5 Ways a Mortgage Broker Can Help You Navigate a Business Loan

Commercial Mortgage BrokerObtaining funding for your small-to-medium business can help you survive tough times or take your enterprise to the next level. Juggling all the steps you have to take to obtain a loan can be stressful and  take up valuable time and resources!

Taking time out from your business to do an analysis of your business needs and research your lending options is only part of the process. Once you find a lender you can work with, you need to negotiate a deal with them that works for you over time and understand all the terms and conditions required over the term of the loan.

Working with a Mortgage Broker

Like most of the tasks in your business, if you can’t do them yourself, find someone who’s an expert at them. Brokers create a bridge between you and the lending world. Their role has them matching business owners with business lenders year-round. They know the best lender to engage for your purposes, so you achieve your important goals. Here’s how they help:

1. They source suitable loan options

This requires a sound knowledge of the finance market and the benefits provided by different lenders. Being able to access a range of lenders, means they are more likely to find one that matches your specific needs. A Mortgage Broker knows who to suggest and why.

2. They find workable solutions

Lenders have criteria for preferred investments. By understanding your specific need for a loan, a Broker uses their knowledge to source the most suitable Lender. You don’t have to decipher which Lender would be more interested and inclined to provide the funding you need, that’s the role of the Broker. You get on with running your business, they get on with finding the right loan for you.

3. They navigate the fine print

A Mortgage Broker conducts Due Diligence on your behalf, so you achieve your desired outcomes safely and easily. There is a specific process to sourcing, securing and completing a loan. A Broker knows how to navigate all the risks associated with private lending. With a greater understanding of the terms and conditions, a Broker can guide you through the whole process and keep you informed.

4. They have the experience

Brokers have a network of Lenders with whom they have developed professional connections. Building rapport with a platform of Lenders is crucial to a Broker’s ability to assist a wide range of clients. A good Broker has extensive experience in private lending and has negotiated loans for many other small to medium businesses. They understand how to avoid any pitfalls and negotiate the best outcome for you.

5. They know their stuff

A Broker can translate all the financial jargon and acronyms prevalent in finance documentation into simple terms for you. You can rest easy knowing they can decipher any complicated terms and conditions that may apply, so you’re not left wondering what’s going on. Plus, they don’t mind you asking questions. They understand that you need to feel confident in agreeing to the terms and conditions of your loan.

Time you won’t get back!

The most important aspect of using the services of an experienced Mortgage Broker means you save time – the one resource you never get back. You can focus on building your business while your Broker takes care of all the rest. By taking on the responsibility of negotiating all the steps required to secure your business loan, a Broker saves you time, energy, money and a lot of stress!

As a private lender, we appreciate the work that Mortgage Brokers do to help our Borrowers. In fact, over 90% of the loans we provide are introduced to us by Brokers. If you have any questions about how a Broker can make your business borrowing plain sailing, please send us a message via our Contact Page.

Diversifying into business lending: Are you ready?

Diversifying your mortgage broking businessThe Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry is done and dusted, but some of the resulting changes to the finance sector are still to be seen. Potential impacts to commissions and remuneration for mortgage brokers have many considering diversifying to new income streams to ensure their survival.

The other main reason for residential brokers to diversify is to look after the long-term needs of their client base and uncover hidden value based on their needs. Research shows that 25% of mortgage borrowers own small businesses or are self-employed. More and more, consumers are looking for a single source to meet all their finance needs. Brokers who can provide the right product or service for their clients have the potential to build stronger relationships, uncover the hidden value of their database and put them one step ahead of the competition. If you don’t offer business lending to clients who need it, they could go elsewhere and eventually switch their mortgage lending as well.

The recent Reserve Bank’s Advisory Panel has stated that big banks are reluctant to finance newer businesses given the high risks involved. Recent research shows that small and medium size businesses (SMBs) are increasingly turning to alternative lending options because they aren’t having much luck with traditional banks. This presents an opportunity for brokers to provide guidance and value by helping business owners and those managing the finances of SMBs find viable, credible financing alternatives. The market has seen a rise in non-bank lenders providing small and medium business loan options, leaving businesses with a lot more options to navigate, even more decisions to make and in need of serious help.

Diversifying into business financing can be daunting, but understanding the lenders requirements and business documentation requirements is easier than you may think. Most lenders have a simple application process and offer training and support. Private Mortgages Australia hosts regular webinars that explain exactly what is required from a broker and how the process works.

Diversifying into small business lending can help brokers not only grow their business but to service more of their customers’ financial needs and deepen customer relationships. Increasingly, customers are looking for advice across
a broad spectrum of financial products, not just their mortgage.

To be successful, brokers will need to put the customer at the centre of everything, understand the customers’ full needs and to address those needs. This comes down to brokers ensuring they have a range of products on offer to address the holistic financial requirements of their customers.

We believe that diversifying into business lending is the biggest opportunity that brokers will have to grow and develop their business over the next few years.

Sick of settlement letdowns?

Avoid settlement letdownsA common criticism of private lenders is the regular occurrence of settlement default, where the lender is unable to come up with funds promised. This can happen when the lender doesn’t have a steady flow of cash coming in and is unable to raise the funds necessary to finance the mortgage for the agreed amount.

Usually a private lender will need to raise funds from investors in order to fund the loan. If the lender does not have a steady flow of investor funds coming in or a pool of funding readily available there could be issues when it comes to time to settle. Unfortunately this happens far too often and can leave the borrower high and dry and the project they are borrowing funds for can fall over. Not to mention the time and money wasted on the loan application process.

How to avoid settlement default

If you want to avoid the letdown of settlement default then here’s a few things you can do:

  • Don’t fall for quick settlement claims. Many private lenders will state that they have super fast settlement times, sometimes as little as 24 hours. Usually this is completely unrealistic and used as a marketing ploy. If it sounds to be good to be true…well, you know the rest.
  • Ask about the lenders settlement record. Find out how often loans they have worked on make it to settlement stage. Take a look at case studies and check out testimonials received from respectable brokers or borrowers.
  • Ask where the funding come from. This is a very interesting concept that very few people consider, where does a private lender actually get their money from? Its a good idea to ask who the Lender of Record is? Some lenders will change this on the ultimate loan documentation when a private lender is brokering the transaction to the person writing the cheque. Private Mortgages Australia uses the one vehicle for all its loans. A lot of private lenders use a sophisticated investor networks to underwrite their loan advances. Other private lenders raise funds from wholesale or retail sources with the use of an Australian Financial Services License (‘AFSL’). PMA has received backing from an  independent wholesale funder that has committed to investing up to $100 million to fund our portfolio of registered first mortgage loans.
  • Find out who makes the lending decision? In some cases it is the individual investor that makes the final decision to lend the funds required and will essentially “write the cheque”. This isn’t an ideal situation. Imagine that you are a borrower and you submit a loan to a private lender. Everything seems to be going well, you pay the upfront fees, order the loan documents from the solicitor, but then are taken by complete surprise when your loan application is rejected despite being formally approved. What has occurred is that the loan was approved by the ‘middle man’ but then turned down by the person writing the cheque. Unfortunately this occurs all the time. The smarter alternative is to make sure that the private lender is the one who is making the decisions. This is a safer and more effective situation for the borrower. PMA operates a number of Funds and our Credit Committee makes the lending decision on behalf of the pooled mortgage fund.

If you haven’t already, align yourself with a good private mortgage provider that has a proven track record with finalising settlements which can only be a good thing for you and your clients.

 

How does the private lending process work?

It’s no secret that the banks’ can be slow, with the lending process often taking 6-8 weeks to be completed. Greater flexibility and quicker turnarounds are major reasons borrowers often prefer to work with private lenders when obtaining finance. In a recent survey we found that nearly 50% of brokers had decided to work with a private lender because their client needed fast access to funding. This may be because they have an urgent business opportunity, need to quickly refinance some debt or require an injection of funds so they can finalise a project. Access to quick funding is often the difference between being able to take advantage of an opportunity or missing the boat.

So, how exactly does the private lending process work then?

Private Lending Process

Step 1. Submit application form

The Borrower or Referrer fills in the Quick App Form (found here) which includes details about the business, the individual borrower/s, loan amount, loan purpose and real estate assets and liabilities.

Step 2. We conduct initial assessment

We look at the details provided and see if it is possible for us to offer a loan in the provided circumstances.

Step 3. We issue an Indicative Letter of Offer

We provide the Borrower with and Indicative Letter of Offer which gives the details of how much we are willing to lend, the terms of the loan and the interest rate. If the Borrower decides that the Indicative Letter of Offer is suitable to them then they pay a small assessment fee ($550 to $770 inc. GST depending on complexity) to cover costs for searches that we need to ensure that everything is in order for us to move ahead with the loan.

Step 4. Conduct due diligence

Due diligence involves assessment of the applicant, loan structure, security position and exit strategy. There are a number of documents we need the Borrower to send us  to complete these tasks which are included on this checklist here.

Step 5. Issue Letter of Offer

Once we have conducted all the necessary checks and searches we will then issue a formal Letter of Offer. This includes the final interest rate, expected disbursements at settlement and details of any outstanding conditions to be met prior to settlement (if any).

Step 6. Settlement

Once the Borrower has accepted the Letter of Offer loan documents are prepared and sent to applicant’s solicitor by email. Upon return of the fully executed documents the approval fee, legal costs and prepaid interest are deducted from the loan and the balance can be paid by the next business day, sometimes sooner.

Referrer fees are paid within 24 hours from settlement with no clawbacks.

 

We endeavour to make this process as quick as possible and depending on the complexity of the loan can move from the initial application to settlement in as little as 5 business days – possibly sooner. If your client requires quick turnaround on a loan then make sure you get in touch with Senior Relationship Manager, Shanta Lobo at [email protected] or call 1300 856 683.

Benefits of working with a broker to access commercial funding

The benefits of working with a brokerIn this guest post, PMA referrer Gus Gilkeson, Managing Director of Grow Capital, writes about the benefits of working with a broker for small-to-medium businesses when trying to access commercial funding.

Obtaining funding for your small-to-medium business can be hard work. It takes a ton of time to do all that research, analyse your business needs, find a respectable lender, negotiate a deal you can live with, understand the terms of your financing, etc. That’s why working with a broker can be a really great idea. Brokers match up business owners and business lenders so that you can get the best outcome for your business. A broker could save you time, energy, and money, if you consider the costs of searching on your own.

Top 5 benefits of working with a broker:

Here’s five reasons you should consider working with a broker to access funding for your business:

1. Get the best rate. Brokers will work with lots of different lenders so that they can find the best rate possible for your financing.

2. Get the best solution. Sometimes it’s not just about getting the cheapest rate. A good broker will understand that getting the right solution is most important. For example, a short-term loan might be the best option. Your broker can help you look at alternatives to the banks that can offer specialised short-term finance.

3. Don’t sweat the details. This goes hand-in-hand with not wasting your time and effort. The point is that you can focus on running your business while your broker works on funding it. The nitty gritty? Let the professionals handle it.

4. They’re experienced. The best brokers have relationships with an extensive network of lenders and getting good deals is often all about having the right contacts. Plus, they’ll be able to tell quality deals from highway robbery — they’ll have seen it all before.

5. They’re knowledgeable. The finance world can be a confusing place with all the jargon and acronyms. However, a good broker would be in the know and could explain all the complicated terms and help you to navigate through the borrowing process.

Gus Gilkeson - Grow Capital

 

Gus Gilkeson is the Managing Director of Grow Capital where he helps Australian business owners, investors, and individuals harness their capital growth opportunities through funding.