Commercial Capital BIDCO: A Phalanx Against Uncertain Times

Wow is an understatement for how we are feeling! Thank you to DealMaker Magazine for highlighting our very own COO, Jeff Luker, as part of this year's Hot List. Check out the full interview and article below as well as on DealMaker Magazine's website linked here.

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“A man’s character is known by the kind of company he keeps.” – Proverbs 13:20

Fresh out of college, Jeff Luker, now COO of Commercial Capital BIDCO, worked in car sales for about eight years, running sales teams and finance departments. During that time, he gained insights he’d used later in his career in the world of commercial loan brokerage and lending. Citing the similarities between selling a car and closing a loan agreement, Luker says the biggest difference was learning patience, as loans can take up to 90 days to close, whereas a car sale is same day. Otherwise, the transition to Alternative Capital Solutions, Commercial Capital BIDCO’s affiliate company that was founded prior to the bridge lending firm, was natural and paved the way for Commercial Capital BIDCO to thrive as one of the most important departments in the two firms, second only to the rapidly expanding underwriting department. Luker has great pride in the company’s culture, one he says is unique and essential to its brand. Having been in his role for more than seven years, Luker says his team uses great continuity to perform on all cylinders, giving clients a consistently well-rounded experience.

Specializing in short-term real estate-backed bridge loans, Commercial Capital BIDCO finances deals ranging from $250,000 to $2 million but can go as high as $6 million. With a team 10 members strong, Luker is proud of Commercial Capital BIDCO’s strong cohesion, which aligns with the company’s ethos of doing whatever it takes to get the borrower the best outcome — even if that means sending them to a permanent lender.

As COO, Luker’s role is primarily to work with brokers who send loan requests in for clients, vetting those requests through underwriting and then contacting and closing the deal with approved clients. The rest of the team fills in each other’s shoes. Since they have worked together for years, teammates are able to pick up the slack to get every viable deal out the door. And with an increased focus on credit quality, the company is adding more underwriters to its team and Luker says there is no end in sight for the company’s expansion.

“Even though we’re a short-term bridge lender with an average closing time of about 17 days, and even with as quickly as we work, we still do a full doc underwrite on every deal,” Luker says. “We’ve had a lot of banks in our area tell us that our underwriting is just as good if not better than theirs. Of course, one reason for that is because when a banker underwrites a loan, they’re slanting it to what their chief credit officer wants to see. We can’t do it that way. Since we can help with the permanent loan as well, we position our package so that we can quickly turn it to a permanent package. And if we’re going to do that, then it’s going to have to have a wide audience.”

Having a permanent package option has proved to be essential for Commercial Capital BIDCO because, as the past few years have shown the world, the unexpected can and will happen. When solutions for borrowers dry up due to market fluctuations, Luker and his team aim to be in a position to find a permanent solution to their lending needs. While the company doesn’t have a minimum credit score for its loans, it does stray away from risky or speculative proposals and focuses heavily on the front end so the client knows what they are signing up for.

“Brokers call us frequently asking for our loan parameters, our minimum credit score and our minimum debt service,” Luker says. “We don’t really have any of that because each project is different and unique. We prefer to look at things on a case-by-case basis. We want to see what makes sense. Sometimes you’re getting your cash flows up and your debt service is not good, but if we can build in an interest reserve that makes sense to give you time to build it up, then the project does make sense. We don’t have any sort of hard and fast rules on our loans, and that speaks to our flexibility. We want to do loans that make sense and loans that have a clear-cut takeout.

“I think a lot of brokers and borrowers, when they come to us, a lot of times are gun shy. You never really trust a lender until you have a loan funded with them, and I understand that. But I think that once we get through the process and we’ve funded the loan, a lot of borrowers and brokers see that we’re really fast and we’re really very easy to work with.”

Looking into the current and immediate future for the state of the U.S. economy, property values will decline as rates rise. Commercial Capital BIDCO’s activities are all real estate backed, so being careful with valuations is a top concern for the team. When starting a new loan process, the team may run into a prospective client with an appraisal that is six or eight months old. Based on the company’s loan policy, the team may still accept that appraisal, but will go further to investigate, making sure it is a good fit before asking for an updated appraisal. This has always been a checkpoint in the loan process at Commercial Capital BIDCO and will continue to be as the economy ebbs and flows.

With a possible recession in the coming years, Luker believes it will be pertinent for his team to continue being flexible as well as sharpening their already effective strategies in regards to building the best funding packages for their clients. Rising interest rates will actually be a boom for the short-term bridge loan lender and Commercial Capital BIDCO is ready to take on the challenge of funding deals for an influx of borrowers looking for a lending solution.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ian Koplin is an editor of DealMaker.


Broker’s Playbook: New Year, New Game Plan — Why You Should Incorporate eLearning in 2022

Broker’s Playbook: New Year, New Game Plan — Why You Should Incorporate eLearning in 2022

Welcome to 2022! Raise your hand if you have a fresh list of goals written and your new book list created — ready to rock the year ahead. Just like the start of each new year before it, we make grand plans about our professional growth every year and set goals. We are certain 2022 is no different, however, and it will be easier than ever to revert back to familiar tactics when day-to-day life picks back up as the holiday fog subsides. One thing 2020 taught us was that you can either adapt to your goals and how to achieve them, or you can abandon ship. We would like to help you avoid the latter.

Thinking back on the past year, was continued learning or professional development a part of your list to conquer for the year? Was it something you streamlined into your daily to-do list or dedicated time to each week or month? The truth is, we don’t always achieve our goals or prioritize continued learning and professional development.

We’ve all been there. And we may be asking ourselves questions such as, “What book do I read now?” or “Which conference do I want to attend this year?” These are excellent paths to pursue and questions to ask no matter the time of year, but, when building a true strategy for obtaining your goals, you must ensure you’re adding the right content, with the accessibility and flexibility that fits your needs. A strong e-learning strategy allows you to access the information you need wherever you are and at your own pace.

Investing time and resources into industry education and continued learning will not only strengthen your foundation as a broker or lender, but will also enable you to reach success more easily — especially when the continued education you are incorporating is e-learning-based or tech-driven. According to data from the Research Institute of America, e-learning can boost the retention of content by 25% to 60% compared to 8% to 10% in traditional training and learning settings.1 Not only will you retain information more easily due to learning at your own pace, but you also have the opportunity to complete the training or education curriculum more quickly — saving time and money in the long-run over an in-person education curriculum.

The number of individuals continuing their education and increasing their industry knowledge — specifically via e-learning programs — continues to climb and 2022 is proving to be no different. Online education across an array of industries is being viewed as a primary way for professionals to build on their foundation of knowledge while also working to propel their industry forward. E-learning is giving individuals the ability to up their game in and out of the “e-classroom” and it’s proving successful for individuals and teams alike.

Planting the Seeds of 2022

So, what does this information mean to you as a commercial loan broker who is proactively planting the seeds of knowledge and seeking fruitful outcomes in 2022?

Several platforms, tools and programs are available to those seeking new skills or looking to brush up on their arsenal of current knowledge. Taking the time to decipher which programs will best serve your time and finances to produce the end results you’re looking to achieve will allow you to select the e-learning path that suits you best.

The teams at Alternative Capital Solutions and Commercial Capital BIDCO have just launched an e-learning tool, The Commercial Broker Playbook, to assist commercial loan brokers by providing in-depth knowledge of the industry, a look into the different types of commercial lending as well as how to take the reins when it comes to marketing their businesses.

Terry Luker, founder and CEO of Alternative Capital Solutions as well as Commercial Capital BIDCO, has long desired to build a platform for commercial lending brokers to tap into so they may glean the knowledge required to face what he encountered when he found his footing in the industry.

Luker has been a mentor to broker peers around the country for years — especially those who come from his broker training school alma mater — The Commercial Capital Training Group (CCTG). He knew building an online learning tool would be more sustainable and feasible while allowing brokers to work at their own pace and not be bound to limited meeting times or traveling restraints for in-person meetings. Thus, The Commercial Broker Playbook was born.

It can be difficult for some individuals to retain their focus with internet-based learning. However, unlike other e-learning platforms and programs, The Commercial Broker Playbook consists of an industry-leading team ready to assist you with comprehending the content, enabling you to stay focused and engaged while helping you to reach your professional development goals.

The Commercial Broker Playbook curriculum is robust, consisting of 10 different lessons, or modules, with content including:

  • Networking

  • Bridge loans

  • Government-backed lending

  • Underwriting

  • Sales skill development training

  • Marketing strategy

Self-paced learning offers 24/7 content access for users to utilize at their own pace. Packages range in pricing based on content level and duration of online access. Live virtual learning enhances a broker’s experience by way of exclusive monthly group webinars, live Q&A opportunities with content experts and one-on-one virtual office hours with the Commercial Broker Playbook team.

The Commercial Broker Playbook team welcomes commercial lending brokers who have attended a broker training school, such as CCTG, and have a current foundation of knowledge about the industry they can build upon. Whether you have minimal experience in this industry or you’re looking to build on your knowledge and work with a leader in the commercial loan industry, The Commercial Broker Playbook is an excellent fit for you in 2022. Visit thecommercialbrokerplaybook.com to learn more.

Don’t let 2022 be another year of abandoned goals and missed opportunities. Work with The Commercial Broker Playbook on a game plan that will drive your success!

1 Pezold, Stacey, “LMS 101: Rethinking Your Approach to Employee Training,” Forbes, Feb. 14, 2017.

 

Be sure to check out this published article on DealMaker Magazine's website by clicking here!