The borrowing arena can be an intimidating place. The lenders’ den is full of experienced moneymen whose primary job is to separate as much current and future cash from your wallet as possible. If you could improve your odds by having a borrower advocate, someone to look out for your interests, what would that person look like?
Borrowing Track Record: The borrowing coach should have a long campaign of successful loan closings from a variety of lending sources. Ideally your advocate would have a history of loan originations in challenging financial times like the credit crisis that began in 2007.
Education: The loan advocate should have an ironclad education, preferably an MBA from a top university. The best borrowing coach would also have an advanced education from the real world full of rich debt experiences.
Connections: The well-armored borrowing coaches will have an extensive contact database of lending resources including attorneys, appraisers, bankers, mortgage brokers, accountants, and tax professionals. Real estate borrowing contacts should include title companies, engineering firms, financial analysts, environmental firms and zoning companies.
Strategic Planning Skills: A skilled borrowing coach will be active in the planning and strategy sessions a business or personal borrower holds BEFORE making a decision to borrow. The coach’s early intervention can help a borrower avoid a costly mistake or maximize the effectiveness of a new loan.
Listening Skills: The loan advocate must have the ability to hear the borrower’s needs and translate them into a well-designed strategic borrowing plan.
Negotiating Skills: The well-armed borrowing advocate will have a stocked toolkit of negotiating tactics that are essential during the process of looking for a new loan and the closing process. A great borrowing coach will identify positions of strength and help the borrower avoid negotiating from a position of weakness.
Process Management Skills: The skilled borrowing coach will have his finger on the pulse of the transaction and keep the loan closing on track by anticipating long lead-time items and potential pitfalls.
Team Building Skills: A borrowing advocate will have the knowledge to motivate the internal and external components of the loan team. She will know which levers to pull to get an appropriate and timely response to a loan issue.
Life Experience: A great borrowing coach will be a master of the mechanics of borrowing money and will have a wide variety of life experiences. He will have career accomplishments in fields other than the silo of accounting and finance.
Great Closer: An all-star borrowing advocate will have the same grit and determination as the closer on a winning baseball team. She will get the winning loan across the plate and retire the closing process with confidence.
Scout/Recon: A seasoned borrowing coach is like a highly-trained military scout who can anticipate where the loan traps are hidden and help the client avoid costly borrowing landmines.
I have over 15 years and $4 billion of borrowing experience. My MBA from the University of Arizona has greatly contributed to my success. I have developed and nurtured an extensive database of lending industry contacts across all loan disciplines. I developed my strategic planning, listening, closing, process management and team building skills as an army officer and helicopter pilot. I have a proven track record and the experience to successfully navigate the path to loan closing.
Will you get some professional borrowing help the next time you decide to get a loan? Which borrower advocate characteristics are most important to you?