Land In Demand: ARM Launches Agricultural Real Estate Referral Program
Ag Resource Management (ARM) is no stranger to innovation in agricultural lending, so when farmers and other agribusiness operators asked ARM for assistance with real estate loans, ARM responded with a unique ag real estate referral program that is designed to simplify the loan process and help customers secure a higher first-time success rate of approvals.
Ashley Arrington, Real Estate Division Manager, is leading ARM’s agricultural real estate program. In less than a year, she’s built and organized ARM’s real estate program, bringing in more than $60 million in loan approvals to-date. Ashley helps to improve farmers’ real estate loan application experience by leveraging her long experience in agricultural banking and providing farm financial consulting services to assist farmers in applying for real estate loans.
“ARM’s goal is to create a path with flexible loan options for our customers, so we started with analyzing what percentage of loans were being approved the first time compared to the percentage of loans that had to be presented multiple times before they were approved,” said Arrington. “We designed a unique approach of partnering with multiple leading agricultural real estate lenders with whom we have a clear understanding of their lending approach, so that we can review a customer’s needs and match the financial package with the right real estate lender the first time.”
Rather than a farmer putting together a loan package on their own, often not knowing what’s needed to secure a real estate loan, ARM provides a detailed list of what’s required and reviews the information. Based on the customer’s financials and product needs, ARM places the customer with the best real estate loan partner, thus, increasing the likelihood of approval and eliminating the need to approach bank after bank with the loan package.
“One of our goals is to simplify the process for everyone, so customers collect their financials and provide it to us, and then we perform the preliminary underwriting process and work with the chosen lender until the deal closes,” she said. “The customer – whether it’s a farmer, processor, cotton gin, grain elevator, etc. – can get on with their work while ARM facilitates and manages the entire real estate loan process.”
Farmers can now go to ARM to obtain their operating loan, crop insurance and real estate loan and only work with one ARM loan officer which offers a lot of value especially during the busiest times of the season. ARM’s innovative approach also evens the playing field with farmers and ag businesses in rural areas which have a limited presence of banks by bringing them products more prevalent in areas with a higher concentration of lending options.
“Farmers and agribusinesses can maintain their business and relationship with their local bankers while working with ARM,” she said. “This allows customers to remain diversified and it’s a win-win for the local bank, for the customer and us. ARM is always available to help with refinancing, another real estate loan or answer any questions.”
Some may think that since their community bank or closest farm lender turned them down that their options are limited or nonexistent. Also, some community banks have a cap on how much they can lend per relationship, which can be prohibitive for some ag businesses—but this is where ARM can help.
Reach out to your nearest ARM office to get started by visiting armlend.com/locations.