■ Understand your financing needs. Before starting a dialogue with a lender or financial intermediary, understand the type of loan you’re seeking. Is it construction, permanent, or rehab/expansion?
■ Understand your lender/investor’s needs. Remember that lenders are motivated to get your loan, but only if your needs are realistic. It’s up to you to qualify for a good loan. The more you know and understand and are able to articulate, the better impression you will make.
■ Have realistic timing goals. Realize that even a fast-moving financing transaction will take 90 to 120 days. To make sure that your loan is on the fast track, make sure that all materials are assembled in advance and ready to present upon request.
■ Research alternatives. Make sure you choose the best intermediary for your needs. Many borrowers don’t feel comfortable dealing directly with lenders. Instead, they’ll choose to have a consultant/financial intermediary represent them. Those who do deal directly with lenders need to make certain they are talking with a decision maker and not a lower-level loan officer.
■ Understand your facility. You are the expert where your facility is concerned. Any questions a lender has are fair game, so make sure you’re prepared to answer them. This includes the number of units in your facility, your current rates, expenses, census breakdown, and more.
■ Have accurate data. The fastest way to disqualify yourself for a loan is to provide inaccurate data to your lender. Review all statements and census data, and assemble all legal data in advance. Make sure you have reviewed in detail all current debt. If you will be paying off the debt, make sure that debt is open to prepayment.
■ Process lender/investor requirements quickly. More than half the responsibility for a prompt loan closing lies with the borrower. When a lender requests updated numbers or additional data, it should be delivered promptly. Have three years’ historical data up to speed, copied, and ready to present. Also, have enough area data put together so that your lender can be sufficiently knowledgeable.
■ Be open minded. Borrowers who think they have all the answers wind up turning off most lenders. Remember, while you’re the expert on your facility, they’re the experts on financing it. It’s always a good idea to respect your lender’s expertise; if you can’t, find another. This doesn’t mean you can’t ask questions. Questions are usually accepted and even encouraged by lenders.
■ Remember that talk doesn’t make deals. However, a quality presentation with excellent material does. Successful applications are all about quality paperwork.
■ Court long-term relationships. The first loan you make with a lender can be the beginning of an important long-term relationship. Be prepared to listen and learn.

Source: Cambridge Realty