How to Become a Commercial Finance Broker
The “school of hard knocks” approach is a long road in this industry. In fact, it’s probably the hardest way to become a commercial loan broker today, which is why the Commercial Loan Broker Institute was founded – to create a training program built on consistent, repeatable practices in order to help entrepreneurs become a commercial loan broker today. In this article, we’re going to outline how to become a commercial finance broker: the path trainees go through in this program and how it prepares individuals to become a finance broker and, at the same time, found an independently held brokerage. If you want to own your own commercial finance broker agency, and have the guidance to start a lucrative career path with expert support within a tested methodology for business launch and development, commercial lending is an excellent choice.
What is a Commercial Finance Broker?
All businesses need financing at some point. Whether they need a cash infusion to get through a slow period, they’re looking to expand, or they need capital to open their doors, companies need to work with lenders.
Unfortunately, many small business owners don’t know where to look to find the right financing to meet their specific needs. In most cases, they will turn to banks and credit unions, which don’t always offer the right options.
That’s where a commercial loan broker comes in. As a broker, you are the middle person between a business and a lender. Your services are invaluable because you have access to a broader range of funding options. Sometimes, a company may be able to leverage its accounts receivable to improve cash flow (factoring). In other cases, a new startup might need some quick cash to complete a deal (hard money or bridge loans).
What is a commercial finance broker? In short, a commercial finance broker (also known as a commercial loan broker) assesses businesses in need of funds to evaluate their readiness to apply within established financial instruments and matches the borrower with lenders that fund businesses in the borrower’s industry. The commercial finance broker is paid a percentage when the loan is funded. By pre-screening loan applications, the commercial finance broker supports the borrower by increasing the likelihood the application will be funded and supports the lender by identifying borrowers that are within their scope of business.
Commercial finance brokers are problem solvers for these businesses, finding lenders and making the right deal for everyone involved. Because your skills and expertise are so valuable, this industry can be quite lucrative. However, it also requires proper training and education.
Fortunately, the Commercial Loan Broker Institute offers a comprehensive commercial finance broker training program to help you learn, practice and refine your skills, and to connect you with an existing network of lenders seeking the right opportunities to fund. Let’s look at how you can become a commercial finance broker in less time than you might think. Continue reading to understand what is offered in a finance broker course and to see how you can take the next step to become a commercial loan broker today.
Become a Finance Broker
To become a finance broker requires a balance of soft skills, financial knowledge and business acumen. Each of these need to be applied at the right time and in the right amount. Too many financial formulas and not enough understanding of business needs can put off a client, sending them somewhere else to get funds. At the Commercial Loan Broker Institute, becoming a finance broker is just that – BECOMING. How do you become a baseball player? Through practice. In our program, the training is far more than a set of lectures – you will have the opportunity to practice as a finance broker as you become one. By the end of the process you will be the finance broker you hoped to become.
Commercial Finance Broker Training
It’s okay if you don’t know the first thing about commercial lending. Many of our graduates have come to us with experience in sales, retailing, medical office management, accounting, finance and banking. Each of these have a piece of the puzzle, and a lot of transferrable skills, but none are a complete list of commercial finance broker qualifications. Below, we’ll go over the five areas you’ll study in a comprehensive finance broker course to start running a brokerage. Best of all, you’re not buying into a franchise or working for someone else. In a sense, this program trains you in each of the commercial finance broker qualifications, even when those are soft skills, attitudes or behaviors designed to help you succeed. By the end of the program, you will launch and own your own loan finance broker business – we just guide and support you every step of the way. Here’s what you need to do.
Step One: Learn the Fundamentals
As we mentioned, one of the most significant roadblocks that small businesses come up against is a perceived lack of lending options. Banks and credit unions are often a poor choice for commercial borrowers for a couple of reasons. First, they can be incredibly slow, which could be disastrous for many small to mid-sized businesses. Second, they have limited lending options, meaning that a business owner has to meet a high hurdle to be eligible, and then, when a business is eligible, funding may not be sufficient to move business forward.
At CLBI, we’ll teach you all of the different commercial lending options so that you’re prepared to help your clients. If you want to become a commercial finance broker, you need to know them all intimately. Here is a quick overview of some alternative strategies that you can use:
- Factoring – Companies with a lot of funds tied up in accounts receivable can use a third-party factoring service to get cash immediately. Best of all, the business doesn’t have to have good credit, only its clients do.
- Construction Loans – The building and development of new property are expensive and take time to complete. These loans pay out along the way based on milestones of progress, and they can be much easier to manage in the long term.
- Equipment Loans – If your clients need to purchase new gear or vehicles for their business, this loan will pay for the majority of the cost. Better yet, the piece itself is collateral, offering more protection than a standard loan.
- Hard Money Loan – Rather than working with a financial institution, you can connect your clients with individual lenders (i.e., angel investors). These deals have much greater flexibility but depend on a high amount of trust.
- Bridge Loan – In many cases, a company needs fast cash to cover certain expenses. Bridge loans work quicker than most other financing options, but they have steep interest rates.
In the finance broker course, you’ll learn the intricate details about all of these lending options so that you can make the right decision for your clients. We’ll also provide insight into the kinds of deals that work best for each type of loan, so you’ll know what to expect. The training is both online and in-person, so that you get a comprehensive understanding of each strategy.
Step Two: Learn How to Build Relationships
While knowledge is essential in this industry, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. As a broker, you need to be able to work with a variety of clients and lenders. This business is all about relationship-building, so you need to master the art of making a deal and bringing people together.
In our skills boot camp, we’ll cover all of the various elements of this component of commercial lending. Using our decades of experience, we’ll relay insight into practices such as:
- Pitching – Sometimes, you’ll have to convince a lender or client to use your skillset in his or her next deal. We’ll show you how to get your foot in the door.
- Scripting – While it’s nice to imagine yourself thinking on your feet, you’ll need to practice scripts until you master the art of negotiation. We’ll not only teach you what to say but what to avoid as well.
- Objections – There will always be objections when making a deal. We know what most clients and lenders are going to say, and we’ll prepare you for those scenarios.
- Closing – The art of the deal comes in the close. No matter how knowledgeable you are, it doesn’t make a difference if no one finalizes the agreement. We’ll help you learn how to close effectively so you can build a better brokerage.
Our team has a lot of experience in client communication and negotiation. We will train you, regardless of your experience with negotiation, to work effectively between lenders and borrowers. Let our expertise and insight build a strong foundation for yourself and your brokerage so that you can succeed in the real world. Best of all, you can practice as much as necessary until it becomes second nature.
Step Three: Market Your Firm
Just as you need to be a master negotiator, you also have to know how to market yourself and your skills. If no one knows you exist, how can you get clients? At CLBI, we not only show you how to become a good marketer, but we’ll give you the tools to make it happen. Some of the elements you’ll gain access to include:
- Branding – If you want your brokerage to stand out, you need a compelling brand image. Also, branding will help establish you as a reliable and trustworthy business partner. When people see your logo, they will know that you present as a coherent, professional business.
- Web Design – These days, digital marketing is the best solution to promote your brokerage. We’ll help you build a well-designed, professional website that drives traffic and grows your business.
- Lead Generation – You don’t want to be spending most of your time chasing down and working on leads. Instead, you want to build a funnel so that they come to you. We’ll help you craft a high-conversion funnel to grow your brokerage fast.
- Customer Relationship Management – Your clients and lenders will hopefully work with you again and again. So, you need tools to ensure that you nurture those relationships well. We’ll give you CRM software to make that happen.
Step Four: Learn and Adapt Continuously
When taking the CLBI course, you’ll get a lot of information in a short period. While we make it easy to retain these details and master them, we understand that you’re not going to become a world-class commercial loan broker immediately. It takes time to get experience and insight into this industry.
That’s why we offer ongoing mentoring and coaching services. Your training doesn’t end with the course. Whether you need a lot of coaching to help build your brokerage, or you need some advice from time to time, we’re always close. The way we see it is that your success is our success. If you open a brokerage and fail, it reflects poorly on us. For that reason, we are dedicated to helping you build the life and career you want.
Step Five: Add to Your Commercial Finance Broker Toolbox
As they say, there’s no reason to try and reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to. Fortunately, at CLBI, we have created tons of tools over the years that can be used by new brokers just like you. Our complete toolbox has everything you need to get off the ground, including:
- Documentation – Make sure that all of your deals are well documented and above board. Simply add your brokerage logo on the letterhead.
- Marketing Materials – From brochures and pitch decks to digital advertising templates, you can promote your business immediately.
- Assessment Tools – When working on a deal, you need to ensure that everyone involved will benefit. Our tools help you make the right assessment so that all parties can walk away satisfied.
- Scripts and Cheat Sheets – Don’t waste time trying to figure out the methods that work – we’ve done all of that for you. Let our materials help you hit the ground running.
Commercial Finance Broker Qualifications
Like many professions in a modern economy, there are more soft skills that qualify you to work as a commercial finance broker. We’ve talked about many of those skills, but there is one additional qualification to work as a commercial finance broker that we haven’t addressed: the ability to solve problems. In our experience, many businesses don’t look like an ideal borrower when they walk in the door. They have invoices paid on the company credit card, their expenses are too hefty and there are opportunities to trim. You will be in a place to help businesses identify opportunities, increase profits and to become a better investment. One of the most important commercial finance broker qualifications is the ability to develop insights that benefit your client beyond a successful loan application.
Take the next step to becoming Commercial Loan Broker Today
If you’re ready to take charge of your career and to take the next step to become a finance broker, call CLBI today. The commercial finance broker training program is comprehensive, and it works. Find out more about how you can become a commercial loan broker today, and then get started on the path toward financial success. We’re ready, are you?