Sponsors looking for a lender to fund their real estate investment strategy need a partner they can trust. But unlike interest rates, “trust” can’t be reduced to a number. Execution certainty is paramount, but it’s increasingly rare among lenders.
Here, we’ll discuss why certainty of execution is especially critical for sponsors today and how to identify a trustworthy lender.
What is certainty of execution?
Certainty of execution refers to the reliability and integrity of a lender for the proposed financial transaction. Lenders that provide high certainty of execution lets sponsors rest assured that their deals will close smoothly without retrading.
Many lenders change terms often, which can frustrate and concern sponsors as they try to achieve their business goals. Certainty of execution comes down to a few key qualities:
Transparency: Sponsors need as much information as possible to make informed decisions that advance their success. Terms must be clearly spelled out without hidden fine print or anything meant to misdirect or confuse the borrower.
Dependability: As much as possible, the lender must honor the terms of the deal as it is written. The only exception should be if due diligence reveals new information that necessitates changes to the terms.
Partnership: Some lenders feel decidedly corporate, but the best lenders show those they work with that they care, treating sponsors with the best regard. Working with one of these lenders should feel more like a partnership rather than purely a business transaction.
What common issues can compromise certainty of execution?
Some lenders do not offer certainty of delivery and execution because they fall short in one or more of the areas discussed above. Their terms may lack transparency, they may surprise sponsors with changes, and they may treat sponsors poorly.
These actions are not always malicious. Sometimes, they are simply the result of carelessness on the part of the lender. For example, some lenders don’t thoroughly review a deal initially; they may just quickly look at the sponsor’s request without putting in the thought or effort needed to provide accurate terms. This may be in an effort to provide a fast quote, but it’s ultimately unhelpful to all parties involved. These instances can lead lenders to change terms later after a more thorough review.
Renegotiating terms at a later stage of a deal is known as retrading. When retrading becomes a common occurrence, this can cause a lender to develop a negative reputation. It’s wise for real estate investors to pay attention to a lender’s reputation in the marketplace and whether they have a negative track record of retrading.
Other lenders are more intentional in their lack of transparency. They may misconstrue or obscure certain terms in order to appear more advantageous to the borrower. On an ethical level, this may seem more problematic than issues of negligence. However, whether misled because of a lender’s carelessness or because of their deliberate misdirection, sponsors suffer.
What sets VCREF apart from other lenders?
At Verus Commercial Real Estate Finance (VCREF), we pride ourselves on the relationships we build with our sponsors and the certainty of execution we offer.
For example, during a recent transaction, VCREF was in the process of closing and was delayed due to complications on the part of the title company. The Fed hiked rates three times during the delay. Many lenders would have changed the terms to be in line with current rates, but VCREF honored the structure and rates on the term sheet.
Our team also researches a deal more thoroughly on the front end to ensure we land on terms that are as reliable as possible from the start. The term sheets we provide are reviewed and approved by members of our investment committee. The only possible snags that might affect terms are unforeseen issues that may arise during due diligence.
You can also be confident in VCREF as a trusted partner. The entire team is highly experienced in single-family rental and commercial real estate, so we understand the nuances of these deals and are here to help you find the best financing solution to succeed in your business plan.
Interested in working with VCREF to fund your next real estate investment, refinance, or consolidate your debt? Apply today!