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Multifamily Viewpoints

Face-to-Face Makes All the Difference

By Michael Patterson and
Stephen Johnson
Published on July 15, 2016
Michael Patterson Vice President of Underwriting and Stephen Johnson Senior Director of Multifamily Poduction

We overheard it at a conference about small balance loans: “It’s all about technology and low-touch.”

The truth is, we don’t agree. Sure, we run a nationwide business where smart technology and efficient execution are crucial. But too many businesses chase technology at the expense of personal service.

For us, the business of small balance loans isn’t just about optimizing the paperwork behind the transaction. It’s about the borrower, the investor, the seller, and the broker. It’s about people and relationships.

Here, in this human element, is where we find our greatest advantage. We think that’s the key to a better loan experience. It’s why we provide our clients with only the best people in the business who are locally-based and understand the territory firsthand. They are involved in every deal, applying expertise and creative problem solving that defies the cookie-cutter approach used by so many other lenders.

Inside the Hive

Some people think this level of involvement in deal-making means a slow execution. So, last month we set out to debunk this myth. We tried something totally new: a first-of-its-kind Small Balance Loan (SBL) Lab in Chicago.

We brought Freddie Mac SBL staff from all departments and all corners of the country to do business with our entire nationwide SBL lender network—all in person. For convenience, we scheduled it just prior to the MBA’s SBL Summit which our Sellers were expecting to attended. For two days, it was a hive of activity with the rapid back-and-forth of a room full of folks quickly working through transactions at every table.

The result? We took the underwriting process from within a 10-day window to just a couple hours, blowing the myth of a slow GSE loan process out of the water. In less than 48 hours, we had issued 24 loan commitments representing $57 million in origination volume and 1,334 units, over 90 percent of which supported low-income households. And, in some instances, borrowers were able to rate-lock their loans the same day that we issued the commitments.

Never Stand Still

If history of industry has taught us anything, it is that innovation always wins the day. While we’ve been serving the multifamily industry for decades, we never stand still.

We look forward to continuing to apply our best advantage—our people—to deliver more fresh ideas designed to raise the bar on the small balance loan experience.

Michael Patterson is vice president of underwriting
Stephen Johnson is vice president of small balance loans business
Have a question or comment? Contact Michael or Stephen

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