For Mariska Crain, the Director of Lending for Precision Capital, every day serves as an opportunity to survey how the lending landscape is changing – and how she can find new loan products for Precision’s clients. With over 20 years of experience in the lending industry, Crain began her career in subprime wholesale mortgages. Her experience has ranged from wholesale, retail, subprime, and conventional mortgage lending, and she sat down with Originate Report to discuss how Precision Capital navigates the complexities of the market. Despite the fast-paced nature of lending, Crain said Precision Capital strives to cut through the noise – without cutting corners in the name of expediency. “We aim for fast service, but fast service that is not done at the expense of the client,” she emphasized. “One of our main focuses is how do we put our money where our mouth is, and how do we simplify processes to accomplish this goal?”
One analogy Crain offered was the grocery delivery service Instacart. While it may not be the cheapest way to get groceries, she stated, the extra time received from ordering online allows her to spend more time with her children. Like Instacart, Precision Capital offers the leverage necessary to let borrowers focus on elements of a project outside the realm of origination and maintenance. “Deal flow is huge for us, and is a constant focus,” Crain noted. “We are constantly tweaking it to ensure we are offering the best service possible. One of the biggest moves we have made at Precision is consolidating our origination platforms.”
Another key to the success of Precision, Crain revealed, is to look at ways to automate and map items into a system that assists borrowers throughout every step of the process. Outside of the systems that have been put into place at Precision, Crain added that her team keeps their ears to the ground in terms of trends in private money. “Something I always say at the office is ‘more heads make better ideas.’ I don’t like the idea of top-down leadership, because when you work collaboratively, you can gather data points that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise,” she observed. “This gathering of data,” Crain commented, “boils down to taking a proactive approach to issues and obstacles that may arise throughout the course of a deal.”
One example of this at Precision came when the construction lending component of the group grew quickly, and deal flow became constrained as a result. “Any manager will tell you that growth is never a value detractor on an institutional scale,” she noted. “But with that said, when our in-house inspector said that the astronomical growth we experienced hurt his ability to handle new projects, we took a step back and really utilized the staff and technology we have at our disposal. Making the most of the tools you have is a surefire way to make sure that you are holding up your side of the bargain.”
When asked about some of these tools, especially those that have assisted Precision in navigating a rapidly-evolving real estate market, Crain replied that hiring a compliance officer – who is now the Chief Risk Officer – has helped the group stay on top of changing local, state, and federal regulations. “Our whole staff knows that if something does not seem right, or there seems to be new legislation in the works on a particular issue, to speak with her,” Crain responded. “We also attend conferences hosted by Geraci and AAPL because there is so much useful information there, especially coming off the heels of a hot housing market and the pandemic.” Broadly speaking, Crain told us there is no such thing as a ‘typical day-to-day’ for someone in private lending; but when thinking about her favorite aspect of the job, her answer was simple: solving puzzles.
“I have always loved problem-solving,” she voiced. “Whether that means looking at a new loan product or a loan that is stuck in underwriting, there is never a dull moment. Solving puzzles is where I feel at home, and there have been many puzzles to solve with the crazy ups and downs we have seen in the market.”
Thinking about these shifts – and more broadly reflecting on her 20+ years of experience in the field – Crain cautions young lending professionals against the thought that lending is an ‘easy’ field. “This applies to your work and your life, but you have to be in the moment and cognizant of where you are,” she claimed. “I think about when my kids complain about school, or when a particular problem at the office is getting to me. Are you going to love 100% of school? No. Are you going to love 100% of your job? No. But you must take stock and realize the steps you can take to change whatever situation you are in.” Crain shared that spending time with her family in nature – especially fishing and swimming – allows her to bring a clear head to the landscape of lending. Looking toward the future of Precision Capital, she mentioned that bolstered visibility of the field will only yield positive results for the firm. “I am not going to beat around the bush and say that we are the only show in town, but I think our focus on the borrower and the stellar team we have in place are only a few of the reasons why Precision is a leading private money source,” she suggested.
Located in Eugene, Oregon, the group offers borrowers from all walks of life private loans tailored for their needs. The property types financed by the group include residential, multi-family, construction rehab, and fix and flip. In addition to these services, Precision Capital is a staunch advocate for community-based organizations. The group’s employees and leadership team donate hundreds of hours of their time to charitable causes, and Precision supports The Integrity Foundation.
If you would like to learn more about Precision Capital, or how Precision can help you achieve your property and investment goals, visit precisioncapital.net.