Loan Request Experience for Brokers


When we launched PrivateLenderLink.com in 2010, our goal was to provide an open resource for brokers to learn about reputable private lending companies and provide an easy way to connect with them. It was essentially a directory, but with tons of information to help brokers determine which lenders may be a good fit. Without paying any fees, investors can browse the lenders’ profiles and contact each one directly by phone, email, or by visiting their websites. We take pride in giving our site visitors the option to connect with lenders however they choose, but manually contacting each lender one-by-one can be frustrating and time-consuming.

In February 2021, we launched a major upgrade of our platform and added a new system for brokers to connect with private mortgage lenders. We call it the “Loan Request Experience” and the concept is that you provide information about your deal just once, then share it with multiple lenders, but only a select number of reputable lenders, not every single lender you can find online.

How it Works

We spent countless hours creating a complex questionnaire which doesn’t take much time to complete and asks almost every question that all lenders would ask to determine if they can fund a loan. Instead of contacting each lender one-by-one and explaining the loan scenario over and over again, just provide it once to save yourself a lot of time and effort.

Once the loan request has been created and saved to your account, we offer 2 methods to share it with lenders.

  1. Self-Service
    You can browse lenders on our website and choose which ones to invite.
  2. Recommendations
    You can request recommendations so that we can invite a few select lenders to view your deal.

You don’t have to choose one or the other. You can select both options.

The Self-Service Process

With the self-service option, you can see a list of lenders based on the loan type and property location, then review their profiles which are very detailed. We require lenders to provide all of their guidelines, rates, fees, company background and much more. If you think a lender may be a fit, click a button to invite them to the Loan Request. The lender will review the information you provided and indicate whether they are interested or not. Lenders can send you a message through our platform, and they can also call or email you directly. You can invite as many lenders as you want, but we recommend just a few at a time.

Lender Recommendations

If you don’t want to browse lender profiles and figure out which lenders to invite, you can leverage our extensive database, relationships, and knowledge about private lending. With a click of a button, you can ask us for recommendations. We’ll review the Loan Request and invite a few lenders that we feel are a good fit, some of which may not be listed in the public searches. In most cases, we limit the number of lenders invited to 4 at any given time.

If none of them are a good fit, just let us know why before we invite more lenders. If after reviewing the Loan Request, we determine that none of the lenders in our network will consider it, we’ll explain why, and you’ll get a shareable link to the loan questionnaire which you can provide to any lenders that you may find outside of our platform as you continue your search.

Loan Request Management

Our platform offers a clean and simple dashboard for you to manage multiple loan requests. You’ll have the ability to edit the loan details at any time, see a list of all the lenders invited to each loan, remove lenders if needed, view messages, invite coworkers, and get help from us whenever needed. Obviously, you must create an account in order to use the dashboard, but we do offer an option to create a Loan Request as a guest without having to sign up.

By choosing the Guest experience, you won’t have the ability to invite lenders on your own. You’d be selecting our Recommendations service by default.

Privacy Concerns

Whenever you’re providing information online to obtain financing for your clients, there is always a concern about disclosing a borrower’s personal information, who is looking at the information, and whether they are direct lenders. Regarding the client’s information, our loan questionnaire is fairly detailed, but it focuses more on the deal and less about the borrower. We won’t ask for your client’s social security number, date of birth, or your personal residence address, unless it’s the subject property. You can upload documents to the loan request, but we prefer that those documents don’t contain any sensitive information.

The subject property’s address is a critical piece of information that every lender will need in order to evaluate your deal and provide a quote. However, we understand that some brokers may not feel comfortable sharing it upfront, so it’s not required in our loan questionnaire. If you choose not to provide the address, we ask that you at least provide a zip code so that lenders can see the general vicinity of the property’s location. Once you’ve connected with a lender, you can provide the property address to them privately, outside of our platform.

As mentioned earlier, we don’t typically invite more than 4 lenders to view your loan request at any given time. We will never blast out your deal to every lender in our database. And we only share your loan request with lenders IF you request recommendations. You’re welcome to choose the self-service option so that you can invite whichever lender you choose, so you’d have full control in that case.

Direct Lender Policy

We have a strict policy to only connect brokers with direct private lending companies. Many lenders have multiple capital sources, so we’re not always concerned about where their money comes from. The way we qualify a lender being direct is their term sheet lists only one origination fee. If you receive a term sheet from a lender on our platform which lists two separate companies receiving points, we ask that you inform us so that we can address it and consider removing the lender from our platform.

There are a few exceptions to our direct lender policy, but only for consumer mortgages and small business loans, which is not the primary focus of our platform and isn’t typically relevant to brokers.

What does it cost?

If you find lenders on your own and invite them to your loan request, there is no cost on our end. All the private mortgage lenders that appear in the search results are paying us a monthly advertising fee to be listed.

If you ask us for recommendations, the lender that funds your loan may pay us a referral fee after closing. For most lenders, the typical fee is 25 basis points (0.25% of the loan amount), but it could be less, and it could also be a flat fee amount.

Our fee may or may not increase the overall cost to your borrower. It really depends on how each lender structures their origination fee.

Many times we’ll recommend lenders that won’t pay us a referral fee at all. And in some cases, it’s not possible for us to receive a referral fee. This mainly applies to consumer purpose mortgages, but a few states require a mortgage broker license in order to receive a referral fee for investment property deals, which we do not have. This includes Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, and in a few other states, it depends on whether the subject property is residential or commercial.

Ready to get started?

CREATE A LOAN REQUEST

Loan Request Experience for Property Owners

When we launched PrivateLenderLink.com in 2010, our goal was to provide an open resource for property investors to learn about reputable private lending companies and provide an easy way to connect with them. It was essentially a directory, but with tons of information to help investors determine which lenders may be a good fit. Without paying any fees, investors can browse the lenders’ profiles and contact each one directly by phone, email, or by visiting their websites. We take pride in giving our site visitors the option to connect with lenders however they choose, but manually contacting each lender one-by-one can be frustrating and time-consuming.

In February 2021, we launched a major upgrade of our platform and added a new system for property owners to connect with private mortgage lenders. We call it the “Loan Request Experience” and the concept is that you provide information about your deal just once, then share it with multiple lenders, but only a select number of reputable lenders, not every single lender you can find online.

How it Works

We spent countless hours creating a complex questionnaire which doesn’t take much time to complete and asks almost every question that all lenders would ask to determine if they can fund your loan. Instead of contacting each lender one-by-one and explaining the loan scenario over and over again, just provide it once to save yourself a lot of time and effort.

Once your loan request has been created and saved to your account, we offer 2 methods to share it with lenders.

  1. Self-Service
    You can browse lenders on our website and choose which ones to invite.
  2. Recommendations
    You can also ask us for recommendations so that we can invite a few select lenders to view your deal.

You don’t have to choose one or the other. You can select both options.

The Self-Service Process

With the first option, you can see a list of lenders based on your loan type and property location, then view their profiles which are very detailed. We require lenders to provide all of their guidelines, rates, fees, company background and much more. If you think a lender may be a fit, click a button to invite them to your Loan Request. The lender will review your loan details and indicate whether they are interested or not. Lenders can send you a message through our platform. They can also call or email you directly. Invite as many lenders as you want, but we recommend just a few at a time.

Lender Recommendations

If you don’t want to browse lender profiles and figure out which lenders to invite, you can leverage our extensive database, relationships, and knowledge about private lending. With a click of a button, you can ask us for recommendations. We’ll review the Loan Request and invite a few lenders that we feel are a good fit, some of which may not be listed in the public searches. In most cases, we limit the number of lenders invited to 4 at any given time.

If none of them are a good fit, just let us know why before we invite more lenders. If after reviewing your information, we determine that none of the lenders in our network will consider your loan, we’ll explain why, and you’ll get a shareable link to the loan questionnaire which you can provide to any lenders that you may find outside of our platform as you continue your search.

Loan Request Management

Our platform offers a clean and simple dashboard for you to manage your loan requests. You’ll have the ability to edit your loan details at any time, see a list of all the lenders invited, remove lenders if needed, view messages, invite coworkers, and get help from us whenever needed. Obviously, you must create an account in order to use the dashboard, but we do offer an option to create a Loan Request as a guest without having to sign up. By choosing the Guest experience, you won’t have the ability to invite lenders on your own. You’d be selecting our Recommendations service by default.

Privacy Concerns

Whenever you’re providing information online to obtain financing, there is always a concern about who is looking at your information, so I want to address a few things about privacy. Our loan questionnaire is fairly detailed, but it focuses more on the deal and less about the borrower. We don’t ask for a social security number, date of birth, or your personal residence address, unless it’s the subject property.

We ask for your average credit score, but we’re not running a credit report. Even if we add a credit reporting integration in the future, it would be optional, and the data needed to pull your credit would be collected by a third party company. We offer the ability to upload supporting documents, but we prefer that the documents don’t contain any of your personal information. It would be best if you provide this to the lenders directly.

The subject property’s address is a critical piece of information that every lender will need in order to evaluate your deal and provide a quote. However, we understand that some people may not feel comfortable sharing it upfront, so it’s not required in our loan questionnaire. If you choose not to provide the address, we ask that you at least provide a zip code so that lenders can see the general vicinity of the property’s location.

Once you’ve connected with a lender, you can provide the property address to them privately, outside of our platform. As I mentioned earlier, we don’t typically invite more than 4 lenders to view your loan request at any given time. We will never blast out your information to every lender in our database. And we only share your loan request with lenders IF you request recommendations.

What does it cost?

If you find lenders on your own and invite them to your loan request, there is no cost on our end. All the private mortgage lenders that appear in the search results are paying us a monthly advertising fee to be listed.

If you ask us for recommendations, the lender that funds your loan may pay us a referral fee after closing. For most lenders, the fee ranges from one quarter of one percent (0.25%) to one half of one percent (0.50%), but it could be less, and it could also be a flat fee amount. Our fee may or may not increase your overall pricing. It really depends on how each lender structures their origination fee.

Many times we’ll recommend lenders that won’t pay us a referral fee at all. And in some cases, it’s not possible for us to receive a referral fee. This mainly applies to consumer purpose mortgages, but a few states require a mortgage broker license in order to receive a referral fee for investment property deals, which we do not have at the time of this recording. This includes Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, and in a few other states, it depends on whether the subject property is residential or commercial.

Ready to get started?

CREATE A LOAN REQUEST

2022 Site Upgrade Overview for Lenders

Loan Request Experience

The biggest change we’ve made to the site is a new experience we’re offering borrowers and brokers to help make the process of finding lenders much more efficient. We’re going to push them to enter and save their loan request details, then browse lender profiles and invite select lenders to view their loan.

Our goal is to give users control to connect with lenders however they prefer. They can still freely browse the site and contact lenders directly. However, we’ll try our best to convince them that the loan request experience will be the best option for them. We spent weeks building a new loan form with lots of data fields and conditional logic for many types of deals so that lenders will have a good amount of information to determine if the deal has potential.

If a user invites you to their loan request, you’ll need to sign in to view all the details. If there’s any interest in the deal, you can use our new messaging system to gather any additional information. You could also just call the lead if you want, but they get to choose the communication method. The user can also invite as many lenders as they want, but you’ll be able to see how many lenders were invited.

Lender Recommendations

If the borrower or broker cannot find a suitable lender or doesn’t want to browse lender profiles, they’ll have an option to request recommendations from us. At this point, we’re going to disclose that we may receive a referral fee if a lender we recommend ends up funding their loan. If they wish to proceed, we’ll get a notification and log in to review the loan request, and after confirming it’s a doable deal, we’ll invite a few select lenders, some of which may not be listed in the searches.

Design Upgrades

The site upgrade comes with a fresh new modern design and user interface. We’ve scaled down the menu and eliminated a number of pages. We also eliminated a number of data fields from the lender profiles and simplified the layout.

Every lender profile now has just three sections – Guidelines, Company, and Contact. We moved the videos and testimonials to the bottom of the Guidelines section. The image gallery, team bios and transactions have been moved to the Company section.

Since there are so many lending guidelines data fields, we set up a new accordion layout so users can expand and collapse subsections to view the information. We created a new set of fields to display your maximum leverage per each loan type and asset class. So instead of a blanket LTV field, you can now indicate the maximum leverage for purchase bridge, purchase long-term, refinance bridge, refinance long-term, value-add, and construction.

The navigation for each lender’s profile sticks to the top as users scroll, and they will eventually click on the green CONTACT button. The Contact section has several neat upgrades. On the left side of the page, we highlight your minimum loan amount along with a short list of things you do and don’t do. Our hope is that borrowers and brokers read this before making contact.

On the right side, you’ll notice the first call-to-action is to Share a Loan Request. If the user has already created a loan request, they can simply click the INVITE LENDER button on your profile, and you’ll receive a notification. If they don’t want to use the loan request experience, they still have 3 options to contact you directly. They can call, send an email, or visit your website.

Since 2014, we’ve used a virtual phone system to create a custom phone number for each lender so we can log all the phone calls. However, we are beginning to phase that out and will begin publishing your direct number instead. Users will have to click a button to view your phone number. We’ll log that click and send you a notification that someone asked for your phone number. If the user is signed in, you’ll see their name in the notification.

Users can still send an email message from your profile, but the form now collects a few data fields, including the loan type, property type, city, state, loan amount, LTV, and desired loan term.

User Account Structure

Another large and complex piece to the site upgrade is the restructure of user accounts. We’ve separated individual user accounts from companies so that multiple people in your company can access the leads and make edits to the public profile. This feature won’t be included in the initial launch on February 2nd. It’s about eighty percent built out, and should be ready by the end of February. Until then, there will still be just one user login that manages your public profile.

User Portal

When you sign in, you’ll notice a number of changes to the portal. We’ve simplified the menu so that all users see the same 5 items: My Account, Company Details, Loan Requests, and Inquiries.

My Account is where you enter your personal information. If your company is a lender, you find a simple structure with 4 tabs at the top: Company, Guidelines, Testimonials, Transactions. Please go through all the fields in the Company and Guidelines tabs to make sure everything is up-to-date (Testimonials and Transactions are optional). You’ll notice the new leverage fields close to the top of the Guidelines tab. Once the Coworker Invite system is ready, you’ll see a separate tab for that at the top of this Company Details page.

Another feature we included with the new structure is the ability to create additional company profiles. This only applies to a few unique situations:

  • Lenders that offer a wholesale program build a separate profile to list in our Service Provider directory.
  • Direct Lender wishes to broker a loan for a borrower acquired outside of our platform. A separate brokerage company profile would be created.
  • Lenders that have 2 separate companies for very different loan types
    • Commercial Real Estate vs. Small Business Loans
    • Residential Investment vs. Residential Owner-Occupied

Viewing Loan Request Leads
Click Loan Requests from the left side menu to view a list of all the loans you’ve been invited to. When you click on a loan request, you’ll see all the data fields which the borrower or broker has filled out. Click the CHANGE STATUS button to reject the deal, or inform the lead that you’re interested, and then send a message.

Viewing Email Form Leads
The Inquiries page of the portal will show all the email form submissions received from your profile. If you browse our Service Provider directory and submit an email form to any of the companies listed, those will show up here as well for your records.


Subscription vs. Referral Fee

In addition to the site enhancements, there is a slight change to our fee model which will apply to some lenders, but not all. While the majority of lenders showing up in searches on the site are paying a monthly advertising fee, we have many referral fee agreements with lenders who only pay us when a loan closes, and some of those lenders are listed on the site to receive leads directly from borrowers and brokers. There are two main challenges with this model:

Difficult to Track Leads
Even lenders that have a solid system for tracking their referral sources won’t be able to catch all the leads generated from their listing on our site.

Fee Disclosure
We haven’t disclosed to the lead that we are to receive a referral fee when their loan closes. There have been cases where the lender informed the borrower or broker that the origination fee for their loan request is higher because they have to pay Private Lender Link, and it leaves a bad impression on us because they were not aware of this beforehand.

Moving forward, we want to advertise to our site visitors that any private mortgage lender they find by browsing the site is paying us for advertising, and contacting those lenders directly from our site is not going to increase the pricing for their loan.

So if your lending firm is not paying a monthly subscription fee, we have to hide your listing from the search results. If you wish to continue to be listed in searches, reach out to us to get a quote. While most lenders pay between $500 and $1,500 per month, we have pricing options as low as $50 per month. We are still continuing our referral fee agreements, and there will still be opportunities for us to refer leads to lenders, if users ask us for recommendations. With our new Loan Request Experience, the process for referring leads will be much more efficient moving forward.

New Referral Fee Structure

For the majority of our existing referral agreements, the fee is 0.50% of the loan amount (50 basis points) with a $500 minimum. Moving forward, we want to reduce the percentage and have a standard structure which only varies if the lead is a broker or the borrower:

  • Direct Borrower Lead: 0.375% (37.5 bps)
  • Broker Lead: 0.25% (25 bps)

This won’t apply to all lenders. If your current referral fee agreement is to pay a percentage of the total origination fee charged to the borrower, there won’t be any changes.


Additional Improvements Coming Soon

This has been a huge project for us, but there is lots more work to do. Here are a few of the larger improvement projects on our list:

  • Invite Coworker Process – February 2022
    Multiple people from the same lending company can have access to view leads and edit the public profile. Currently, the user you invite must have an existing account. We’ll improve the process so that you don’t have to ask your coworker to first sign up so that they can be invited.
  • Data Integration – March 2022
    We want to give lenders the ability to export lead data to a CRM or Loan Origination Software.
  • Loan Request Layout – April 2022
    We’ll make a number of layout improvements to the loan request view, and we’ll attempt to integrate with a property data provider to show additional information about the subject property.
  • Reporting – May 2022
    We’ll build a new reporting system so you can see the performance of your public profile in real time, for all types of leads – loan request invites, phone calls, email forms, and external website clicks.

Next Steps

Please sign in to update your profile. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions, and we can also schedule a web meeting or phone call.

Thank you for being part of the Private Lender Link network. We appreciate your support and look forward to generating more leads for you.