You should never-ever submit a commercial loan package to a commercial real estate lender without at least one picture of the subject property.
On Tuesday, I released an important blog article about how to use C-Loans.com to create a handsome PDF of your commercial loan package. This commercial loan origination software is 100% free. Even if you don't find the perfect lender for your deal, you walk away from your four minutes of sweating and slaving (not!) with a professional PDF that you can easily blast out to thirty banks.
Using our new free commercial loan software, you can easily upload pictures of the property to your commercial loan application. These pictures serve to accomplish four things:
- Pictures show the lender that this is a serious commercial loan application. Borrowers and brokers who are just poking around seldom bother with pictures.
- Pictures also show that the borrower or broker is not a complete newbie. Only an intellectually-challenged mortgage broker would ever submit a commercial loan application without at least one picture of the property.
- If the property is attractive - or if the picture was taken on a sunny day with lots of blue sky - commercial lenders will swarm all over your deal. We sell trust deed investments to about a thousand private investors by email, and we always include three pictures of the underlying property. I can tell you that blue sky really sells. Deals with pictures taken on an overcast day tend to linger unsold. Hence the securities law term, "blue sky".
- Pictures also greatly help to explain the property. For example, you might have have a real estate office on the street, with several apartment units behind it, plus 60 mini-storage units in the very back. A picture is worth a thousand words. Here several pictures would really help.
"But George, I am a New Jersey commercial loan broker, and my commercial property is in Alabama. How on earth can I get pictures?"
You can always ask the borrower to send you some pictures; but I would wait until the borrower has gotten the ball rolling by sending you an old financial statement, a rent roll, and his actual income and expenses on the property.
Asking for pictures right up-front might cause the borrower to procrastinate and, in the meantime, entertain competing offers. In other words, you will lose the deal to a competitor. I would wait to ask for pictures until after the borrower has sent you a package. Let's make him work a little and commit to working only with you, before asking him to fetch the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West.
One way you might handle this is to ask him whether he has ever sent pictures by email or text. If he stammers and stutters, you should resolve to get your pictures another way.
The easiest way to get pictures of your commercial property is to simply google the address of the property.
Google has now photographed at least 90% of the standing commercial properties in America. When you google the property, you can almost always find one picture of the property. Guys, there really is no excuse - other than laziness or a desire to remain poor - for not including a picture of the property in every one of your commercial loan packages.
Get commercial loan leads for less than the cost of two cups of coffee.
Now Google went to a lot of expensive work to photograph those 30 million commercial properties, and they would prefer if people didn't just steal their pictures. You and I are only using the picture - not to mass market the property - but rather to just show our commercial loan to twenty of so lenders. Using their picture is really not taking any money out of the hands of Google.
But Google doesn't make it easy to download their pictures. You can't right-click on a picture and download it to your desktop. Google has programmed their pictures so they cannot be downloaded.
What I discovered personally this week is that you can simply take a screen shot of the picture and save the screen shot to your desktop. Voila!
To take a screen shot on my Mac, I simply hit Command-Shift-4 at the same time, hold down my moose, and drag the curser from the upper-left to the lower-right. When I release my mouse, the screen shot of the property picture saves to my desktop.