Reaching out to the commercial marketEric C. Peckcommercial mortgage brokering, lending, Commercial Real Estate Task Force, NAMB
With the current downturn in the residential mortgage
marketplace, many brokers across the country are turning to other
previously untapped sources of business for income. One of these
sources for the residential mortgage sector of the industry is the
field of commercial mortgage brokering and lending. The National
Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) is smoothing this transition
for many with the formation of its Commercial Real Estate Task
Force, led by Charles Eck, CMC. Mr. Eck, an NAMB Past President
(1994-1995), has an extensive background in commercial real estate
as well as prior experience in the Savings and Loan markets.
The primary purpose of the Commercial Real Estate Task Force is
to bring commercial lenders and brokers together, in addition to
facilitating the education and training of new and residential
brokers in commercial real estate lending.
"There are many residential Mortgage Brokers who want to become
involved in commercial real estate, and there are many commercial
real estate brokers who want to learn more about sources of funds,"
explains Mr. Eck. "There are also other types of referral sources
that develop the networking that works well for brokers."
"The commercial mortgage market is cyclical, and there are many
residential Mortgage Brokers who have previous commercial
experience," notes Mr. Eck. "When the commercial cycle bottomed out
in the mid to late 1980's, many commercial real estate
professionals looked to residential real estate as a means to
support their livelihood. These brokers are going to take great
interest in our commercial programs, particularly because they have
the opportunity to re- acquaint themselves with the technology and
protocols of today, as opposed to 10 years ago."
In bridging this commercial-residential gap, NAMB is both
creating new educational opportunities as well as enhancing
programs already in existence. The Commercial Task Force has
already developed a two-pronged educational program designed to
educate residential Mortgage Brokers and introduce them to the
"We've developed what we call Course One, which is the
transition from residential Mortgage Broker to commercial Mortgage
Broker," describes Mr. Eck. "At our October Commercial Mortgage
Symposium, we received a $50,000 sponsorship to our Educational
Foundation (NAMBEF) from Alliance Funding for the development of
NAMBEF plans to unveil Course Two, in addition to offering a
repeat of Course One, at the NAMB Annual Convention to be held in
New Orleans on Saturday-Wednesday, June 24-28.
"Course One basically serves as a primer to the commercial real
estate field, and Course Two is for those who have already taken
Course One and want some specific information and analysis of
property types," says Mr. Eck. "Course One has been extremely
well-received, and we have had some people come back and take the
course a second time because there is so much information provided
and they need another course to absorb it all." In addition to
Course One and Course Two, NAMBEF will soon announce a series of
Breakout Sessions at the Annual Convention geared toward more
experienced commercial real estate individuals.
Over the past three years, NAMB has developed its Annual
Commercial Symposium and the popularity of the event is quickly
rising. On the extremely successful heels of the 1998 Commercial
Symposium in Atlanta and the 1999 Commercial Symposium in
Philadelphia, NAMB has planned two Commercial Symposiums for 2000.
The first will take place Tuesday- Friday, April 25-28 on the West
Coast in San Diego, and the second is set for Tuesday-Friday,
October 17-20 in Nashville.
"We like to have an East Coast/West Coast balance on this,"
notes Mr. Eck. "We want it so lenders and brokers can get there as
easily and inexpensively as possible, which also allows us to give
brokers exposure to as many lenders as they want."
As the demand for commercial sessions grows, there is also a
serious need for volunteers to assist in the implementation of
these educational sessions. The current NAMB Commercial Real Estate
Education Sub-Committee includes Chair Anthony M. Gramza, Bud
Abbott as Conference Convention Chair, Terry Morrow, CMC, serving
on the Finance Committee of Review, Jay Cox on the Membership and
Services Committee, Kevin Clark as Liaison for the Convention
Committee, and Kirk Amerson as Committee Coordinator.
"The Committee is comprised of highly respected people who have
great experience in the commercial real estate industry," states
Mr. Eck. "However, we would actually like to have more people
participate on a regular basis in a Commercial Real Estate
Anyone interested in volunteering their time to the Commercial
Real Estate Task Force can contact Charlie Eck by phone at (847)
517-8444, by fax at (847) 517-8450, or contact NAMB's Fax-on-Demand
at (703) 610-9009.