From the Editor
By Neil Pierson
Stick with us and you’ll continue reaping rewards
It’s difficult to quantify how much I’ve learned about the real estate finance industry while producing 23 issues
of this magazine over the course of nearly two years. After all, when I first arrived at Scotsman Guide following a
15-year career as a newspaper reporter, I couldn’t have explained the difference between an LTV and a BLT.
Our March magazine, with its focus on business development, will be my last as editor of the commercial
edition. I won’t be going far away, however, as my next move takes me literally 10 feet across our
offices to the Editor in Chief’s desk. It’s a role with less visibility from the audience perspective —
I’m no longer the face of the magazine in terms of recruiting and interacting with our
authors, for example — but one that’s no less vital in making Scotsman Guide the
premier publication for mortgage originators.
It would be a disservice to not mention the exceptional work done by our outgoing
Editor in Chief, Bill Conroy, who continually molded this company’s two monthly
magazines into perennial award winners. He did so by insisting upon the highest
journalistic standards of accurate, fair and informative content. Bill will be greatly
missed and it’s my goal to keep this machine well-oiled and highly performing.
Returning author Igor Zhizhin of American Street Capital LLC aims to give your
business some tune-up tips in our lead article on Page 31. In “Develop a Magic
Touch,” Zhizhin writes about the importance of utilizing technology to recruit and
retain clients. Commercial mortgage brokers who go above and beyond in their
customer-service efforts will see the payoff in the form of increased referrals and more
closed loans, Zhizhin says.
New author Mark Monro of Seattle Funding Group also takes a business-development tact with
his article on Page 65. Similar to other sales-based industries, 80 percent of mortgages are originated by
20 percent of the workforce, and Monro advises brokers that being proactive, honing your sales techniques and
narrowing the focus of your marketing tactics can keep you in that highly performing group.
On Page 36, new author Lukas Bull of Prime Commercial Lending makes the case for being a master of FICO
credit scores. Many borrowers have credit issues that make them less attractive to traditional lenders, Bull writes,
so they’ll seek out brokers who can offer solutions — whether that’s improving their payment history, utilizing
less credit or requesting a credit-line increase.
On Page 89, returning author Ben Kadish of Maverick Commercial Mortgage Inc. frames the niche-financing
sector of manufactured-housing communities (MHCs) as a business-development issue. More lenders are
offering loans for MHCs these days as investors look to address affordable-housing shortages, and brokers should
know these properties are shedding their stereotypes as outdated trailer parks, Kadish says.
If you’re new to the mortgage industry or looking to open your own business, there are a lot of details that can
get overlooked. Surety bonds — which are similar to insurance, but protect clients rather than brokers — are
a common regulatory requirement that you should know about. Eric Weisbrot of JW Surety Bonds lays out the
pertinent details of these products in his article on Page 82.
Construction-financing expert Garry Barnes of PW Partners Consultancy caps this month’s content on Page 52,
where he meticulously deciphers the documentation process for ground-up development projects.
The business-development focus is particularly relevant this month as we undergo our own changes.
Chief Reporter Victor Whitman, who has deep knowledge of the residential and commercial mortgage
industries, will be the next editor of Scotsman Guide Commercial Edition. Send him a shout-out at
Neil Pierson is editor of Scotsman Guide Commercial Edition.
Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or email@example.com.