Commercial Loans and Fun Blog

Ugliest Property Pictures in the History of the Commercial Loan Business

Posted by George Blackburne on Mon, Dec 5, 2016

Ugly-1.jpgThis is going to be a very short training article because the Chinese were right.  A picture is worth a thousand words.  Today a mortgage broker submitted the attached picture on his commercial loan application.

Guys, I have often compared to a speed dating site.  Like a speed dating event, we allow you to present your commercial loan to scores and scores of lenders in just minutes.  The idea is to catch the right lender lender at the right time with the right commercial loan.

But guys, if you show up for a speed dating event with a dirty shirt, uncombed hair, unbrushed teeth, and smelling like the bottom of a Marine's dirty laundry bag... well, you can't blame the dating service for not finding you the love of your life.




The moral of the story.  Wait until you can take your property pictures on a sunny day!


Ugly 2.jpg


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Topics: commercial loan pictures

Every Commercial Loan Package Needs Pretty Pictures

Posted by George Blackburne on Wed, Jul 13, 2016

Ugly_Office_Building.jpgI am going to teach you a quick and easy way to get pictures taken of a commercial property that is more than 200 miles away - far beyond driving distance.

Today's training article was inspired by a real life commercial loan request on  The mortgage broker had a very do-able commercial mortgage deal in his hands.  It was a 44-unit office complex in Ohio, and the property was 100% occupied.  He was only looking for a $3.1MM permanent loan.  Just $3.1MM - wow!  This commercial loan request should have been a slam-dunk deal and a cool $31,000 commission to the mortgage broker.


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The deal was turned down by over 30 different lenders.  Huh?

Yup.  And do you know why?  The mortgage broker attached the most butt-ugly picture I have ever seen on any C-Loans app.  Why was it ugly?  Let me count the ways:

  1. The picture was horribly out of focus.  By the way, the picture above is NOT of the butt-ugly property, even though this picture is a little depressing.  Compared to the subject, however, the above office building is a supermodel.

  2. The resolution was really low.  The picture looked liked a thumbnail that had been blown up 60 times.

  3. The picture was taken on a dreary, overcast day.  Guys, blue sky sells.  Always make sure your property pictures are taken on a bright, shiny day with a beautiful blue sky.




Now this mortgage broker was not an idiot.  He had very competently completed his C-Loans app.  I'm sure he realized that his picture was atrocious.  His problem was that he was located in Michigan, and the property was located in Ohio - a six-hour drive away.  I'm sure this mortgage broker asked the borrower for better pictures, but the borrower just didn't appreciate the importance of the picture.

A good argument can be made that the single most important document in a commercial loan package is the picture(s) - even more important than the Pro Forma Operating Statement.

So what could this broker have done?  He should have hired a nearby real estate broker to take the pictures for $50 or so.  Here is how you do it:

  1. Go to Google Maps -

  2. In the Search Google Maps field, insert the address of the property.

  3. In many cases, Google has a nice front view of the property that you can download and use.

  4. If not, click the Nearby button and a search field will appear.  Type in "Real Estate Broker".  There will usually be few within a five-minute radius.

  5. Call the real estate office and offer one of the salesmen $25 to $50 to take a few pictures and send them to you by email.

  6. Voila!




Yikes.  I'm a crazy cat lady.  We've got six of them.

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Do you need a lender who will allow the seller to carry back a second mortgage? Does your client have a balloon payment coming due on his commercial property? Has your bank offered him a discounted pay-off? Does your borrower have less-than-stellar credit? Is your client's company losing money? Is your borrower a foreign national? Do you need a non-recourse loan?  Do you need a commercial loan with no prepayment penalty? Is your client's commercial property partially vacant? Do all of your commercial leases run out in the next 18 months? Do you need a lender who will allow a negative cash flow? Do you need a lender who will also look at the borrower's global income - income from salaries, other investments, etc.?


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Topics: commercial loan pictures

Getting a Commercial Loan - It's All About the Picture!

Posted by George Blackburne on Wed, May 23, 2012

What do you think is the single most important item in a commercial loan package?  Is it the Pro Forma Operating Statement?  After all, whether or not the borrower will qualify for a commercial mortgage loan ultimately depends on the cash flow of the property, right?

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Or is the most important document in a commercial loan package the personal financial  statement on the borrower?  After all, commercial banks are the only commercial lenders actively funding deals right now at reasonable terms.  If the borrower is not making lots of money and if the borrower does not have a lot of cash in the bank, a commercial bank probably won't do the deal.

No.  The most important document or item in any commercial loan package is the picture!  If you don't have at least one attractive color photograph of the property, don't bother submitting the deal.  It is the picture that sells the lender on taking the time to underwrite the deal.

That's why it drives me crazy when brokers and borrowers submit commercial loans to us without a beautiful color picture of the property. 

Not any picture will do either.  Many times we have received commercial loan packages with grainy, out-of-focus pictures taken on cloudy days.  Yuck!  C'mon, guys, this is Lesson One of commercial real estate finance.

Don't submit your commercial deal until you have at least one attractive color picture of the property, taken on a sunny day with lots of blue sky overhead.  Blue sky sells.

Remember, a commercial loan underwriter is not going to underwrite a commercial loan until you sell him on the attractiveness and desirability of the property.  You could have a filthy rich borrower and a great cash flow; but if the commercial lender never even bothers to open your commercial loan package, what have you accomplished?

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Topics: commercial loan pictures