Commercial Loans and Fun 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

Tips on Writing a Commercial Loan Newsletter

Posted by George Blackburne on Tue, Jun 11, 2013

I have repeatedly urged you to develop a list of referral sources and then to solict these guys regularly for commercial loan applicants.  As my oldest son once wisely said,"It's better to repeatedly touch ten referral sources than to speak with one-hundred referral sources just once."

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Today I am going to give you some tips on writing a regular newsletter aimed at generating commercial mortgage leads.

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  1. Steal my jokes!  I like to always include lots of cute, clean jokes in my newsletters.  These jokes reward your readers for opening your newsletters.  Where can you find hundreds of cute, clean jokes?  Just steal them from me.  You'll find all of my past commercial mortgage newsletters here, and each one contains at least four or five cute, clean jokes.
  2. Keep your commercial mortgage newsletters interesting by talking about cool stuff that has nothing to do commercial real estate finance.  For example, the best-selling commercial loan marketing piece of my career was about how the Ebola virus almost killed us all (based on the best-selling book, The Hot Zone).  Today I wrote a fax newsletter entitled, The Most Disgusting Story I Have Ever Told.  I then go on to tell how I stepped in a pool of congealed blood, from a fatal stabbing the night before, while doing a site inspection of a commercial property.
  3. The purpose of your newsletters is to entertain and intrigue your readers.  Don't devote too much of your newsletter to plugging your commercial loan products.  To the  reader, that stuff is boring. Think of a one-hour TV show.  Most of the hour is devoted to following some likable cop around while he hunts down a cruel killer.  Then we have BRIEF word from our sponsor.  The key word here is brief.
  4. And don't be afraid to write!  You might not have been an English major in college, but I'll bet you can tell a cool story in a bar after work, right?  Just tell cool stories, like you were talking to one of your buddies over a beer.

If you get serious about commercial real estate finance, you may also want to take my wonderful new course, Marketing for Commercial Real Estate Loans.

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Topics: commercial loan marketing tips