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A Guide to Commercial Real Estate Financing

June 5, 2023

Commercial real estate financing can be complex and challenging, but it is an essential aspect of owning and operating income-producing properties. Whether you are a seasoned real estate investor or just starting out, understanding the different types of commercial real estate financing options available can help you make informed decisions and secure the funding you need to achieve your goals.

Types of Commercial Real Estate Financing

The following loan options each have benefits and drawbacks, as well as qualification requirements, such as credit scores, personal guarantees, and more. The loan terms of each should be carefully explored to match your business goals and objectives.

Traditional Bank Loans

This is the most common form of financing for commercial real estate. Banks offer a range of loan products, including term loans, lines of credit, and construction loans. These loans typically have lower interest rates and longer repayment terms, but the approval process can be lengthy and requires a strong sponsor and collateral.

SBA Loans

Small Business Administration (SBA) loans are backed by the government and designed to help small businesses secure financing. SBA loans offer low interest rates, longer repayment terms, and require a lower down payment than traditional bank loans. However, they can be difficult to qualify for and the application process can be time-consuming. SBA 504 loans are often sought in commercial real estate situations.

Private Lenders

Private lenders are non-bank commercial real estate lenders that offer money loans. These lenders are often more flexible than traditional banks and can provide funding more quickly. However, the interest rates and fees may be higher than bank loans.

Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities (CMBS)

CMBS are bonds backed by commercial real estate mortgages. They are sold to investors and offer a way for lenders to raise funds for commercial real estate loans. They can be the most inflexible of all loans and once the loan is placed can be very difficult to modify.


Crowdfunding is a newer financing option that involves raising funds from a large number of investors. Crowdfunding platforms like Fundrise and RealtyMogul allow investors to pool their money and invest in commercial real estate projects. This option can provide access to capital without the need for a traditional bank loan.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Commercial Real Estate Financing

When choosing a commercial real estate financing option, there are several factors to consider:

  1. Interest rates and fees: Different lenders will offer different interest rates and fees, from fixed rate to variable rate, so it’s important to shop around and compare options.
  2. Repayment terms: The repayment term will affect your monthly payments and the total cost of the loan over time.
  3. Down payment: Some lenders may require a larger down payment (and therefore, a lower loan-to-value ratio) than others, so it’s important to know what you can afford.
  4. Collateral: Lenders may require collateral, such as the property itself or other assets, to secure the loan.

Bottom Line: Do Your Research

Commercial real estate financing is a critical component of owning and operating commercial real estate. Understanding the different financing options available and the factors to consider when choosing a loan can help you make informed decisions and secure the funding you need to achieve your cash flow and long-term growth goals. Whether you opt for a traditional bank loan or explore newer options like crowdfunding, it’s important to do your research and choose the financing option that best fits your needs and budget.

Commercial Real Estate Financial Solutions in Michigan

Farbman Group is the leading commercial real estate firm in the Midwest. Our financial services for real estate include financial consulting, debt and equity financing, and more. Contact our team online to inquire about our financial services.

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