The Value of Brokers in Today’s Finance Market
In today’s finance market, Wikipedia defines a credit crunch as “a reduction in the general availability of loans (or credit) or a sudden tightening of the conditions required to obtain a loan from the banks.” This situation is independent of a rise in interest rates and is often accompanied by a flight to quality by lenders and investors.
What does the credit crunch mean to those in the commercial finance business these days? Prior to the recent credit crunch, business owners typically sought financing on their own. Loans were easy to come by and inexpensive. During a time of such easy credit, business owners were constantly bombarded by offers to increase credit lines and refinance debt.
Now banks are calling business owners and telling them to find a new bank! Banks are reducing exposure in certain industries, reducing loan-to-value ratios and increasing debt service requirements. Additionally, with the secondary market virtually gone, banks are now forced to keep loans on their balance sheets longer before selling them off to the secondary finance market. Since they have to season loans longer, banks all across the country are refusing new business. This is all an effort to try to reduce or sell their portfolios. Today a business owner is better off spending more time on improving profitability and less time searching for a new bank or loan.
The Value of a Broker
Here’s where our graduates come in. Hiring a broker in business finance can save a business owner both time and money.
Brokers have the knowledge, contacts, and experience to source financing more effectively than a business owner. The saying “time is money” is never more true for a business owner than during a credit crunch. Brokers know where to take a deal. Even within certain lending segments one lender may be interested in a particular deal when another is not; this is where a broker’s experience can be valuable to a business owner.
Banks need brokers more than ever, too. When losses are up and profits are down, banks need to find ways to source business more effectively and less expensively. Banks are turning to brokers to source loans. Rather than send loan officers out on the street to find quality deals, banks are turning to brokers and the many clients a broker represents. Brokers are attractive to banks because they only pay the broker’s commission when a deal closes. Marketing dollars, which fund the broker’s commission, are only spent on successful deals. This is a much more efficient and less expensive way to spend marketing dollars. As opposed to publication and television marketing campaigns in which the target audience is less focused. Brokers enable a bank to target specific business types and industries.
Banks are also utilizing finance brokers when the tightening credit criteria makes it difficult to service their current customers. Rather than refuse to offer a service or a loan, they can refer their customers to a finance broker and maintain the customer’s depository account.
About The Commercial Capital Training Group
The Commercial Capital Training Group is a premier commercial finance training company. Their loan broker program provides a week long intensive program to current or aspiring entrepreneurs interested in starting their own commercial finance company.