Borrower Receives Loan Extension for Fast Food Chain's Commercial Property

The fast food industry has continued its booming growth through the decades and the appeal for high-quality meals on-the-go reigns supreme across multiple generations around the country. 

Looking to fund this ever-growing industry is always a sweet spot of ours here at Commercial Capital BIDCO. We're grateful to our borrower for a clean process! In October of 2023, our client closed on the extension of a loan for a commercial property located in Manhattan, Kansas at a requested loan amount of $1,040,000.00 with an LTV of 65%. The property itself is currently leased by a fast food chain and will continue this line of business in addition to implementing renovations thanks to the loan proceeds made possible with the loan extension. The renovations will enable the commercial building to receive its certificate of occupancy and the fast food chain can continue operations. 

Looking to franchise a restaurant or start a fast food business in your area - we work across the United States to provide funding opportunities when your primary lender is not able to. Let's talk through your goals and plans today! Reach out to us on our website: https://commercialcapitalbidco.com/apply/


The NACLB 2023 Conference and Expo Hit the Jackpot for its 9th Year!

The National Alliance of Commercial Loan Brokers recently held its 9th annual conference and expo - allowing Commercial Lending Brokers, Direct Lenders, and Service Providers in the industry to come together across three days in Las Vegas, Nevada. Commercial Capital BIDCO was again a Silver Sponsor for the event - marking our continued support of the NACLB through the years. The NACLB Conference and Expo gives us the opportunity to showcase our direct lending strategies and expertise as a company by having a booth in the expo hall. Through this we are able to meet Brokers new the industry as well as the chance to build on existing Broker relationships.

When it comes to industry education, The NACLB strives to educate others through topic-specific panels that include seasoned industry leaders who have proven successful in their markets through the years. Peer-to-peer education is instrumental to the success of ongoing broker development. This year, our very own Marketing Director - Leah Waldrop - was able to serve on the Marketing Yourself as a New Broker panel alongside the President of Aspen Capital Solutions, Nicholas Zuchegno. In this small group breakout, Leah was able to drive home the directives for brokers across both Digital and Traditional routes of marketing. Grassroots marketing through networking and face-to-face meetings was also a vital point throughout the session as the industry continues to change and evolve with the economy. Those in attendance were very engaged and it was beneficial to see marketing strategies and ideas come to life from the perspectives of both a Marketing Director and a business owner.

When it comes to professional development and education, Terry Luker is a true advocate of mentorship and continued learning. Terry started out in the industry as a Broker when he built Alternative Capital Solutions in 2013 - he has been in those shoes and continues to work on that facet of the Commercial Lending world through ACS. He understands what a Broker needs to develop and fine tune their strategy...what tactics need to be implemented to secure growth. It is always so enlightening to see his passion for Broker development first-hand when at NACLB. Having been a NACLB Rookie of the Year award recipient as well as a Broker of the Year award recipient, it's understandable why so many other Brokers look to Terry for guidance in their own businesses and markets. The NACLB Conference and Expo is an excellent time for Terry to meet with these individuals face-to-face and find out more about their pain points and passions. The NACLB Conference and Expo is a huge opportunity for Terry and the Commercial Capital BIDCO team to explain Terry's proprietary e-learning development tool, The Commercial Broker Playbook. This is the cherry on top for a Broker who is fresh out of a commercial lending brokerage school such as The Commercial Capital Training Group or is looking to build their business. We are thankful for the NACLB and the chance to put this tool in front of Brokers across the country.

The 2023 event was definitely one for the books! George Foreman served as the conference's keynote speaker and he knocked his speech out of the park! His story and words of wisdom served as the 1-2 punch for all of those who were in attendance to take a fresh look at their business and how they can best continue to grow and adapt. All attendees, no matter their market, background or business goals left the conference refreshed and revitalized to take on 2024. The Commercial Capital BIDCO team has already hit the ground running on what we can do to adjust for the new year as well as how we can build on our successes from 2023! Thank you to the NACLB for another successful conference and thank you to all of our broker and client relationships for all that you do. We are grateful to serve you!


The Commercial Capital BIDCO Board of Directors

Commercial Capital BIDCO is grateful to have a Board of Directors that not only assists with guiding our company's growth, but also aides us in our efforts of being efficient and consistent with closing deals quickly. Our Board of Directors consists of 7 individuals representing different facets of the Commercial Lending industry - allowing us to have a broad range of expertise as well as strong accountability with each deal that crosses our desks.

You can learn more about each member of our Board of Directors below.

 

Thomas “Toby” William Compton:

Mr. Compton is deputy commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, responsible for Regulatory Boards, Insurance, Securities, and TennCare Oversight. He was promoted to this role in 2021 after having served as assistant commissioner for the Regulatory Boards.  He is the former president and CEO of Associated Builders & Contractors, Greater Tennessee Chapter. In this role he was responsible for managing government relations on the state and local levels, membership services and development, oversight of craft training school, and oversight of office and staff in Knoxville, Tennessee. Mr. Compton assumed this position in 2015, following a two-year position as executive director of the Metropolitan Sports Authority for Nashville and Davidson County. As head of the Sports Authority, Mr. Compton was responsible for oversight, capital upgrades, operational assistance, contract management and operational agreements for LP Field, Bridgestone Arena, First Tennessee Park, and Ford Ice Center. From 2011-2013, he was director of strategy and business development for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development where he directed strategy initiatives for the department, recruited business and industry to Tennessee, and undertook special projects assigned by the commissioner. From 2007-2011, he was senior advisor and legislative director to the Office of the Mayor, Nashville and Davidson County. He advised Mayor Karl Dean on legislation, policy, strategic planning, board and commission appointments, coalition building, satellite cities, special projects, crisis management and other public affairs.  In addition, he served as senior campaign advisor to Mayor Dean’s 2007 and 2011 elections. Other positions have included, prior to 2007, director of marketing and communications for Snappy Auctions; executive director for Associated General Contractors of Tennessee; associate in The Ingram Group; and account executive for Gish, Sherwood & Friends (now GS&F). He earned his Master of Science in Public Service Management in 2011 from Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee, graduating magna cum laude, and his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Communications in 2000 from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. Mr. Compton continues to serve both Cumberland and Lipscomb as an adjunct professor in political communications and political diplomacy and advocacy. Mr. Compton has also studied at the Université du Québec á Chicoutimi and has continued to enhance his education and experience by attending numerous workshops, institutes, academies, and courses. His board service has spanned numerous personal and professional interests, from charities to sports groups, and his civic involvement includes work for the March of Dimes, being a mentor, his neighborhood association, and Hands on Nashville. In addition, Mr. Compton runs his own consulting practice specializing in public affairs issues, management, government and community relations, strategic communications, leadership, and strategy.  Mr. Compton lives in Nashville. He serves on the Governance and Compensation Committee and the Audit Committee of the Board.

 

Kathryn Reed Edge:

Katie Edge joined the Board on January 1, 2020, following her retirement from the practice of law at the end of 2019. Ms. Edge served as corporate and regulatory counsel to BIDCO (in organization), but she has not provided legal services to BIDCO or its affiliates since her retirement. She serves on each of the Board’s committees and as Board Secretary. Ms. Edge is a graduate of George Peabody College for Teachers of Vanderbilt University (BA, 1967) and the Nashville School of Law (JD, 1983). In between college and law school, she taught high school English, theater, and journalism in Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee, public and private schools. During law school, Ms. Edge worked full-time for Earl Swensson Architects in Nashville as an administrative assistant to the company’s president. Following law school, she was hired by the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions and advanced through the ranks in both legal and administrative roles, leaving state government in 1995 as the agency’s deputy commissioner. After leaving the agency, Ms. Edge was a partner in the law firms of Miller & Martin, PLLC (1995-2012) and Butler Snow, LLP (2012-2019) where she was active in practice group leadership roles. Between 1995 and 2019, she assisted in the formation of 28 de novo commercial banks, as well as numerous bank holding companies, trust companies, finance companies, and two other business and industrial development corporations. In addition, between 2008 and 2019, she counseled more than 30 banks and bank holding companies operating under informal and formal supervisory actions. Among other leadership roles, she has served as president of three bar associations, including the Tennessee Bar Association (2000-2001), and the local legal aid society, and as Board chairperson for the Center for Non-Profit Management in Nashville. Katie moved from Nashville to Austin, Texas in early January 2020 to enjoy her grandchildren in retirement.

 

Jeffrey B. Luker:

Jeff Luker, Vice-Chairman of BIDCO’s Board of Directors, also serves as the Chief Lending and Operations Officer for BIDCO and as a member of the Credit and Investment Committee. He is principally responsible for growing and developing all lender relationships, including conducting site visits to evaluate collateral, and personally meeting borrowers and guarantors. Mr. Luker is a 2006 graduate of the University of Alabama with a BS in Business Management.  He is also a 2023 graduate of the LSU School of Banking. Mr. Luker spent seven years in the automobile industry in sales management and finance in Texas before moving to Tennessee to work with Alternative Capital Solutions, LLC, and help organize and manage BIDCO. Jeff and his family live in Franklin, Tennessee.

 

Terry E. Luker:

Terry Luker, Chairman, President, and CEO of BIDCO, is also the managing member of BIDCO’s affiliates, Alternative Capital Solutions, LLC and President and CEO of BancAccess, Inc. He chairs the Credit and Investment Committee of the Board. Mr. Luker’s expertise is in deal structure and creative financing options, including real estate acquisition, facilities construction, inventory floor plans, and directing finance departments. Mr. Luker’s network of commercial lenders, brokers, and business owners, together with his many years of creating financing options for start-ups, bring great value to BIDCO. Terry’s business philosophies are detailed in two business books he authored, Yes! How to Get the Funding You Need for Your Business and Flourish. He and his family live in Franklin, Tennessee.

 

Michael Winston Sheridan:

Michael Sheridan joined the Board on July 25, 2022. He is chairman of BIDCO’s Governance and Compensation Committee and is a member of the Credit and Investment Committee. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, he earned his BA, cum laude, and his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree with honors from the University of Tennessee College of Law.  He was managing editor of the Tennessee Law Review. Mr. Sheridan is licensed to practice law in Tennessee and is a member of the Tennessee and Nashville bar associations and the Claims and Litigation Management Association. Michael began his legal career with the firm of Stokes & Bartholomew in Nashville in August 1987 and was a member of the firm’s business organization section, gaining experience in representing businesses of all sizes. In November 1991, he left the law firm to be the associate general counsel and assistant secretary of Comdata Network, Inc. in Brentwood, Tennessee. From November 1991 until May 1996, Mr. Sheridan was one of two in-house attorneys for this publicly traded company engaged in international funds transfer and other services for the transportation, gaming, leisure, and retail industries. In Tennessee Comdata was regulated by the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions, giving Mr. Sheridan experience in working with the state regulator that also regulates BIDCO. He directed legal aspects of complete corporate refinancing in 1992, more than $300 million, including the sale of public high-yield debt, the sale of preferred stock, and the establishment of a $50 million revolving credit facility. This resulted in a flexible financial structure that allowed business growth and an annual savings of $7 million in interest expense. Mr. Sheridan was promoted to vice-president, counsel, and assistant secretary of Comdata in June 1996, and he was again promoted in January 1998 to senior vice-president, general counsel, and corporate secretary. From April 2007 until November 2007, he was the company’s executive vice-president, general counsel, and corporate secretary, reporting directly to the CEO. In November 2007, Mr. Sheridan was again promoted, this time to serve as executive vice-president, general counsel, and corporate secretary of Comdata’s parent company, Ceridian Corporation where he managed legal aspects of the successful $5.4 billion transaction and accompanying transition from a public company to private equity ownership.  At Ceridian he was responsible for supporting the board of directors and the audit committee and reported directly to Ceridian’s chairman and CEO.  Michael returned to the private practice of law in July 2012 with the firm of Butler Snow, LLP in its Nashville office. He served as primary counsel to employers with respect to implementation and ramifications of the Affordable Care Act.  In a departure from his customary practice, he also served as production counsel for two independent films: Dixieland (2015) and Strange Weather (2016). Michael returned to the corporate world in January 2016 as the chief operating officer for Sopris Capital Holdings, Nashville and New York, NY. Sopris was a private equity firm affiliate providing capital and executive leadership within the tech-enabled and healthcare services industries. His roles in portfolio companies included executive vice-president for operations, Quovant; chief operating officer for Click Notices; and chief administrative officer for Office Works. Mr. Sheridan left Sopris in 2016 to become president of one of these portfolio companies, Quovant, Nashville, Tennessee. He was responsible for operations, finance, account management, human resources, benefits, and facilities. Quovant was a P-E backed technology company providing legal spend control and data analysis to Fortune 500 and other large companies. Mr. Sheridan spearheaded a successful exit for Quovant with its sale in January 2022 to Mitratech in Austin, Texas. Since January 2023 Michael serves as general counsel and corporate secretary for Community Brands, a global technology company with approximately 17,000 employees whose products support the missions of schools, non-profit organizations, and associations. In this role he manages the legal and regulatory affairs of the company. He and his wife live in Nashville and have two adult children.

 

Lisa Michelle Smiley, CPA:

Lisa Smiley joined the Board on July 25, 2022. She currently serves as chairperson of BIDCO’s Audit Committee and as a member of the Credit and Investment Committee. Ms. Smiley is a certified public accountant who serves as the director of external financial reporting and senior vice-president (2021-present) of FirstBank and its parent company, FB Financial Corporation, domiciled in Nashville, Tennessee. She has steadily progressed with FirstBank, beginning her career in April 2016 as director of external financial reporting (2016-2018), corporate controller and director of external financial reporting (2018-2020); and interim principal accounting officer (2020-2021). Ms. Smiley began her accounting career with Horne, LLP as an assurance intern in the summer of 2008. She graduated magna cum laude in 2009 from Union University, Jackson, Tennessee. She worked as an advanced staff auditor for Nestlé Market Audit, Saint Louis, Missouri, (January 2010 – November 2010) until she moved to BKD, LLP in Saint Louis. In September 2012, Ms. Smiley returned to Tennessee as an assurance manager with Horne, LLP where she was responsible for managing a team of professionals across Horne’s three offices, leaving Horne in 2016 to join FirstBank. Ms. Smiley lives in Nashville.

 

David Louis Travis, CPA:

David Travis joined the Board on August 18, 2022. He serves on BIDCO’s Audit Committee and Governance and Compensation Committee. Graduating summa cum laude from the University of Memphis in 1995, with a B.B.A in Accounting, Mr. Travis’s first professional employment was with Ernst & Young (1996-2006) as an audit senior manager. His expertise has been in leading audits of public and private companies in various industries. Among his audit clients were Dollar General Corporation, Healthcare Realty Trust, and Fruit of the Loom. In December 2006, Mr. Travis left the accounting firm to become senior vice-president and chief accounting officer of Healthcare Realty Trust Incorporated (NYSE:HR) and stayed with that company until July 2014 when he moved to MedEquities Realty Trust, Inc. (MRT) as senior vice-president and chief accounting officer.  MedEquities was a publicly traded, self-managed real estate investment trust with a diversified portfolio of healthcare investments totaling over $650 million. In 2019, MedEquities merged with Omega Healthcare Investors (NYSE:OHI), commencing operations in the summer of 2014 upon completion of a $160 million private placement of equity. Mr. Travis left Omega in the summer of 2019 and joined National Health Investors, Inc. (NYSE:NHI), Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in May 2020, as its senior vice-president and chief accounting officer. Mr. Travis oversees all facets of the accounting and financial reporting functions for the publicly traded REIT with a real estate investment portfolio valued at more than $3 billion. He is the primary contact for quarterly communications with the REIT’s audit committee. Mr. Travis lives in Brentwood, Tennessee.


Taking a Deal to the Finish Line: A Marketer’s Perspective

Commercial Capital BIDCO's Marketing Director, Leah Runge Waldrop, was recently featured in Deal Maker Magazine's latest issue. In this article, Leah was able to share her perspective on Marketing's role when it comes to getting a across the finish line. Leah maps out the key areas to focus as a commercial lending broker - whether you're just starting out or you're a seasoned vet to the industry. Marketing should not be an overlooked role or department within your company, but instead one that should be strategically supported in order to grow your brand and your business - thus aiding you in the process of closing deals.

Here's a quick snippet from the article:

"It will be difficult, to say the least, to get a deal off the starting line if the runner doesn’t know how you can help them get to the finish line – and at best, it will be an uphill race. At the end of the day, you must continue to tell your story and experience as a commercial loan broker to your current clients throughout the loan process. By utilizing the tactics from your marketing strategy to narrate the story and paint the picture, your clients will be reminded throughout the deal that you have the expertise and creativity to help them reach their goals."

Read the article in full on Deal Maker Magazine's website linked below!

https://www.dealmaker-magazine.com/magazine/taking-a-deal-to-the-finish-line-a-marketers-perspective


Terry Luker Featured on Deal Maker Talks! Podcast

Our very own Terry Luker joined the Deal Maker Magazine team for their Deal Maker Talks! Podcast where he was able to talk about the "Top Resources for Brokers in 2023." Are you curious about what resources and strategies will fit your goals for 2023? Give this podcast a listen on our channels below. Thank you to the Deal Maker team for having us!
Click HERE now to listen on Spotify!
Click HERE to listen on YouTube!

Find Out What Happens When a Bank Maxes Out Their Lending on Ep. 4 of Deal Talk!

We loved getting to film Episode 4 of Deal Talk at our booth during the 2022 National Alliance of Commercial Loan Brokers Conference last month! Terry Luker and business partner, Ken Collins, chatted about one of their very first deals after starting Alternative Capital Solutions.
Check out Episode 4, "The Bank Has Maxed Out Their Lending" today!
Watch / Listen on Spotify HERE. 
Watch on YouTube HERE.

Deal Talk Episode 3 is Now Live!

Episode 3 of Terry Luker's Deal Talk | For Commercial Brokers & Lenders podcast series is now live! Learn about what happens when a client needs refinancing but the bank wants to sever their relationship. Terry takes a deep dive into the solutions and so much more!
Listen on YouTube by clicking HERE.
Listen on Spotify by clicking HERE.

Deal Talk Podcast - Give Episode 2 A Listen!

Episode 2 of our Deal Talk podcast featuring Terry Luker is now available! "Getting a Better Deal the Second Time Around" is a pivotal deal from Terry Luker's first book, "Yes! How to Get the Funding You Need For Your Business," and is brought into even greater detail here on our podcast! Give it a listen below and be sure to Follow our podcast on Spotify and YouTube!

 

Click Here to Listen on Spotify!

Or Click Here to Check Out on YouTube!


Funders to Watch: Commercial Capital BIDCO— Why Brokers Should Consider Adding Small Balance Bridge Projects to Their Toolbox

Thank you to DealMaker Magazine for featuring our latest article. Check out the published article on their site here!

Funders to Watch: Commercial Capital BIDCO— Why Brokers Should Consider Adding Small Balance Bridge Projects to Their Toolbox

Being a skilled broker today means having a toolkit that can stand the test of time and allow you to quickly pivot with the lending needs of your clients while maintaining the momentum of a deal in motion. Some of you may just be starting out in the commercial bridge lending industry with a toolkit that is a work in progress, while others may be seasoned bridge lenders looking to reevaluate the services and value you are providing to your clients. In either case, read on to learn how Commercial Capital BIDCO finds success with smaller balance bridge loans and how you can replicate these deals in your market.

Having a wide variety of quality tools in your commercial lending broker toolkit can not only save you time with securing the best loan product for your client, but it will also position you as a creative broker who can handle the majority of funding opportunities that may arise without the need to pull in additional brokers. Let’s pull out and sharpen one of the most handy tools in our kit here at Commercial Capital BIDCO: the small balance bridge loan.

While not the most common tool for all brokers, the small balance bridge loan is still an excellent resource to add to your toolkit, as it will forge a path for your client to get to the next phase, especially if the circumstances require a small “bridge” to be set in place.

At Commercial Capital BIDCO, our team specializes in loans from $250,000 to more than $2 million. We have closed larger bridge loans that are out of our typical scope; however, this range is our sweet spot. This range of funding is where we find ourselves being the most flexible as a direct bridge lender and the most creative for our clients.

With this specific tool added to your portfolio, you must ensure you are also taking the time to sharpen and polish your knowledge of this loan product. It will prove a solid solution for certain scenarios and give you an additional way to add value to your services.

What is Bridge Lending?

Bridge lending, or a bridge loan, is exactly what it sounds like. It is a loan that a client needs to bridge a gap they may have between other loans they are securing or have secured. Providing this type of loan will build trust with a client and give them one more reason to continue working with you in the future.

Now, let’s talk through where and how a small balance bridge loan will come into play with certain deals. When it comes to this specific loan product, there are several reasons for a client to need a bridge loan on a smaller scale. A few of these are:

  • A fast closing of real estate or an investment property that a bank simply cannot close in time.

  • The purchase of an unstabilized piece of investment real estate in a rural area in which the property needs a few months to stabilize.

  • The purchase of real estate property that will be permanently financed in a government-backed loan. These loans simply take longer to close, and a client may need funding prior to that loan product closing.

  • A distressed sale in which the seller wants to close quickly and the buyer is purchasing at a discount.

  • When a client needs a small amount of funds to complete improvements to a land deal prior to the permanent construction loan being in place.

These types of scenarios may not meet the threshold or minimums of most bridge lenders who play in the large balance bridge loan space. That niche of lenders typically focuses on deals on larger properties with loan amounts that are more than $4 million in size. Diving into the smaller balance space will give you value and allow you to approach these deals with confidence. You will also be able to build the correct funding bridge needed by the client.

“At CCB, we pride ourselves in being a different type of bridge lender in that our preferred lending space is the $200,000 to more than $2 million loan size,” Jeff Luker, vice president of Commercial Capital at BIDCO, says. “This funding window not only allows us to provide a solid bridge loan product for our clients, but we are also able to quickly shift our gameplan within a deal and provide a creative solution to our clients when getting them to the finish line.”

Remember, bridge lending is just that: It’s a bridge to get your client to the next phase of their project. Whether that is a construction loan or a permanent financing loan, it is a path to that end result. This industry allows lenders of all sizes to play the game, and our advice to anyone looking for a new tool to add to their toolkit is to assess their services, or current tools, and the needs of their clients. Smaller balance bridge loans can be a truly valuable offering and one that you can find great success with when utilized in the correct scenarios. Educating yourself on how and when to use this tool will keep your portfolio, or toolkit, fresh and evolving.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Leah Waldrop is director of marketing for Alternative Capital Solutions and Commercial Capital BIDCO as well as The Commercial Broker Playbook. Waldrop has spent more than 10 years learning leading marketing strategies across numerous industries, including the music and entertainment industry, global supply chain processes and commercial lending. She believes her well-rounded experience enables her to create unique content and stay on the forefront of UX, graphic design and digital content trends.


The Right Strategy: Professional and personal development will help you find greater satisfaction

The Right Strategy: Professional and personal development will help you find greater satisfaction

By: Keely Pate, Alternative Capital Solutions: Director of Development

Published for The Scotsman Guide / July 2022

Commercial real estate professionals have diverse backgrounds and experiences. After the initial entry into the business — whether through an employer or a training program — lenders, brokers, credit officers and other industry professionals all navigate their own unique career, both professionally and personally.

Where these professionals find themselves at the beginning of their careers, however, is not the final destination. Expanding knowledge and building new capabilities can lead to increased effectiveness and personal satisfaction. With ongoing regulatory and economic changes, technical advancements, and shifts in personal preferences and priorities, savvy lending professionals continuously evaluate where they are and where they want to be.
Continuing education enables mortgage finance professionals to maintain existing certifications and licenses, keep up with industry trends, diversify skill sets and prepare for new growth opportunities. With so many options in the marketplace, and limited time and resources, it can be challenging to identify the right development path for each professional’s unique needs and future goals.
An ongoing and intentional continuing education strategy can help commercial real estate professionals connect activities to desired outcomes while generating increased effectiveness and satisfaction. To quote John C. Maxwell, the renowned leadership expert, speaker and author, “If you want to reach your goals and fulfill your potential, become intentional about your personal growth. It will change your life.”
You may be familiar with the concept of using a SWOT analysis to consider the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to a business or product. A personal SWOT analysis can help generate clarity about an individual’s current state of development, and the results can be used to map out an intentional path forward when it comes to professional development activities.

Evaluate your strengths

The first step is to evaluate current strengths in the areas of knowledge, skills and abilities. Then, through self-reflection and constructive feedback from others, consider weaknesses by identifying behaviors that could potentially jeopardize relationships, as well as gaps in knowledge or skills that could possibly lead to oversights or missed business opportunities.
After that, consider possible external threats that could hinder professional performance and results. Lastly, evaluate opportunities that are available within the industry and your community, as well as your professional network and other places.
The commercial mortgage industry, as those involved quickly learn, offers endless opportunity to specialize and diversify. The key for each professional is to identify which areas of specialization and diversification are right for them.
Your desired future might involve the identification of new clients within a current niche, expansion into a different geographic market, or even a new product launch or service offering. Painting the picture of a desired future expedites the decisionmaking process for professional development.
Once the current state and desired future state have been defined, it is time to explore specific continuing education options and evaluate how each initiative will lead to the desired result.
Resource constraints such as time, funds and logistics will largely factor into the selection process. The following programs and activities outline continuing education options that professionals in the commercial mortgage field have utilized, along with the connection to desired business results.

Licenses and certifications

When prioritizing continuing education, mortgage professionals should first understand the applicable state licensing requirements and the educational requirements to maintain that license. After that, optional certifications and other continuing education activities can be considered.
Jobs within the mortgage industry have varying licensing requirements, which also can differ from state to state. Currently, the distinction that drives licensing requirements is consumer lending versus commercial lending. Most consumer protection regulations are not applicable to loans made for business purposes. But regulatory changes may impact licensing requirements, subsequently affecting continuing education strategies for commercial mortgage brokers and other industry professionals.
Professional certifications are usually voluntary initiatives for individuals to gain proficiency and, particularly when granted with an exam, demonstrate mastery of related knowledge. Although some certifications require continuing education, most do not.
Colleges and universities offer a variety of adult continuing education programs. These are typically led by expert industry practitioners or faculty. Ranging in duration from a few days to several weeks, the programs usually include in-person learning, virtual learning and self-paced e-learning. This flexibility makes programs in other cities and states a possibility for professionals with busy schedules.

Networking opportunities

Another reason to take part in continuing education programs is the opportunity for networking. The adage, “It’s not only what you know, but also who you know,” rings true for those in the commercial mortgage industry. An active network of brokers, lenders, accountants, attorneys and business owners offers the expertise needed to meet your clients’ needs.
Establishing a greater presence on social media has enabled mortgage professionals to expand to new geographic markets and reach potential clients outside of their existing professional networks. Online sites offer a wealth of resources that show how to better utilize social media.
Videos on YouTube, posts on Reddit and simple Google searches offer step-by-step instructions and free online tools to help market your services on platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook. Even if the decision is to outsource and have someone else manage your social media strategy, having a foundational knowledge of options and strategic considerations can lead to more informed decisions.

Skill expansion

Regardless of the industry, busy professionals can build capabilities through the expansion of skills outside of their direct job roles. For example, an experienced commercial mortgage professional dedicated time to the study of jiu jitsu. They found that it helped their ability to stay calm and solve problems under pressure.
Developing this skill relates to work situations, interacting with clients and troubleshooting challenging situations. As this person put it, there are many times in jiu jitsu where you are in a bad position with an opponent and panicking will only make it worse. You must learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable and to think through the solution, because overreacting will not help the situation.
A business coach also can help a mortgage professional develop new skills and strengths, including the ability to better understand situations and effectively respond to them. Many people use their own experiences and perceptions to interpret situations, then act without fully understanding the intent and motivation of others. Responding effectively, in a way that meets the needs of the situation, can make the difference in securing a client and closing a deal when the stakes are high.
In a dynamic industry such as commercial real estate finance, professionals who can listen to the client’s needs and develop effective solutions are better prepared for success. Increasing self-awareness and awareness of others helps to develop emotional intelligence or emotional quotient. Having emotional intelligence allows professionals to respond thoughtfully to situations. Utilizing a business coach, completing a personality assessment, and learning about conflict and communication styles are tools that can result in consensus building, clarity, and satisfied clients and stakeholders.
•••
Continuing education is not a one-way journey with a single destination. Instead, it serves as a resource to help professionals achieve desired results. It is one step within an ongoing strategic process of envisioning potential outcomes and then mapping a strategy of how to get there.
With changing external opportunities and obstacles — and with new programs and continuing education options — regular review and reassessment is a best practice for staying current and achieving fulfilling professional outcomes. After all, if you want to reach your goals and fulfill your potential, become intentional about your personal growth. It will change your life.