Before I get into how to meet bankers, let me first explain why you want to meet bankers.
The first thing that most borrowers do to get a commercial loan is to call the commercial real estate loan officer working at their own bank. Underwriting a commercial real estate loan is fairly sophisticated, so the profile of a typical bank commercial loan officer is a sleepy, white male between 48 and 60-years-old. Unfortunately this guy (or lady) is not usually on commission. As a result, a great many of these mature, salaried, commercial loan officers really don't care if they make another commercial real estate loan or not.
I think that its a mistake that banks don't give their commercial loan officers more of a financial incentive to close commercial loans. Just about every bank in America would benefit from a few more good, commercial real estate loans in its portfolio. After all, commercial real estate loans are among the most profitable loans that a bank can make. But I've said it before, "Banks are lousy capitalists."
So why do you want to meet bankers? If you are commercial real estate investor, and you are thrifty by nature, you may not want to pay some commercial mortgage broker a one-point fee to find you a bank willing to make you a commercial loan. You will want your own Rolodex of six to ten bankers located close to your income property. Remember, you can't just rely on your own bank.
Bankers are notoriously moody and unpredictable when it comes to commercial real estate lending. One moment they love self storage loans, and the next moment, usually after a big loss, they wouldn't touch a self storage loan with a ten-foot pole. One moment the bank is as tight as a drum, and the next moment the bank will make a commercial loan on a so-so property to a recent bankrupt, all because the bank got a big commercial loan payoff, and they are flush with cash. As an income property investor, you need multiple (6-10) bankers to whom to offer your deal.
If you are a commercial mortgage broker, you want bank turn-downs. Bankers get first crack at most commercial real estate loans, and they turn down the vast majority of their commercial loan applicants. Remember, the typical bank loan officer is not on commission, so he has little incentive to say yes. Bankers are therefore the absolute, very best source of referrals. If your mailing list (email or snail mail) does not consist of 60% bankers, you have some work to do.
Now before I explain how to find bankers, let me give you a quick refresher on where to find bankers. A bank is three-times more likely to approve a commercial loan if the property is located close to one of its branches. This lesson alone is worth the price of today's admission. A bank is three-time more likely to approve a commercial loan if the property is located close to one of its branches.
Therefore you want to meet all of the bankers located close to your commercial mortgage brokerage office or close to your income property. Its easy to find nearby bankers. Simply go to maps.google.com. In the upper-left-hand corner, you will type in the address of your office or your commercial property. Lastly, click on the "Nearby" icon and then type, "banks." Voila! You have just identitified every bank located close to your office or the commercial property that you are trying to finance. Good stuff, huh?
Now, finally, we will explain how to find bankers. Simply call up the nearby bank branch that you identified using Google. Be sure to ask the receptionist for a loan officer who handles commercial real estate loans. If you just ask for a commercial loan officer, you might get the wrong guy. Normally there will be one commercial real estate loan officer, usually working out of a different branch, who handles all of the commercial real estate loan requests for five or six branches.
Once you reach the guy, make sure that the first words out of your mouth are the following, "Hi, Bob. My name is John Smith, a commercial mortgage broker (or a commercial real estate investor). Did I catch you at a good time?" Those eight words are the keys to the kingdom.
Unless you have a specific deal to present, you really only need to know a few things:
1. Minumum loan?
2. Maximum loan?
3. Lending area?
4. Do you make SBA loans or USDA loans?
Why don't you need to know any more? Because banks all quote pretty much the same commercial loan.
Perhaps the most important thing to retrieve from a new banker is his email address. Bankers can sometimes be freaky-deaky about giving out their email address because they get a ton of unsolicited email. The way I like to handle it - at the very end - is to ask, "If I have a commercial loan that I want to show to you, to what email address should I send it?" That seems to work for me. Asking the question at the end seems to imply that the entire seven-minute phone call will have been wasted if the banker doesn't give up his email address.
Did you learn something today? This is how I teach. I use a ton of humor, and I try to weave in lots of verbal proof stories - real life stories that prove a point. I strongly encourage you to order this course about how to become a commercial mortgage broker. Trever Cole Commercial - who just closed their 50th loan for C-Loans, Inc. this month - uses this video course to train all of their new commercial loan officers.
Nobody ever listens to me, but the real money in commercial real estate finance is in loan servicing fees. My little eleven-person commercial hard money firm now brings in over $83,000 per month, whether we close any new loans that month or not. When Cisca and I were first married, we dreamt of the day when our loan servicing income would exceed $2,000 per month. Then our mortgage and utilities would always be paid. Today this number is $83,333 per month. The real money in commercial real estate finance is in loan servicing fees.
This is your best deal.