Navigating Commercial Real Estate Financing: Strategies and Options for Investors

June 26, 2023   |   Brokerage
commercial office building entrance

Commercial real estate financing can be a complex process. In this blog post, David Hungerford, CCIM discusses the various types of commercial real estate financing available to investors.

Investing in commercial real estate can be lucrative, but it often requires significant financial resources. Fortunately, various commercial real estate financing options are available, allowing investors to secure the necessary capital for their ventures. This article will explore different financing strategies of traditional bank loans, crowdfunding, real estate investment trusts (REITs), and other alternative funding sources.

Strategies and Options for Investors

Conventional Bank Loans

Conventional bank loans are a common, popular, and safe choice for commercial real estate financing. They offer a straightforward and flexible approach that caters to the diverse needs of investors. These loans can be utilized for various property types, including multi-family, retail, office, hospitality, and industrial properties. The terms of conventional bank loans vary based on the lending institution and the specific property type involved. Typically, the loan amount is determined considering the property's appraised value, the borrower's creditworthiness, and the potential rental income generated by the asset. With Loan to Value Ratios (LTV) ranging from 50 to 80 percent, conventional bank loans allow investors to secure a significant portion of a property's value. The loan duration typically spans 5 to 10 years.

An advantage of utilizing conventional bank loans is the well-established borrowing processes offered by reputable financial institutions. These trusted banks have extensive experience and expertise in commercial real estate financing, ensuring a smooth and reliable lending experience for investors. Moreover, these institutions provide attractive refinancing options for borrowers. When the fixed interest rate period approaches its end, property owners commonly choose to refinance their loans. By refinancing, owners can adjust their financing terms, secure new interest rates, and potentially negotiate improved loan conditions. By taking advantage of refinancing opportunities, investors can capitalize on lower interest rates, reduce their overall borrowing costs, and enhance their cash flow.


In commercial real estate financing, crowdfunding has revolutionized the way investors fund commercial real estate projects. It involves pooling together small amounts of capital from multiple investors to finance a specific property or portfolio. Crowdfunding platforms connect investors with real estate developers or sponsors, providing an opportunity to invest in high-potential projects that were once exclusive to institutional investors.

One significant benefit of crowdfunding is that it enables property owners to gain exposure to the real estate market without the burden of direct involvement in property maintenance and upkeep. Unlike traditional bank loans, which often come with firm qualification requirements and regular payment obligations, crowdfunding offers a more streamlined and accessible funding solution. Property owners can bypass the challenges associated with mortgage qualifications and instead focus on attracting investors and driving their projects forward. Also important, crowdfunding eliminates the necessity for owners to secure loans with their properties and assets, reducing personal risk and potential financial liabilities associated with traditional financing methods.

                                                                                                                          Source: 4025 S Pipkin Rd

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

Utilizing real estate investment trusts (REITs) provides property owners with distinct advantages when participating in the commercial real estate market. REITs are companies that own, operate, or finance income-generating real estate and offer an alternative to direct property ownership. By investing in REITs, property owners can enjoy the following benefits:

  1. Liquidity: REITs trade on stock exchanges, allowing property owners to easily buy and sell shares.
  2. Dividend Income: REITs are required by law to distribute a significant portion of their taxable income as dividends to shareholders.
  3. Diversification: REITs offer exposure to a portfolio of income-generating properties, reducing the risk associated with individual properties.

By leveraging REITs, property owners can access the commercial real estate market and enjoy the benefits of liquidity, dividend income, and diversification. This approach provides an opportunity to participate in the real estate sector without the challenges and responsibilities of direct property ownership.

Alternative Funding Sources

Commercial real estate investors have access to a range of alternative funding sources that offer unique benefits for property owners. In addition to traditional bank loans, crowdfunding, and REITs, the following funding options can be explored:

  1. Private Equity Funds: Private equity funds provide capital from institutional investors or high-net-worth individuals to finance commercial real estate projects. By partnering with these funds, property owners can access substantial funding, expertise, and potential networking opportunities.
  2. Hard Money Lenders: Hard money lenders offer short-term loans based on the value of the property being used as collateral. These loans are typically easier to obtain and have faster approval processes compared to the more strict traditional bank loans. Interest rates can be quite high at 2-3x traditional bank loans.
  3. Government-Sponsored Programs: Various government-sponsored programs, such as Small Business Administration (SBA) loans or local economic development initiatives, offer funding support to commercial real estate projects. These programs often provide favorable terms (e.g. 90% LTV), lower interest rates, and assistance to property owners who meet specific eligibility criteria.

Explore Your Options

If you are looking to explore your options in commercial real estate financing, contact one of SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler’s expert commercial real estate advisors. Our experienced advisors specialize in various commercial property types and can help you identify the most suitable financing solutions for your specific needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discover the financing opportunities available to you.

David Hungerford
David aims to provide dynamic analysis strategies to locate the most efficient sites for each client. He is the mapping specialist within the firm which gives him an insider look on site selection and site-in-search analysis. David values each client as if they were his own family. His previo...