Sharing advice and guidance is helpful, but true success stories tell so much more about how important the business-banker relationship is. I thought it would be helpful to highlight our recent experience working with Infinity Properties, a commercial real estate investment firm based in Florida and led by co-managing directors Brett Schlacter and Shane Decker.
Infinity Properties specializes in acquiring off-market light industrial spaces and improving them so they produce higher rents and thus more revenue.
“Industrial has proven to be one of the strongest-performing asset classes throughout Covid-19 and for that reason we are laser-focused on acquiring quality warehouse assets in Florida,” Decker said. “But the stuff we’re looking for is not widely marketed.”
In this tight market, the firm often has a limited window — often as little as 45 days — to close deals. Sellers don’t want to wait to get their money, and so the Infinity Properties team needs a lender that can give them assurance that the deal will close quickly.
Valley Bank has done just that. Not once, but twice, helping the Infinity Properties team secure a $4.9 million loan for a 70,000-square-foot, multi-tenant industrial park in West Palm Beach, as well as a $3.5 million loan for a 30,000-square-foot light industrial facility in Broward County. The latter deal closed in less than 30 days.
Schlacter and Decker said good communication, no excuses and a sense of urgency are what makes all the difference in a banking partner.
“If Jordan says he’s going to do something, he’s going to do it,” Decker said. “A lot of lenders, though, they’ll quote you something right off the bat, and then the terms will change later on. We’ve never been re-traded by Valley. They’re true to their word. The last thing we want is a last-minute change, which can fundamentally affect everything.”
Such responsiveness makes sense for the bank, too, because clients’ success is our success. According to Schlacter and Decker, in the seven months since they acquired the industrial park in West Palm Beach, its cap rate has risen from less than five to double digits.
That means they have more income to put toward additional deals: In the past eight months alone, Infinity Properties has acquired 250,000 square feet of light industrial property and they have a goal of acquiring as much as 2 million square feet over the next two years.
“The juice is there,” Schlacter said, “but it’s on us, as operators, to squeeze it out. It’s critical to have a banking partner who wants to execute our business plan just as much as we do.”
Jordan Simler is a career banker and Senior Vice President for Valley Bank with 15 years working in commercial real estate. Jordan leads the Broward and Dade County commercial lending groups, composed of experienced lenders that have made more than $1 billion in loans to South Florida businesses and community members.
– Valley National Bank is a Member of the FDIC and Equal Opportunity Lender.