as we start using smartphones or other devices to consume media. Netflix will have to come up with something else to keep ahead of its competitors.

That is an eternal challenge for all of us: finding ways to keep ahead. The smallest tip, trick or advent may work in the short term, but you always have to be looking forward. We hope you find your edge in this issue.


Neal McNamara was a chief reporter with Scotsman Guide Media. For questions about this article, call (800) 297-6061 or e-mail

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