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Morgan Financial implements lead-management system

Jun 13, 2006

Is this the year to expand my horizons?Anthony M. Gramzacommercial loan brokering, Certified Commercial Investment Member Oh, what a great five years this has been in the mortgage funding marketplace. Money keeps on flowing, clients are purchasing and refinancing at a pace that in some cases we could not keep up with, lenders are knocking at our doors seeking the business that is being generated with very little advertising and more individuals are coming into the industry to take advantage of the attractive commissions that can be made. Now, as we head into 2006, we start wondering if this year will be like others. Will this year be as generous as 2005, or can we expect some real changes? Will there be a definite slowdown in new home purchases? Have the current homeowners maxed out equity in their home mortgages? With all of the negative news in our own country as well as in other parts of the world, is there a concern that a slow down in residential activity will continue to happen? Depending on how you see the situation in your own service area, on what you read or hear from various sources and on how you personally view the national and international climate, the answers may vary. Our crystal ball says "yes" to all of the questions posed. We also realize that in many cases, we cannot control the unforeseen issues that are in other parts of this nation or around the world. In some cases, we cannot prepare for or foretell future happenings. We realize that there will be a slowdown - how much, we do not know nor wish to guess, but it will continue to happen. If you have been in this industry for the past 10 years or more, you can look back at both the ups and downs of our industry and say, "I've experienced it." So if you believe as we do, and you are starting to feel the slowdown but enjoy this industry and wish to continue on the career path that you are on, you need to expand your horizons. Assuming that you will continue in the real estate and financing industry and make it a lifelong career, you need to consider expanding into the world of commercial loan brokering. It is fascinating, challenging and hopefully, in your case, financially rewarding. This field is wide open; it's not scary; it's not difficult and competition should be the least of your worries. Just remember, you are the professional, and with further education and on-the-job training, you have a commodity that many investors seek and desire. Well, if all of this sounds too good to be true, just remember - it does not happen overnight. It will start with additional education and classes in commercial loan brokering and real estate, and it will continue with many long hours of on-the-job training. Expect to make mistakes, for without mistakes, you can have no successes. Expect to lose some deals and don't expect to make a fortune in the first year or two. We strongly recommend commercial loan brokering training classes offered by the National Association of Mortgage Brokers and Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) classes through the National Association of Realtors. The current two eight-hour classes offered by NAMB in commercial loan brokering deal with the basics - the various commercial property types, the various formulas in arriving at net operating incomes, valuations through the use of capitalization rates, arriving at the debt-service-coverage ratio to satisfy the lenders' underwriting requirements and how to structure the correct presentation (package) for lender underwriting and eventual approval. The advanced course considers a multi-use building and provides the participant with an opportunity to review previous income and expense statements, correct and modify the proposed statements to meet the requirements of any lender, analyze income streams for each type of facility within the building structure (apartments, retail and office space) and arrive at an estimated value after careful review and injection of expense requirements of the lending community. Taking these classes with your fellow peers allows for good dialogue, which enhances learning by each of the participants. Classes allow learning from others together with how they think, feel and act on certain items in brokering a loan request. It also provides the opportunity to hear comments from your experienced instructor who, in most cases, is a practicing commercial broker himself. Not that you want to hear all of the war stories, but you can learn from those individuals who have spent a good deal of time in the trenches. The CCIM classes are much more detailed and advanced and are taken by truly dedicated brokers who seek the CCIM designation and consider the field to be their life long career. The program is in six phases; each phase usually runs six days, is followed up by an extensive examination after each phase and then the applicant must pass a final written and face-to-face examination with the reviewing committee. A person holding the CCIM designation is well thought of, respected and known in the real estate field as a true professional. I recommend that anyone considering this avenue of designation to contact his local real estate board and committee chair for more details. As a national instructor in commercial loan brokering for NAMB, I stress the fact that this side of our industry is not difficult; it just seems so because of a lack of understanding of the nomenclature, the simple formulas and the willingness of many brokers and agents to let themselves be intimidated. Brokers intending to take these courses must dedicate sufficient time and effort into reviewing the manuals and practicing on potential cases and problems. They must also be willing to accept mistakes and failures that are bound to come up. You can read many articles and books on commercial loan brokering, but I must tell you that I am a strong advocate of training classes, working with a trusted mentor, on-the-job training and maintaining a professional and honest attitude. As many will attest, your reputation follows you and the majority of your future business comes from referrals of past clients, lenders and co-brokers. If you are up to the challenges of this side of our industry, look seriously into expanding your horizons and learning more about the crazy and exciting world of commercial loan brokering. Anthony M. Gramza is president of Rochester, N.Y.-based AMG Commercial Mortgage Group Inc. He may be reached at (585) 264-9540 or e-mail [email protected].
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Jun 13, 2006
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