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July 17, 2017

Lightning Strikes Twice at 2nd Freddie Mac SBL Loan Lab℠

Catherine Evans
Article By
Catherine Evans, VP SBL Underwriting

The first time around can be called beginner’s luck. But when something exceeds expectations twice in a row, you know you’re onto something. Late last month, the Freddie Mac Small Balance Loans team held their second Loan LabSM in Dallas, Texas and it was a success by all measures.

My predecessor, Mike Patterson, came up with the original concept, and it was lightning in a bottle.

A Loan Lab is essentially a pop-up that offers Seller/Servicers the opportunity to submit loans and then speak face-to-face with producers, underwriters and in-house counsel from Freddie Mac, so we can shorten the commitment time of a loan from a couple weeks down to a one hour appointment.

At the end of this year’s day-and-a-half event, our team committed to 61 small apartment loans with a total volume of $163 million – triple the volume and more than double the loan count of last year’s inaugural event! This comes out to over 2,500 apartment units with 86% qualifying as low income (LI) and 19% qualifying as very low income (VLI) units.

While the weekend leading up to the Loan Lab was full of long days and nights for the underwriters and analysts, once the event starts, you can feel the energy in the room. There’s a buzz as Seller/Servicers walk into the room, which is split up by the five SBL regions, and sit down with Freddie Mac staff to negotiate through a small apartment loan.  All questions can be answered right on the spot – there is no waiting to get in touch with the right person or delay for approvals--that’s the magic of the Loan Lab.

Seller/Servicers who attended last year’s event had been eagerly waiting to participate again this year. And some took full advantage of the unique opportunity -  For example, Greystone Servicing Corporation had a whopping 20 deals negotiated and committed at the Loan Lab. This opens time for their producers and internal underwriters to work more deals through the regular process this month, and the borrowers for those 20 properties can rest easy with their financing tied up.

In today’s day and age when everyone is looking to use technology to make their workload more efficient, it’s nice to occasionally go back to the basics of hard work, face-to-face contact and sheer grit to get things done.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Loan Lab. We look forward to bringing it back in 2018!

Loan Lab

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