Evan Gentry | Courtesy Money360

What Lies Ahead for the Lending Space?

Carrie Rossenfeld Finance & Capital Markets

In June, Money360, a technology-enabled direct lender specializing in commercial real estate loans surpassed $750 million in loans closed since inception. This includes $82.5 million in loans closed in May.

The firm specializes in bridge and permanent loans of $1 million to $20 million. Notable loans closed in 2018 include a $17.25 million bridge loan for a medical office in Newport Beach, California. In addition, Money360 has continued to expand its presence across the US, hiring Jon Mettel as a new regional director of originations in the Southeast region, and adding several new commercial real estate loan administrators and analysts to its Ladera Ranch, California, headquarters as loan volume continues to grow.

SoCal Real Estate caught up with Evan Gentry, CEO of Money360, to discuss the firm’s increased transaction volume, its growth plans, and his view on the lending space for the remainder of the year and into 2019.

SoCal Real Estate: To what do you attribute your increased transaction volume?
We’ve seen incredible growth since the beginning of 2018, and May in particular was one of our busiest months to date with $82.5 million in loans closed. The growth can be attributed to a number of factors, but one of the largest drivers is Money360’s dedication to finding innovative and personalized financing solutions that meet our borrowers’ needs. We’re seeing large tranches of commercial real estate mortgages across the country come due, and as traditional lenders increasingly decline to offer the same financing packages as before, brokers and borrowers are turning to alternative lenders like Money360 seeking the transparency, efficiency and customized financing we offer.

What are the firm’s growth plans?
Money360 continues to grow not only in size, but in saturation across the country, working to meet the growing demand for commercial real estate loans in both major metropolitan areas and tier-two cities and regions, such as Portland, Oregon; Orange County; and Charlottesville, North Carolina. We’re expanding our footprint and adding dedicated directors throughout the U.S. that have a unique understanding of the commercial real estate needs in each market.

Money360 is also continuing to invest in its technology and its experienced team of underwriters, which, working together, have created an incredible capacity for us to scale while continuing to deliver exceptional customer service and results.

We anticipate our loan transaction volume to continue to climb as more borrowers recognize the value of the non-bank lending model.

What do you see happening in the lending space for the remainder of 2018?
While many experts are anticipating the next market downturn, we don’t envision a dramatic downward trend in the commercial real estate industry in the next six months. We see more borrowers and investors seeking capital for commercial real estate, and we expect a substantial increase in financings from non-bank lenders. In particular, we’re seeing tier two cities drive demand for commercial real estate loans, spurred by the expansion of public transit, the rise in major metropolitan area rents, and the opportunities created by new distribution hubs for companies like Amazon outside of big cities.

What lies ahead in this space for next year?
Next year, non-bank lending will continue to thrive and take on market share from a variety of borrowers throughout the commercial real estate industry. Due to this increase in lending activity and to new players entering the sector, we may see demand for more regulation in the industry. Money360 is urging non-bank lenders to take steps now to adopt best practices that will establish a common set of standards that empower businesses and protect consumers.