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Commercial Department: From the Editor: May 2017


From the Editor

New career paths require a willingness to listen and learn

c_2017-05_FTEChange isn’t always a good thing, but hopefully its arrival is met with enough enthusiasm to counteract the stomach-twisting uncertainty. Anyone who has changed career paths has surely felt those pangs of uncertainty. And after nearly 15 years in the newspaper industry, I felt them when I arrived at Scotsman Guide this past March.

Writing about and understanding the commercial mortgage industry is a complex endeavor, and it’s a tectonic shift from my previous path. Starting in 2002, I moved westward across the state of Washington to Seattle — working at five different newspapers along the way. High school sports coverage was my bread and butter, but I also delved into a wide array of topics through the years, including city budgets, education policies, health care advances and outdoors features.

Commercial mortgage-backed securities, bridge loans and underwriting aren’t on that list.

Now that I’m the editor for Scotsman Guide’s Commercial Edition, I’ll be counting on our readers to help me build my knowledge base. You’re the trusted experts. We’ve always counted on brokers and lenders to lead the way as we produce one of the industry’s most unique and comprehensive publications, and that mission isn’t changing.

For me, however, the mission has already changed. Constructive criticism and suggestions are always welcome. I want to listen and learn, even after the new-car smell of this job dissipates. And I’m pleased to have the opportunity to wrap my mind around the important and intricate subjects our publication highlights.

Our May issue is packed with these subjects. Even the most seasoned broker can benefit from reading Christina Zausner’s article on Page 55 about the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and its laborious process for revamping international banking rules. From Los Angeles to London — and every point in between — the new rules will likely impact how deals get done. 

Our lead story on Page 31 is a timely one from Casoro Capital CEO Yuen Yung, who explores how rising interest rates and the push for deregulation by the Trump administration are likely to impact the multifamily market.On Page 46, Jan Brzeski of Arixa Capital Advisors and Crosswind Financial takes a peek into the world of small-balance loans. If your business depends on retail, industrial or multifamily housing deals valued under $10 million, there are specific details that make these loans successful.

This month’s focus is underwriting, and Melissa Foxall of APEX Mortgage Corp., in her article on Page 38, takes a hard look at the pros and cons of fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. She argues that borrowers and brokers need to think about many pieces of the lending puzzle, not just obtaining the lowest interest rate.

In his article on Page 62, Jerry Sager of First National offers advice for building successful partnerships with lenders and their underwriters. Brokers can keep underwriters from grinding their teeth by sticking to a strict documentation list — from construction-loan schedules to background-verification forms.

Green building is another popular topic in the commercial mortgage industry. On Page 72, Ethan Elser of PACE Equity writes about Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, loans. A majority of states have adopted legislation enabling PACE loans, which provide an avenue for financing energy-saving improvements that lead to cleaner, more cost-efficient buildings — whether you’re renovating or starting from scratch.

We’re constantly on the lookout for new authors, so here’s my first call to action: If you’re a broker with the passion and expertise for storytelling, no subject is too big or small for Scotsman Guide. We’re happy to guide you through the submission process — and hopefully ensure your stomach doesn’t get tied up in knots along the way.


Neil Pierson is editor in chief of Scotsman Guide Media. Reach him at or (800) 297-6061.

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