Real estate downturn
Real estate downturn

The real estate downturn is affecting most all business owners.

The real estate downturn is far reaching. Very often we hear about the impact on Realtors, construction trades, mortgage companies etc… But what about the small business owner that is a Printer, a Restaurateur, or growing Web-Based company. Most all businesses are affected by the overall slow down of goods and services, but the real estate downturn has affected business owners in possibly a more significant way.

Many small business owners own real estate. They own the businesses building, they own their private residence, or they own real estate investment property. These business will have financial needs, loans, line of credits, etc.. The bank regularly needs/requires personal guaranty and a personal financial statement from the small business owner. A significant part of that small business owners financial wealth is tied to those real estate holdings and the bank determines this small business to not qualify for a loan or L.O.C., because of depressed value of his/hers real estate holdings.

So often in the business world it is said that “it doesn’t matter what an employee or a business does when he/she is on personal time or outside the business”. I find this approach to be flawed. What happens to an employee or small business owner outside the business does matter. The small business owner will find it more difficult to convince the banker of adequate security.

It used to be that you knew you had a lot of money if you lived in a nice neighborhood and had a nicer house/car than your neighbors, now you know you have a lot of money if the bank is willing to loan you money. What happens to a small business owners money outside of his business DOES affect his business.

As of today, September 18, 2009, it is hard, but certainly not impossible for a small business owner to get money from a bank. But you better look good and have “layers” of security for the bank. In the past, I have experienced bank loans for business acquisitions that the bank appeared to have the value of the deal as security, but ultimately tied up the valuable real estate that was associated with the business. The sooner the real estate market turns around, the sooner small business owners will realize the benefits of that turn-around, and use those benefits to help/grow and or sustain their business.

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