Executive summaries are one of the most important aspects of commercial loan package submission, however, many new investors spend the least time and energy on this essential component. I recently had the opportunity to interview Lori McMahon of LJ Commercial Property Services. She creates and submits executive summaries as her profession and is considered to be an expert in the field. Below is a list of questions and answers exchanged by a new commercial real estate investor and Lori.
Commercial Executive Summary Q & A
1. Q: At what point do you begin putting together the Executive Summary? Before/during/after contract has been submitted?
Lori: It’s different every time. Before is fine as long we put that in as the status on the Funding Opportunity Page. Many of clients have wanted to find out if they could get any interest prior to signing the Contract to Purchase. Anytime is good as long as it is directly after you sign the contract because you must understand that in these times, it is taking anywhere from 45 to 90 days for funding…
2. Q: To whom are you giving the Executive Summary? I believe I heard you mention nonconventional lenders.
Lori: You can submit the summaries to private investors you network with or funding firms you locate on the internet. If you’d like us to submit, I would let my partner. review the property Executive Summary and if he feels we have an investor/firm that would be interested, he would then let you know and we would move forward on your behalf. But, it is important that you, yourself learn to network to get it out yourself in case we don’t have a particular funder/investor for your situation.
3. Q: Do you recommend using particular software? If so, what is the name?
Lori: I don’t use any software creation packages so unfortunately, I cannot help you in this area. Software can’t possibly keep up with the ever-changing market and investors/funding firm’s criteria can change daily – I’ve seen it – believe me!!
4. Q: Who supplies the information to you about the property?
Lori: The client supplies the information regarding the property itself. I put it together in a presentable package. I supply the demographics, property highlights, market highlights and comps. These have to be researched for each and every package I create since those items are in constant change as well.
5. Q: I understood that one does NOT have to be located in the same state as the property to do an Executive Summary. How then are you able to know if the information that is gathered is accurate?
Lori: I only work off current market reports and use demographics from several areas as well as my own internet search to be sure all information is current. I don’t copy and paste from one summary to another – I start each one brand new because, it is! The property information is the client’s responsibility to get for me – unit mix, income & expenses, etc.
6. Q: How much time (in general) does it take for a decision to be made once a summary is submitted?
Lori: Some Letters of Interest are received within a few days…others can take a month! It all depends on too many factors so this question is too open-ended for me.
7. Q: Do you shop the summary to more than 1 lender (at the same time/upon rejection) or is this NOT recommended?
Lori: The Executive Summaries that I actually submit on behalf of the client are submitted at approx. 5 to 6 per day until an acceptable LOI is issued or it is determined that funding will have to be found elsewhere.