POF (Proof of Funds) can come up at times if the broker is uncertain about your ability to get the deal closed.
It's possible that the brokers can sense that you're new at this, no worries...
It's all part of the process, and I'll show you how to increase your ability to sound confident and on track so that this doesn't ever even come up.
Also, you can use these emails to keep the broker from thinking you're just sending a blind offer
This stretches things out for a few days and gets the broker thinking you're putting a lot of effort into the property
Prior to talking or emailing the broker, Your best bet is to have relationships started with:
- A local lender, I'd suggest talking with a community bank and a credit union to see if they might be interested in helping to fund this
- A property management & commercial leasing company
- A local commercial real estate attorney
- An insurance broker
In addition to this, you'll need to know the local growth plan including:
- Any new highways that are planned
- New convention center, stadium, etc. if planned or underway
- Any bigger companies that are moving to or have plans to move to the area
The broker and seller need some assurance that you have the ability to close the deal.
You can practice this and easily learn how to come across as knowledgeable, confident and be able to clearly delineate your plan for this property.
SCRIPTS TO USE: (Weave these into the conversation)
"We've gotten preliminary approval from [NAME OF PERSON] at [NAME OF LENDER] although we're reaching out to our other lenders to see if we can get a slightly lower interest rate."
"I've had [NAME OF PERSON] at [NAME OF property management & commercial leasing company] review the project and they feel that [explain how they are going to lease up vacant space or solve any other issues with the property]"
"We've completed our initial underwriting and while it's a bit of a stretch, at [YOUR OFFER PRICE] the numbers look like they'll work for myself and my investors. We're looking to place some capital for the next 3 to 5 years in either this property or one of the other 2 or 3 properties that we are looking closely at." (If you can, try to find another 2 or 3 similar properties in the area that you can mention by name or address as some of the other properties you are considering buying)
Note that if you are asking questions, you're in control of the conversation. If they are asking you questions then they are in control. To help with this, here's some questions you can use to keep them back on their heels:
- How old is the roof? Any leaks or issues we should know about?
- Any issues with the HVAC system lately?
- Do you know the parking spots to sq ft ratio?
If you'd like to practice this conversation ahead of time, find a practice area (another area of the country where you don't really want to buy property) and call on some listings to practice a similar conversation with some actual brokers
You can also get on the Team Call to practice and discuss this further
A lot to do, I know, but all of this will help you with either this property or the next one in this market
Here's a source for POF
One dream partner say she paid $250 in 2017 and has used it ever since then without any further payment
Another Dream Partner talked to them recently. This is an excerpt from the email they sent back:
Yes, we definitely lend in IL & we offer Proof of Funds there as well. This is how you can get your POF: If you ever need a Proof of Funds from us, please do the following:
Please email POF@ABL1.net with the following information: Purchase Amount Address of Property LLC or Corporation name There is a $250 fee for the first POF, which is reimbursed to you once you close a deal with us. The one-time fee also allows you unlimited Proof of Funds Letters for this or any future property.
If you have any questions, my contact information is below, feel free to reach out anytime.
Gabriel Marin | Loan Officer O: (201) 942-9090| C: 551-298-3321 | www.abl1.net
30 Montgomery Street Ste 215, Jersey City, NJ 07302
Here's another source for POF that a Dream Partner told us they have used:
More on dealing with broker questions
Here's a video that explains how to deal with the "Proof of Funds" question. MAKE SURE TO WATCH THIS ENTIRE VIDEO if you're having brokers ask you for proof of funds.
To learn how to build a prospective investors list and increase your confidence regarding deal syndication, go thru the Syndicating Commercial Deals Course. You'll also learn how to network and connect with high net worth individuals to JV with.
Using a Hard Money Lender to overcome POF question
You could try using a lender relationship to sidestep the proof of funds issue, contact a local hard money lender and ask them if they are interested in funding your deal. Most lenders want you to have a property under contract before starting to work with you, so if you don't have a signed contract yet, you might want to find a way to avoid bringing that up.
Perhaps you could just mention that you've "got a contract" without saying if it's signed or not.
To find a hard money lender, search for commercial hard money lenders in the area the property is located.
Once the hard money lender sends you a terms sheet, ask them if they could send you a "Pre-approval letter." This doesn't commit you to going with this hard money lender (don't sign anything) but often times, you can send the broker your pre-approval letter to say, "Hey, we're good to go with the funding" and that satisfies them (most of the time)
You should be looking for potential investors, so asking one of them if they might be open to providing Proof of Funds for you when you need it. You could offer to buy them a nice dinner or pay them a fee of $100 per use, or maybe $1,000 for each deal you get. Not a very big ask since you are not using their money. All you are asking for is a copy of their bank statement.
The concern about POF (proof of funds) is the other party is concerned about your ability to close the deal. If you can push back and say
"I have an entire network of private lenders and investors that I work with. Unless we run into a problem during due diligence, closing isn't going to be a problem. Trust me, I'm not going to put my time and effort into a deal unless its passed our initial underwriting, and we checked that box off for this property last week."