Interview with RSA Mortgage Brokerage
CEO John McCarthy
Q. What sets apart RSA Mortgage Brokerage from other commercial mortgage brokers?
For over 40 years the RSA has been helping owners manage the challenge of successfully running and maintaining their apartment buildings. This history enables RSA Mortgage Brokerage to help owners of multifamily buildings in the NYC metro area streamline the commercial mortgage application process and get to an approval faster. I and many of my colleagues are former bankers. We know what banks need to get to “yes.” We can explain the strengths of an owner’s building, his business. And if there are problems that need to be resolved — proof of compliance with New York codes and regulations, for instance — we have the knowledge and experience to help. We are committed to provide high quality service to owners of multifamily buildings.
Q. What does RSA Mortgage Brokerage offer building owners seeking financing?
We specialize in serving the needs of owners of mid-tier and smaller buildings. We advise owners applying for commercial mortgages how to anticipate banks’ requests for records and documents, and how to respond to questions that often come up. RSA Mortgage Brokerage can advise owners on how to “tell the story” of their buildings’ financial strength, so lenders can better appreciate it. Owners who come to us benefit from the relationships that RSA Mortgage Brokerage enjoys with lenders offering favorable terms and who understand the economics of multifamily building ownership in NYC.
Q. How can multifamily and mixed use building owners impress potential mortgage lenders with the value of their buildings?
Banks will make loans on financially sound buildings with a sustained cash flow from stable rent rolls. This has to be documented for lenders, along with other information they require in evaluating a loan application. It can be challenging to owners of medium and small multifamily buildings to gather and present this information in a compelling manner. We can help in that process. Our guidance to building owners can reduce the chance of snags in the process that can stall the lender’s decision. We help both owners and banks streamline the mortgage application process. Our experience and expertise helps lenders readily perceive the value of the properties, and we can minimize delays in a complicated process by anticipating the lenders’ information requirements.
Q. Why is access to financing by owners of multifamily buildings important to NYC?
Over 90% of New York’s rental buildings have fewer than 50 apartments. Most apartments in the City do not command luxury rents. Much more commonly, apartment rents here, especially outside of Manhattan, are affordable to the City’s middle class – the people who work here. And overwhelmingly our workforce housing was built many decades ago. Almost all new residential construction in NYC is at the luxury level due to the shortage of available land and high cost of construction.
Owners of apartment buildings are small businesspeople. Like any small business owner, they need access to financing. Money for capital improvements is a key need. Most of New York’s rental buildings were built before World War II and in some neighborhoods, over 90% of the buildings date from that era. That means they are between 70 and 100 years old. Maintaining them requires capital investment. Everyone wants financially stable, decent housing for New York. This depends on efficient borrowing by the small business people who own apartment buildings. RSA Mortgage Brokerage helps building owners achieve that.