Sometimes HUD 232 borrowers assume that, because they’re getting an FHA-insured loan, it doesn’t matter what institution they work with. In fact, they may reason that a bigger institution, such as a national chain bank, will have more leverage, greater influence or more efficient processes that will be of some benefit to the borrower.
In reality, says Cambridge Realty Capital President Jeffrey Davis, “Small lenders like Cambridge are in a better position to provide more desirable outcomes and deliver them in a more efficient manner than large institutions,” adding that “access to a larger pool of financial resources does not guarantee a more desirable outcome.”
Of course, not all small lenders are the same, either. When asked what it is that sets Cambridge apart from other small, boutique lenders, he notes that Cambridge offers the best of both a small and a large lending institution. “We may not be a national institution, but we have all the collective experience of one. That being said, our small size makes us very approachable and accessible to our clients. A client can always count on being able to speak to a staff member that knows their file, no matter when they call.” He goes on, “our small, tight-knit staff works very well together.” And compared to large institutions where various staff members may not even know each other or work in the same office building, Cambridge staff members work in the same space and have instant access to one another.
Cambridge has been in commercial real estate lending since the mid-1980s. Shortly after its founding, Cambridge began specializing in senior living lending, a fact that is not lost on Cambridge’s clients today. “The senior housing industry is management-intensive. Investors are wise to align themselves with competent experienced real estate pros that have a solid history of success in the industry,” says Gerald Nudo of Marc Realty of Chicago and a Cambridge client. Nudo’s advice to others: “Work with someone you trust who has a proven record of achievement in this area [of senior housing].”
Cambridge’s record also speaks volumes about its experience in the senior living industry. Cambridge has a success rate of 98% when it comes to closing loans. Cambridge Realty Capital has consistently been ranked among the top ten HUD lenders in the US for the last 20 years, even in competition with many large, national financial institutions.
When it comes to HUD lending, Davis points out, experience is key. “It comes as no surprise to anyone that anything government-related is always wrapped tightly in red-tape. Cambridge’s years of experience have put it in a unique position to be able to cut through that red tape quickly and efficiently.”
He notes that, over the years, Cambridge has seen and experienced just about every kind of situation imaginable, including circumstances that have threatened to derail clients’ HUD loan applications. Fortunately, “there are knowledgeable specialists [at Cambridge] who understand the increasingly complex world of government finance, who can help owner/operators find their way through the maze,” declares Cambridge client Robert King, President of Carroll Properties, Inc. of Chicago. King worked closely with Cambridge President Andrew Erkes on a past deal and states, “Andy is really smart and knows the HUD programs cold. His knowledge and mastery of the HUD funding process is truly exceptional. He is very sensitive to the customer’s needs – to my needs. He’s able to successfully work with the huge morass of regulatory restraints in tailoring complicated government funding programs that work for clients.” King has this advice for others who are a looking for a HUD lender: “The best way to deal with the inevitable red tape that accompanies these projects is to find and work with someone who fully understands the complex world of government finance programs.”
Cambridge’s size doesn’t limit it when it comes to access to capital, either. “[Cambridge] has access to capital with an unlimited amount of funding available for projects targeted by Cambridge Investment and Finance, the company’s acquisition arm,” noted Mark Myers, Managing Director of Walker & Dunlop in Chicago. Myers added, “Financial acumen and deal-making instincts are the other things Cambridge unfailingly brings to the table.”