How do you find people to lend to as a private lender?
TRUE STORY: I was golfing with a friend of mine, and we were talking about the federal reserve and how banks make money. As we were walking up a steep grade to the picturesque 7th hole (I always walk the course unless in a scramble or tournament) my friend said, “Lee, I would like to make money like you do, but how do you find the borrowers or notes to buy?” If I had not heard that same question before, I would have been surprised. Sadly, this is not an isolated instance. Several people have asked the same question. In reality, quality borrowers and notes with good repayment capacities are abundant. I use the terms ‘borrowers’ and ‘notes’ synonymously because where there is one, there is the other, and I use the same standards when evaluating both.
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So, Where are the Borrowers?
Sure, you can walk into a room, hold up a bundle of cash, and say, “I have quick and easy money to lend for your business” and you will be very popular. However, you are looking for quality borrowers. Let me let you in on something, good borrowers are everywhere. Matter of fact, you likely spoke to at least one or two of them TODAY! Begin your borrower search from your existing personal and business relationships. Those relationships will inevitably lead you to other networking relationships.
Networking should not be time consuming. By contacting your existing relationships, you will have a good start making private loans. As money people find out about your private money lending business, you will have ample borrowers and even new sources of money wanting to do business with you.
The Rotary Club, Lions Club, or Kiwanis, to name a few, are well established civic organizations to help get your name and your private lending name known. In addition to being great community service organizations, they present an informal place to meet potential borrowers or potential financial partners.
Chamber of Commerce
Most chamber of commerce organizations offer networking opportunities through After Hours Meet and Greet events. In addition to a networking opportunity, these events provide opportunities to be kept abreast of the local business environment, meet potential financial partners or borrowers, and learn the most recent industry trends. Refreshments are usually served.
Furthermore, chamber of commerce organizations offer member referrals. A chamber receives numerous inquiries for local products and services. Most chambers exclusively refer these inquires to their existing members. Other chamber of commerce member benefits are sales and marketing opportunities, entrepreneurial seminars, and government advocacy.
REIA – Real Estate Investment Associations
Another great place to make contact with potential borrowers is the local Real Estate Investment Association, REIA. REIA clubs are associations of real estate investors and real estate professionals who gather weekly or monthly to exchange ideas, pass deals back and forth, and listen to expert speakers. These clubs are patronized by motivated and positive people, who need private lenders to fund their real estate transactions. Go to www.reiclub.com for updated information on forming a REIA and for detailed contact information on existing REIA clubs in your local area. When you attend these meetings, bring your business cards and business flyers.
The Take Away
When I began my sales career, right out of college, my boss said, “You’ve got to ask for the business.” Even though my sales career was short lived because I don’t really like heavy sales, the advise still stands: you have got to ask your borrower if he/she needs a loan. From that point, you are going to be a hot commodity. Then, you need to determine who are the quality borrowers. I will talk about that in a later post!
Photo: 401(K) 2013