It Takes a Network to Raise a Community
Success in the commercial mortgage industry is based on relationships. It’s about building a network of trusted collaborators, then leveraging that network to fund the projects that developers dream about. At Canada ICI, the community isn’t limited solely to ICI employees and the borrowers they work with — this network also includes the lenders, contractors, leasing agents, and others who make commercial building projects happen across the nation.
Building this community didn’t come easy, and it’s something that requires a great deal of care to maintain. According to Luke Cain — director of mortgage origination for ICI Winnipeg — forming these relationships starts with understanding the other players in the market. “You have to listen,” Luke asserts. “You can’t give someone a solution until you know what they really want. You have to spend time asking questions, and being responsive. But at the base of it, understanding the market and having great relationships allows us to be at the top when we send a deal in.”
Canada ICI takes an all-encompassing approach to ensuring clients are positioned to succeed. As Luke says,
“Whether it’s establishing relationships with equity partners, pulling in key leasing relationships, or providing an audit on costs based on our internal data, we’re all in for the lifetime of the deal.”
Finally, an aspect of community building that Luke thinks is especially vital is following up after a deal is done. “It’s not just, ‘come to me when you need money, then come back in five years when you need more,’” he explains. “Let’s talk every few months, whenever you have an idea, or you’re looking at a potential deal, or you want to know if your purchase price on a new asset makes sense. We’ll tell you what we think, and we’ll be a sounding board.”
That’s the great thing about the Canada ICI community. The relationships built with borrowers, lenders, and other key players aren’t necessarily tied to any one specific deal. They’re connections that endure for years, and they’re a big part of why ICI is at the forefront of the Canadian commercial real estate market after 25 years.