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Twice bitten: Reduce your risk of year 2000 lawsuits

National Mortgage Professional
Dec 03, 2004

Five Little Ways to Market Small LoansMatthew BurkSmall, loan, marketing As more residential Mortgage Brokers begin to tap into the small commercial lending market, one question is often asked: What is the best way not to stumble into the deals, but rather generate consistent, quality leads in a proactive fashion? Below are five, easy, inexpensive ways to market for commercial leads. The methods I mention below only require time and effort, not a huge marketing department and deep pockets. Referrals From Commercial Bankers As a general rule, nothing will ensure longevity in this business better than establishing and cultivating strong referral relationships. Having a solid referral relationship is akin to having your own sales force working on your behalf in the marketplace. Commercial bankers are an excellent source of commercial real estate loans. Due to the fact that many commercial banks have fairly stringent underwriting standards, banks turn down many borrowers that you can help. There are many reasons why a loan may not meet their guidelinesthe loan may be too small, the borrower may not have the time necessary for a traditional lender to process the loan, they may not document their income on their tax returns or the property might not meet their standards. Suffice it to say that there are many borrowers that will not qualify. These represent good income opportunities for Mortgage Brokers with good bank relationships. Advise bankers that you offer loans with smaller loan amounts, that your program does not require A+ borrowers and/or whatever other niche products are available to you. Referrals From Commercial Real Estate Agents This source of commercial leads is an extension of the first tactic. Commercial real estate agents are constantly working with people who buy and sell commercial real estate. You can help them with smaller transaction sizes or with borrowers that may not qualify at a traditional commercial bank. Association Involvement Joining a commercial real estate association is a great way to meet people in the business. Associations include the Certified Commercial Investment Members Institute, Commercial Real Estate Women and CAR, to name a few. You will make excellent contacts and learn more about the commercial real estate market. The key to your success in an association is to make a commitment to attend regularly. You can not reap the benefits unless you attend every meetingassociation involvement is a time and commitment marketing tactic. Spread the Word To Existing Contacts and Clients In many cases, your best commercial clients may already be in your database. Several of your residential clients may own commercial real estate, or know someone else who does. Advise your clients and existing professional contacts that you arrange both residential and commercial loans. You can start by simply picking up the phone and calling people you know. Get the word out and you will be surprised by how many clients you can get without making a single phone call. Classified Advertising The advantage of classified advertising is, since they cost a fraction of full-page color display ads, the ad can be run for a longer period of time. After all, success in marketing comes from repetition and longevity. I can assure you that if you consistently use the above marketing tactics, you will begin to generate leads. Before beginning, contact a handful of well-established, reputable commercial lenders and learn about their lending products. Take the time to know what is available to you and know your lenders' preferences. By doing your homework, your rate of turning new leads into closed loans will increase tremendously! Matthew Burk is president of Fairway Commercial Mortgage, a direct lending Mortgage Banker specializing in small commercial real estate loans. He can be reached by phone at (503) 241-2340 or e-mail loans@fairway-mortgage.com.
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