Commercial real estate lenders are under constant pressure to win new business. Not only that, but they also have to keep a close eye on existing investments to protect their firm from risk. In today’s high-stakes world, this is only possible with CRE lending software.
As portfolios grow, CRE lenders and debt investors need to scale without cutting corners. This does not mean hiring more team members to help handle higher volumes, though. That only adds costs, which eat away at your margins. The only way to meet investor, client and management expectations is with technology that reduces the time and effort required to get good deals done.
Plus, the credit issues caused by the COVID-19 crisis and other marketplace disruptions have only amplified the need for robust lending tools that provide immediate access and insight into your critical data. Emails, spreadsheets and a CRM are no longer enough; you risk important, deal-changing data slipping through the cracks.
What is ultimately necessary is CRE lending software that puts everything together in one central repository. The best solutions sit at the center of your lending workflow. They don’t necessarily replace existing systems; instead, they work together to create a single source of truth.
CRE Lending Software: 5 Essentials
#1: Support for any type of CRE lender
First and foremost, any good commercial real estate lending software solution should be able to support any type of lender. Every lender’s business is different, and CRE processes, strategies and loan products change as the market evolves.
You don’t want to have to buy and then learn an entirely new system if your focus or products end up changing. That’s why you need a CRE lending software that is nimble, spans across all loan types, and can adapt with your business model and lending program.
The best CRE lending software should be able to support:
- Private Equity and Funds
- Insurers, REITS and Asset Managers
- Owners, Operators and Sponsors
- B-piece Investors
#2: Track all lead sources, contacts & meetings
Relationships are the core of CRE lending.
But traditional CRMs actually make it more difficult to track information and communications. For example, email communications are separate from a CRM, so any updates have to be manually added into the system. This redundant data entry can lead to data loss, missed opportunities, and business that won’t scale.
With a large portfolio, you need all the control you can get. That means going beyond your CRM. To win more deals by proactively tracking each lead source, contact and meeting, look for CRE lending software that allows you to:
- Store source documents, reports and Excel models
- Assign tasks and responsibilities with due dates and priorities
- Size every loan accurately and match each proposal to a product and funding source
- Access automated daily feeds with current interest rates, benchmarks and indexes
- Integrate directly with Salesforce, Argus, Yardi, Dropbox and other solutions
#3: Mitigate opportunity risk
The same system that helps you track all lead sources, contacts and meetings should also help you stay on top of your exposure.
If you have a large asset portfolio and lack proper CRE lending software, details can get lost, creating unnecessary risk. You should be able to filter out low-quality opportunities and capitalize on better ones. For example, the software should help you:
- Identify exposures by market, tenant, sponsor and more
- Reduce wasted time by filtering out bad deals, borrowers and terms
- Run sensitivities on various investments and compare the respective KPIs at once
- Track convents and data points over time
#4: Deliver actionable data
Again, CRE lending software is all about helping a lender manage a large portfolio and quickly make smart decisions on every lending opportunity that presents itself. Normally, the process of gathering investment data is exhaustive – and it’s where more errors occur.
When you have a system that centralizes data and data sources in one place, you can more easily derive meaningful insights and connections. But the capabilities shouldn’t stop there. Your software of choice should have an additional layer that actually provides the insight you need, so you can spend less time looking for answers and more time actually getting deals done quickly or passing without wasting valuable time.
The point of technology is to help you do your job better. This means cutting through the noise, helping you make data-driven decisions and allowing you to put your money to work smarter and faster.
You’ll know you have good CRE lending software if you can:
- Collect and standardize market data, monthly financials and performance goals
- Work in your own Excel models and report templates
- Streamline reporting based on your investors, clients and management requirements
- Track and analyze investments from the full capital stack down to tranches, securities and participations
#5: Accessible on any device, any time
Finally, any good CRE lending software should be easily accessible – without sacrificing security.
A cloud-based solution means there will be no hardware to buy and install, nothing for IT to maintain, and no limits on where, when and how you work. Thanks to this capability, you’ll never miss a chance to take advantage of opportunities quickly as they turn up, even in a mass remote work situation.
What’s the cost of a missed opportunity? A bad deal? An issue with regulators? These are important questions lenders face every day. And with high volume portfolios and volatile markets, the cost of a mistake only multiplies. That’s why it’s time to look for a CRE lending software solution that helps you keep everything in one place, so you never miss a thing.
See how the right CRE lending software can give new life to your workflows. Demo RealINSIGHT today.