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Spotlight on ... American Brokers Conduit Senior Vice President of Eastern Wholesale Operations Robert O'Branovich

National Mortgage Professional
Jul 05, 2004

Silver Hill taps underserved market with residential-style approachwww.mortgagepress.comcommercial loans, small balance, residential underwriting Silver Hill Financial LLC has achieved substantial business growth through its perspective on the commercial lending industry--a residential style of underwriting focused on commercial loans from $100,000-$1 million. The approach has generated dramatic sales increases and strengthened relationships with brokers. "We believe that the small-balance commercial loan market has been underserved by traditional lending institutions and that by addressing this need, Silver Hill Financial can help brokers improve their profitability and continue to grow their business," said Joanna Schwartz, managing director of Silver Hill. Reengineering changes the paradigm By reengineering the traditional loan origination process, Silver Hill is able to close commercial loans in 30-45 days. The company has not only simplified the lending process, but it has also integrated residential elements and standardized criteria. The result: converting a once unruly process into one that is quick, consistent and broker-friendly. Oftentimes, residential brokers are hesitant to enter the small balance commercial loan market, viewing the process as overly complicated, unpredictable and relatively low paying, given all of the work involved. With the end of the residential refinancing boom, however, many brokers find themselves looking for additional revenue streams. Silver Hill has responded with an easy-to-use, residential-style process that dramatically reduces paperwork, streamlines approvals and eliminates many of the uncertainties associated with traditional commercial lending. "Our program offers a reliable and cost-effective solution to brokers' need for diversification," said Mike Boggiano, Silver Hill senior vice president and national sales manager, who is responsible for developing and overseeing Silver Hill's sales force and commercial loan originations. "Through our underwriting model, we provide a great deal of flexibility, resulting in a win-win situation for both the broker and the borrower." With Silver Hill managing the appraisal, title process, environmental evaluations and insurance, loans are closed in a rapid and predictable manner that mirrors residential-style closings. In addition, brokers are able to earn up to four points plus fees on each transaction, with virtually none of the hassles associated with commercial lending. Strong broker relationships drive growth Building strong relationships with brokers is driving Silver Hill's growth, according to Boggiano, who cited several examples, including: "In 2004, the number of applications submitted to Silver Hill grew 230 percent; "The company experienced a 500 percent increase in registered brokers in 2004; and "Silver Hill's headcount grew 260 percent in 2004, with projections to hire approximately 20 more employees every other month of 2005. For brokers, Silver Hill's training and education programs make the transition from residential to commercial lending easy--from e-learning modules, to "Silver Sessions" training across the country, to Web-based presentations. The company also provides extensive support for brokers to facilitate the lending process. For more information, visit
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