Letter From Terry Luker: What Do You Do When the Industry Icon Goes Away?

What Do You Do When the Industry Icon Goes Away?

How does the void get filled?

Do you leave the vacuum running and wait to see what or who fills it?

 

Three of us - myself, Terry Luker, along with Jeff Luker and Jon Cosentino - chose to try and fill the void while also changing our industry’s direction. Our industry is the commercial loan brokering industry, a trillion-dollar transactional industry.

 

Over the past eleven years, I founded two businesses - Alternative Capital Solutions, a commercial loan brokering company and later a direct lender, Commercial Capital BIDCO. As I look back at my time in the industry, I realize there are two companies that were instrumental in the growth of my businesses - Commercial Capital Training Group (CCTG) and The National Alliance of Commercial Loan Brokers (NACLB). CCTG was the company that provided commercial loan broker training. I attended that training in December of 2013. The NACLB was the association and conference that we attended for many years. I was given the Commercial Loan Broker Rookie of the Year award in 2014 and in 2016 I received the Commercial Loan Broker of the Year award. These awards were presented by the NACLB at their annual conference.

 

Both CCTG and NACLB were owned by Kris Roglieri. Kris is now involved in multiple lawsuits resulting from business activities he had through another company he owns, Prime Venture Capital Lending. I am personally familiar with the lending tactics he used with this new company as he had promised me that he could get my lending company, Commercial Capital BIDCO, a $100,000,000 line of credit. Our firm sent in the $35,000 due diligence fee and began the process of acquiring that line of credit. Thankfully we have an awesome attorney who quickly saw through the scheme, and we did not move forward with a loan. We were going to be required to place $20,000,000 on deposit in an interest reserve account. Our attorney could not get comfortable with the agreements and advised me that Kris would have complete control over those funds to do whatever he wanted with. Our attorney told me that it appeared to be a Ponzi Scheme and in turn saved my company and my family from certain financial disaster as we could not afford to lose $20,000,000.

 

With CCTG and the NACLB closing, there was a massive void in our industry. I had previously tried (and as we have now discovered, many of his staff had tried) to convince Kris to take the conference to a more education-based focus as an association. As a direct lender, we work with commercial loan brokers every day and we see first-hand the struggles that many of them have. Many do not have the knowledge needed to take a deal from the beginning relationship with the borrower to the funding with a lender. They simply do not have the necessary training and experience to get it done.

 

Our team has decided to bring a superior level of training and education to both our new association and conference, the Commercial Loan Broker Association, as well as our new training company, The Commercial Loan Broker Academy. Our association and academy will be different. We have planned for our first conference to take place in Orlando this October 1-3, 2024.  We want the conference to bring lenders, vendors and brokers together to not only meet and network, but to execute plans that will give the brokers’ clients access to the funds they need to grow and expand their businesses. We want lenders to be able to know, with confidence, that the brokers they are working with have the knowledge base needed to get the deal to them with the correct structure and documentation needed for them to make an informed decision on funding those transactions. That is a win for everyone when we accomplish this. The CLBA conference will be more educational focused to help fulfill this need in our industry.

 

With our new training academy, we want to increase the chances of success for every new commercial loan broker. When I started in this business 11 years ago, there were three things I had to do every day: 1) I had to find clients that needed my services, 2) find lenders that would lend to my clients, and 3) package my clients’ loan requests in the format that lenders wanted. I was burning the candle at both ends!

 

We want to change that. One of the best things that we ever did at our company is that we built our own credit team. At Alternative Capital Solutions, we underwrite every deal that we represent. ACS does all the underwriting for our lending company. We also underwrite participation deals that we do between banks. We have multiple bank partners that utilize us to find participating bank partners for deals they want to fund that might be too big for their bank or might just want to spread some of the risk to participant partners. Our credit underwriting sets us apart from every other commercial loan brokering company.

 

We are going to leverage that credit underwriting and provide access to our team for those students who attend our training academy. In addition, we are going to allow our student graduates access to our lender book in order to help fund their deals. As you can see, if we provide the deal packaging and underwriting to our graduates and we provide our lending relationships to our graduates, all they must do is go find their clients. We believe this will be a great recipe for success for our graduate students.

 

I am excited about where we are as an industry, but I am more excited about where we can take our industry. This is not a one-person success or fail opportunity. This is an opportunity for all of us who love what we do, to come together and grow our industry in education, morals, ethics and accountability. Come be part of a new direction. I hope to see you all in Orlando this October!

 

By: Terry Luker, Founder and Owner:

Alternative Capital Solutions, Commercial Capital BIDCO, The Commercial Loan Broker Academy, the Commercial Loan Broker Association, and The Commercial Broker Playbook

 


Terry Luker and Jeff Luker Launch the Commercial Loan Broker Association

Exciting times are ahead for the teams at Alternative Capital Solutions and Commercial Capital BIDCO! In order to fill a gap within the Commercial Loan Broker industry, Terry Luker and Jeff Luker - along with business partner Jon Cosentino of Fairwinds Commercial Capital - have launched the Commercial Loan Broker Association (CLBA). Terry, Jeff and Jon created the CLBA as a way for Commercial Loan Brokers to establish meaningful relationships with lenders and other brokers across the United States, increase their deal flow, as well as tap into thoughtful professional development and education opportunities. Using their combined experience of over a century within the CRE and Finance industries, CLBA's main goal will be to drive broker success and strengthen broker + lender relationships.

Their inaugural CLBA Conference & Expo will be hosted in Orlando, Florida at the Hilton Lake Buena Vista at Disney Springs this October 1 - 3, 2024. The Conference & Expo will take brokers and lenders into deep educational dives covering industry trends, key strategies for growth, and new technologies that will benefit their businesses. Networking and exposition hours will allow for all attendees to connect, build relationships, and talk deals with contacts across the country.

Mark Sanborn will deliver the Keynote Address for CLBA 2024. Sanborn, President of Sanborn & Associates, has spent over 30 years cultivating extraordinary leaders. Sanborn is an international bestselling author and an award-winning leadership keynote speaker who has written eight books, including the New York Times and International Bestseller, The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary, which has sold over 2 million copies worldwide. His latest book is The Intention Imperative: Three Essential Changes That Will Make You a Successful Leader Today. The CLBA is thrilled to have him kick-off their first annual Conference & Expo.

Early Bird Registration for Broker and Lender attendees is now open! Sponsorship opportunities for the Conference & Expo are also available. Information for Registration and Sponsorships can be found on the website at https://clbassociation.com/conference-2024/.


Top 5 U.S. Cities for First-Time Commercial Real Estate Investors

Investing in commercial real estate can be a lucrative venture, offering opportunities for significant returns and portfolio diversification. For first-time investors entering this market, selecting the right location is crucial for success. Some key factors to think about when choosing which market to enter into are population growth, job growth, and high rental demand. Here are the top five U.S. cities that offer promising prospects for first-time commercial real estate investors:

1.) Nashville, Tennessee

Commonly known as, “Music City”, Nashville has emerged as a hotspot for commercial real estate. The city’s strong job market is fueled by tourism, finance, and healthcare, and has forced the need for more office space as well as retail space. Nashville’s business-friendly environment yields a promising opportunity for first-time commercial real estate investors. This is a prime area for not only alternative lending opportunities, but SBA products geared towards those small and/or new businesses could be an excellent route as well. 

 

2.) Atlanta, Georgia

Known as the economic hub of the Southeast, Atlanta boasts a thriving business environment and a rapidly growing population. The city's diverse economy, which includes sectors like technology, finance, and logistics, provides ample opportunities for commercial real estate investments. Additionally, Atlanta's favorable tax environment and relatively low cost of living make it an attractive destination for businesses, driving demand for commercial properties.

 

3.) Austin, Texas

In recent years Austin has experienced rapid population growth, and is home to a burgeoning tech scene and a dynamic entrepreneurial culture. The city's strong job market, fueled by companies like Dell, IBM, and numerous startups, has led to increased demand for office, retail, and mixed-use developments. With a vibrant arts and entertainment scene and a high quality of life, Austin offers attractive investment opportunities for first-time commercial real estate investors. From large commercial loan opportunities to small-business ventures, the commercial lending space here is especially unique.

 

4.) Denver, Colorado

Situated at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Denver combines natural beauty with a booming economy, making it an appealing destination for commercial real estate investment. Its strategic location as a transportation and logistics hub, coupled with a diverse economy spanning industries such as aerospace, healthcare, renewable energy, and cannabis, contributes to its allure. Denver's young and educated population, alongside a burgeoning tech sector, further augur well for the future growth of the commercial real estate market. Notably, Denver's cannabis industry stands as a trailblazer in the landscape of legalized marijuana since the state's landmark legalization of recreational cannabis in 2012. Emerging as a leading destination for cannabis enthusiasts and entrepreneurs, the industry continues to thrive, significantly contributing to the city’s economy.

**It is important remember that the cannabis laws vary by state

 

5.) Seattle, Washington

Home to tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft, Seattle has become synonymous with innovation and economic growth. The city's thriving technology sector, combined with a highly skilled workforce and a culture of entrepreneurship, has led to sustained demand for commercial real estate properties. From office buildings in the bustling downtown area to mixed-use developments in vibrant neighborhoods, Seattle offers diverse investment options for first-time commercial real estate investors seeking exposure to a dynamic and rapidly evolving market.

 

These five U.S. cities present attractive opportunities for first-time commercial real estate investors looking to enter the market. From Atlanta's diverse economy to Seattle's tech-driven growth, each city offers its own unique advantages and potential for success. However, as with any investment, thorough research and due diligence are essential to making informed decisions and maximizing returns in the competitive commercial real estate landscape.


Terry Luker's Tools for Success Featured in Scotsman Guide's March 2024 Issue

Our founder and owner, Terry Luker, is passionate about being equipped with the tools you need to become a successful commercial lending broker. From professional development opportunities, extracurricular training sessions, and mentorship programs - there are several paths that a broker can take throughout their career in the industry. Taking the time investment to build on your foundation of knowledge throughout the year will enable you to stay ahead of industry changes and be highly knowledgeable in terms of economic shifts. Learn more about how Terry Luker has continued to stay at the forefront of the commercial lending industry and what he recommends to both rookie and seasoned brokers in today's climate. Check out his article in the March 2024 issue of the Scotsman Guide using the link below!

https://www.scotsmanguide.com/commercial/tools-for-success/


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

Alternative Capital Solutions’ 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


Why Site Visits Are a Must When It Comes to Working Your Deals

 When it comes to working through and closing a commercial loan deal there are numerous items that you must check-off your list, official documents to obtain, services to provide, and other administrative style tasks to complete.

However, a “must-do” activity that many commercial brokers and lenders may underestimate the value of is the official site visit. The site visit not only puts you face-to-face with your client – which can be especially beneficial if working with the client from out of area or out of state – but, it also allows you to take a proper assessment of the property, the surrounding area, and ensures a better understanding for what your client is trying to accomplish with the property and / or structures when obtaining the desired commercial loan.

Another thing to consider when working through a deal is that the commercial bank looking to fund the loan may also require photos of the property, structures, or building so that they, too, can better their understanding of the property and the borrower’s needs. Performing the site visit yourself will allow you to personally take the photographs as well as work through initial issues or hiccups that could potentially arise with the bank and/or lender – furthermore, it’ll build a strong relationship between you and your client as the deal becomes more personable.

With the ever-changing landscape of our nation’s economy, commercial banks and lenders are putting more scrutiny on the deals that come across their desks. The deal package you present will have an increased value to his competitors as you are strengthening your client’s story as well as decreasing the amount of legwork that your lender will have to do when it comes to finalizing the loan.

You have a site visit scheduled with your client…you may now be asking yourself, “what’s next?”

Here are a few tips for performing a site visit on a commercial investment property:

  • Schedule the visit during the day and ensure your client will be present. This will give you the best chance of seeing the property in its natural light as well as give you a better chance at contacting anyone who is involved with the deal and/or property.
  • Bring a checklist. This will help you make sure that you inspect all the important areas of the property. Yes – you will have a professional inspection of the property performed, however, inspecting those top checklist items will give you additional insight on the off chance that questions or other concerns may arise.
  • Take pictures! Photos will help you to remember the property as well as serve as a record for any problems you find. Photos will also not only aide you in closing this current deal, but they can also be excellent marketing resources for your business once the deal has closed and the loan has funded.
  • Ask questions. Now is your chance to build on your client relationship. Learning about the perks, concerns and information in relation to the property is much easier when discussed face-to-face.
  • Be prepared to walk away. If you are not comfortable with the property after the site visit, you should be prepared to walk away from the deal. While this is not always the outcome we want to arrive at, allowing yourself to walk away sooner rather than later can save you time and money opposed to walking away at the closing table.

Have questions about an upcoming site visit or want to know more about scheduling a site visit for an upcoming deal? Contact our team! We would love to work alongside you on a deal…or even be a sounding board for questions and ideas!

Submit your questions or deal inquiries via the contact form linked HERE.


Mentors That Last

Thank you to DealMaker Magazine for featuring Terry Luker's article, "Mentors That Last," in their latest issue. In the article, Terry champions the idea of mentorship and how everyone in our industry cannot only benefit from having a mentor, but how we can also build up the next generation of commercial lending brokers by mentoring to those who are new to this genre of lending. He also notes how this can be a revitalizing way to keep a pulse on new trends. "Working with young brokers keeps me on my toes and allows me to remember where we have come from as a company," says Terry Luker.

Terry also gives tribute to those who took the time to mentor him when building Alternative Capital Solutions 10 years ago. Terry can attest to the value and importance that mentorship can have on our successes as an individual and a professional. 

Read the article in full on DealMaker Magazine's website linked HERE. 


Our In-House Credit Team Has Two New Faces!

We are thrilled to have added Harrison Fuller and Gideon Goodmanson to our team of Credit Analysts earlier this year.

Harrison joined ACS as a member of our Credit Team in September of 2022 after spending two years in the hospitality industry. During a college study abroad program, he discovered how much he enjoyed working with and creating connections with a multitude of individuals. Harrison’s favorite aspect of his role as a Credit Analyst is building lasting relationships with clients and supporting them to accomplish their goals.

Gideon Goodmanson also joined our Credit Team as an Analyst in September of 2022.  He previously worked in the automotive industry as a salesman. Outside of his time at ACS he enjoys outdoor activities such as off-roading and skeet shooting.

Harrison and Gideon are both already off to a roll serving our clients and are looking forward to a busy 2023!