Relationships Should Stand The Test Of Time, Regardless Of The Market
Paul Letourneau, manager of commercial lending for Alliant Credit Union, believes the more things change, the more fundamental business practices stay the same. In the lending world, this includes the ability to form and maintain relationships with key sponsors and brokers.
As a credit union, how does Alliant compare to other capital sources?
Letourneau: Alliant is looking to complement the prospect’s existing lending relationships. Alliant is a national lender and a great option to supplement the geographic and structure constraints of local capital providers. Strong broker engagement helps Alliant as the brokers bring both market and sponsor intelligence that might not be possible to come by otherwise. The broker’s knowledge is key to thriving in all lending environments and markets. There has been some recent volatility within the markets, so it is more important than ever to make informed decisions, which involves working with experienced and knowledgeable brokers as intermediaries for our clients.
How can a disciplined lender remain flexible and accommodating for today’s borrowing needs?
Letourneau: Today’s borrowing needs are not much different than they were in the past. Borrowers who need flexibility look to capital providers that can accommodate them. Whether it is interest-only, short-term bridge, flexible pre-payment penalties, longer term fixed rates, floating rates or bridge-to-permanent capital, Alliant can consider tailor-made solutions for commercial real estate financing needs. As a credit union, Alliant is able to offer pre-payment and tailor-made structures that differentiate us and enable us to complement traditional capital sources.
What advice do you have for borrowers who may be gun-shy in this current market?
Letourneau: You have to be smart about what you are doing in any market or environment. Consistency in due diligence and the ability to have ongoing fluid financing structures allows Alliant to work with borrowers regardless of market dynamics. Alliant focuses on what the sponsor is looking for. We listen to and understand their needs, and then seek to provide alternative flexible solutions for commercial real estate financing requirements.
Whether it is an interest-only bridge, a shorter-term bridge-to-permanent solution or a permanent need, Alliant will tailor the capital structure with options of floating- or fixed-rates and flexible pre-payment penalties for commercial real estate financing needs. Prudence is always a good thing whether you are a capital provider or potential borrower. An informed borrower is one we like doing business with — and we rely heavily on a broker’s knowledge and insight into their clients’ deals to ensure the borrower is a strong prospect for Alliant financing.
What products and terms seem to be the most in-demand right now?
Letourneau: Capital providers must always look for ways to create and add value, especially given the duration of the market we have enjoyed and that interest rates have been at historical lows for some time. Working with a capital provider that can structure bridge, bridge-to-permanent and permanent loans, as well as flexible pre-payment solutions, helps remove some of the anxiety surrounding any volatile environments. Alliant’s tailored solutions for commercial real estate financing will be in demand for the foreseeable future.