In the CRE financing industry, where lenders and brokers search for the perfect deals for commercial properties, the news centers on the successful completion of Finance Lobby’s beta testing. “Our online lending platform facilitated over $600M in transactions during this time, and we couldn’t be happier,” says Kelly Wagman, the company’s CEO. “Usually, beta testing is a bit stressful for companies since their employees are searching for bugs and usability issues. However, our team did an awesome job designing our CRE financing marketplace, and their efforts resulted in an incredible number of transactions.”
The results were especially exciting because the Finance Lobby team cared so much about helping lenders and brokers experience more efficiency in their jobs. “We knew the frustrations they typically encountered because they lacked cutting-edge technology that could easily connect them with perfect deals,” Kelly says. “We spent months designing a solution, and it really was amazing to see the number of transactions grow so quickly.”
No one at Finance Lobby, she continues, will ever forget the $87M deal. “Its broker received a competitive, spot-on quote within just an hour, if you can believe it. That never happens! Of course, the broker accepted it immediately since the terms were exactly what they wanted. While it’s true that this was one deal and not representative of what users will experience every time, it still points to the great potential benefits of using our platform.”
After its successful beta testing, Finance Lobby has moved into open beta, a major milestone for the company as well as the industry. Brokers are able to post deals live, and lenders of all types, including traditional and hard money, can sign up for free.
“Currently, we are seeing each deal receive an average of four competitive quotes,” Kelly states. “This is a great number when the terms of those quotes are exactly what a client needs, and it’s all being done without making phone call after phone call.”
Finance Lobby was started when a team of CRE professionals decided to revolutionize their industry by minimizing, or even eliminating, phone calls from the workdays of brokers and lenders.
“Technology in nearly every business sector had been streamlining daily operations and bringing companies into the 21st century, yet CRE financing was still behind the times,” Kelly recalls. “Brokers and lenders, who were all highly skilled at their jobs, were expected to make dozens of calls every day in search of deals. Yet, more often than not, they couldn’t secure their perfect terms not because they weren’t talented but because they lacked an efficient way to do so.”
The answer was to create an online CRE financing marketplace that could cut through irrelevant or weak deals by directly connecting a broker with a lender. “We have accomplished this by allowing each one to set the terms of the deals they are looking for,” Kelly says. “By doing so, the deals that don’t match are automatically filtered out, so CRE professionals only see those that have perfect terms. Goodbye to those phone calls!”
Lenders receive vital information including rent roll, income, and expenses; the sponsor’s financial information; and any relevant details about the deal. Brokers can submit their deals through a process that is quick and helps thousands of eyes to see each loan request.
“Perhaps the best part is that our system is very intuitive,” Kelly believes. “After all, the digital revolution has arrived. Most of us, including those who grew up in the pre-Internet age, are very comfortable with online platforms and have been booking their own flights and shopping online for years now. Using the Finance Lobby platform is an easy sidestep from that.”
As open beta continues, the number of lenders on the platform rises each day. “We currently have more than 4,000,” says Kelly. “CRE professionals have been waiting for a more efficient way to find their perfect terms, and we are happy to provide them with it. We hope that Finance Lobby’s commercial real estate financing marketplace will inspire lenders and brokers to set and reach higher sales goals. It makes the future of our industry very interesting, don’t you think?”