Commercial Loans Blog

Need Commercial Loans?  Market to Referral Sources, Not the Public!

Posted by George Blackburne on Wed, Oct 31, 2018

Small retail buildingToday's article is targeted at commercial loan brokers, and its about where to market for commercial loans.  Please stop.  Are you a commercial broker?  In other words, do you list and sell commercial real estate?  If so, please hear this before you sign off:  

You should open a commercial mortgage company using that empty desk in the corner!


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Why?  Because I own commercial loan company, I market regularly for commercial loans.  The people with whom I speak are commercial property owners.  As a result, I meet a half-dozen wealthy real estate investors every single day.  After all, poor people don't own nice apartment buildings and office buildings.  And once the commercial loan officer working your commercial loan desk meets a high-net-worth client, then your realty brokerage company should and must continually market to that investor to buy your listings and to give you new listings.

The following video is only 42 seconds long, and it shows you how you can make a $21,250 referral fee while your are passed out on the couch, stuffed with turkey, and watching a football game.


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Okay, now on to the point of today's training article for commercial loan brokers.

Marketing directly to commercial property owners for commercial real estate loans simply does not work.

I have been soliciting commercial real estate  loans for almost forty years.  I can honestly say that I cannot remember ever closing a single commercial loan that came from a flyer, a postcard, a direct mail piece, a (digital or Stone Age) magazine ad or a newspaper ad (back in the day) that was aimed directly at commercial property owners.


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Marketing directly to commercial property owners for commercial loans simply does not work.  Pound that concept into your head!  Marketing directly to commercial property owners for commercial loans does not work.

You could spend $10,000 on a direct mail campaign or (digital) magazine ad to commercial property owners.  You'd probably get no more than ten leads, and most likely not a single one of these commercial loan deals will close.


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Now I know that this reality is not obvious to the casual observer.  In my lifetime I have probably spent over $200,000 on about 70 marketing campaigns aimed directly at commercial real estate estate investors for commercial loans.  Every one of these campaigns was a complete and total bust.  Zip-zilch-zero.  Nada.

If I had saved and invested that money instead, I would be writing to you today from the beaches of Aruba.  Arghhh.  Over and over again I tried.  What a bonehead I was!  In the end, once I had learned how to build loan servicing income, I turned out very okay; but I just kick myself for taking so long to learn this lesson:  Marketing directly to commercial property owners for commercial loan simply does not work.


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The best way to market for commercial loans is to market by email (and occasionally by snail mail) to people who, because of their jobs, are in a good position to refer you commercial mortgage borrowers.  I call these guys referral sources.

The people who, because of their jobs, are in a good position to refer you commercial loans - the best being listed first - include (1) commercial bankers, (2) commercial real estate brokers, (3) property managers, (4) other commercial lenders, (5) CPA's, (6) attorneys, (7) residential mortgage brokers, (8) residential real estate (sales) brokers, and (9) life insurance agents.


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Don't put too many property managers, residential real estate brokers, CPA's and attorneys on your snail mailing list because each of these classes of referral sources gets a huge volume of junk mail daily.  Instead, you should only advertise to these four classes of referral sources if they would recognize your name and your company name.  At least then they might open your envelopes.

Residential mortgage brokers are a great source of commercial leads, but never try to become a commercial mortgage wholesaler. You'll only get rejects and deals that are not do-able.  Instead, work with residential mortgage brokers on a name and number referral basis only.


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The best referral sources for commercial loan leads are by far commercial bankers and commercial real estate brokers (both leasing and sales specialists).


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Topics: commercial loan marketing tips