Commercial loan brokers should provide a real service to their clients. An emphasis should be on saving their clients time, helping them avoid aggravation, costly mistakes and of course, should be able to line up the right bank to the borrowers unique situation. Bottom line, the broker’s prior experience should help guide the borrower, who may have little or no experiencing sourcing, negotiating, processing, and closing a commercial mortgage.
One of the more valuable components of what a good commercial loan broker does, is introduce the borrower to lenders they would never, (realistically) be able to find on their own. There is a full market of commercial lenders out there that do not have branches and instead depend on their broker networks to find deals and introduce creative/unique programs that traditional banks do not offer (such as commercial stated income loans, commercial 30 year fixed or second lien position loans, etc).
In addition, brokers should be able to give their clients solid, meaningful recommendations on which specific lenders fit the borrower’s situation. The real differences from one lender to the next can be very difficult to uncover. There are obvious factors, such as which banks are quoting the lowest rates, offering the longest amortization schedules, longest fixed periods, etc. But the issues that could potential kill or change loan terms in the middle of processing a loan are only discovered through experience. This is where a commercial loan broker really earns his fee and this intricate lender knowledge is only learned by being involved on a day to day basis. A good commercial loan broker closes 2 -4 loans per month, while a borrower will only close 2-4 in their life time.
Brokers are basically on the same side of the table as their clients. Although there is no official representation agreement like a listing agreement, a broker should be there with their borrower’s interests in mind. In addition, unlike bank loan officers, brokers only get paid when the loan closes. We get paid to close loans. Many bank officers in contrast are on salaries and have other quotas besides funding loans, such as weekly meeting goals, number of telephone calls made, turned in applications, etc. So the bank officer may know that your loan stands little to no chance of closing yet will “lead you on” simply to protect their job (this happens all the time!).
A good broker will create a competitive environment with funding sources to produce the best rates and lowest fees possible for their clients. The brokers reputation with banks will also add to this in that if the broker is known, the funding source will take the loan request more seriously, put more time and energy into the file. Lenders also will not “re-trade” as quickly with good brokers in fear that the broker will not bring the bank additional loans.
Brokers worth their “salt” should be able to identify the right options for the borrower based on small intricacies of the file. Often, it is a small detail that will slow or kill a deal. A solid broker should be able to identify these details from the beginning that would otherwise cost the borrower thousands, and waste months as the wrong lender tries to make the file fit their guidelines