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Commercial Department: From the Editor: October 2018


From the Editor

Embrace the tools that can build your business

No matter your role in the commercial mortgage industry, you almost certainly can’t do your job effectively without some technological assistance. From marketing and customer management to the surge in nonbank lending and digital mortgage solutions, there’s seemingly a new role for tech to play daily in the lives of lenders, mortgage brokers and others.

Take, for example, the vast amounts of data about commercial mortgage delinquencies. This data is highly useful for mortgage brokers looking to identify potential deal sources, and it fuels a number of relevant reports. c_2018-10_FTE

A monthly report on commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) from asset-management company TCW, for instance, tracks the percentage of conduit loans that are at least 30 days past due and provides a “watch list” of loans that are at high risk of becoming delinquent.

Technology is the focus of our October magazine, which kicks off on Page 31 with an article from new author Richard Sarkis of Reonomy. In “Capitalize on the Data Boom,” Sarkis explains how technology platforms are streamlining the process of data collection for virtually all types of commercial real estate. Customized, curated data can help mortgage brokers identify new business opportunities and stay competitive, Sarkis writes.

Cybersecurity expert Al Alper returns on Page 80, where he discusses the threat of “Shadow IT.” Hackers can use this sophisticated technology to attack mortgage professionals — stealing their money and transactional information, or obtaining it through extortion or blackmail. Originators should invest in things like anti-spam software and firewalls, for example, to protect themselves from potential damage, Alper says.

If you have clients who utilize the CMBS market for financing, you should read Ann Hambly’s piece on Page 49. Hambly, the CEO of 1st Service Solutions, discusses “springing” cash-management lockboxes, which are commonly utilized by CMBS lenders and servicers. Mortgage brokers and borrowers who think they’ve done the math to properly calculate a property’s debt-service coverage ratio should know that these lockboxes and their triggers are often misunderstood and can drastically impact the borrower’s cash flow.

Hotel-financing expert Jay Litt of The Litt Group returns on Page 92, where he discusses cash flow in relation to hospitality properties. Brokers — especially those without much experience in the hotel sector —should know that these properties are a different type of beast. Lenders will look at both the value of the real estate and the corresponding business’s financial performance. And there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to acquiring a property and determining its replacement cost, Litt writes.

This month’s edition also includes some business- and career-development advice, starting with new author Adam Petriella’s article on Page 62. Petriella, managing principal of Silverthread Capital Corp., says novice commercial mortgage brokers should avoid the notion of a “magic bullet” for success, and they should expect some hardships before the job becomes truly rewarding — both personally and financially.

Jerry Sager of First National offers wisdom about the loan-application and deal-structuring processes on Page 85, where he talks about the importance of listening to lenders and knowing their program requirements. Whether your client’s deal involves a new office, retail or golf-course development, for example, borrowers who think they can do their own appraisal or avoid market research are likely to be disappointed, Sager says.

We hope this month’s articles shine a light on topics of significance to your business. After all, as autumn arrives and the sun sets earlier each day, a little light can help warm your spirit.


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

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