February 7, 2024
Gelyn de Castro

From Origination to Closing: The Future Role of Generative AI in CRE Lending [Part 2]

In the first part of this article, you’ve been introduced to the concept of generative AI, the key technology driving it, and its current impact on productivity. We also discussed its applications in the CRE finance sector. 

Now, in this second part, we delve deeper to discover how you can further leverage generative AI in lending and asset management to enhance your business strategies and operations. 

Comprehensive Deal Due-Diligence for Lenders and Asset Managers 

The due-diligence process in real estate transactions is a cornerstone of sound investment decisions. This traditionally labor-intensive task, requiring detailed examination of extensive documentation, can now be significantly streamlined with the introduction of Generative AI. 

Efficient Analysis of Leases 

Leases are fundamental to real estate dealings, defining the terms under which properties are rented. Generative AI aids in swiftly scanning these documents, extracting key terms such as rent escalation, lease duration, maintenance obligations, and termination clauses. It allows asset managers to: 

  • Identify and understand critical financial commitments and legal stipulations. 
  • Detect non-standard lease terms that could pose potential risks or offer unexpected benefits. 
  • Conduct comparative lease analyses by benchmarking against market standards to evaluate competitiveness. 

Streamlined Examination of Insurance Agreements: 

Insurance agreements, with their detailed coverage terms and conditions, are complex. Generative AI assists lenders and asset managers by: 

  • Quickly analyzing through policies to summarize coverage limits, exclusions, premium costs, and claim processes. 
  • Identifying inadequacies in coverage and highlighting problematic clauses to ensure comprehensive risk mitigation. 

Thorough Analysis of Legal Agreements: 

Beyond leases and insurance, other legal agreements – partnerships, JVs, mortgages, and contract services – can have a substantial impact on real estate operations. Generative AI excels in: 

  • Deciphering complex legal language and providing accessible summaries for quicker understanding. 
  • Spotting potential legal concerns, liabilities, or compliance issues that could impact the asset’s value or create future disputes. 

With Generative AI, such as GPT technology, due diligence for lenders and asset managers becomes not just a procedural necessity, but a strategic advantage. It allows for a deeper, faster, and more accurate analysis, ensuring that every aspect of a potential deal is understood and evaluated, thereby reducing risks and facilitating smarter investment decisions. 

Streamlining Credit Memo Preparation 

Generative AI is proving to be an invaluable tool in transforming the way credit memos are prepared by lenders. 

The traditionally manual and time-consuming process of compiling a credit memo involves collating data from various sources, analyzing financial metrics, and drafting a narrative that outlines the risks and opportunities associated with a loan. Generative AI simplifies this task by: 

  • Data Aggregation: AI can swiftly pull together relevant data, including credit history, financial metrics, and market data, required for a comprehensive credit analysis. This automation significantly reduces the hours spent on data collection and input. 
  • Risk Analysis: Through advanced algorithms, generative AI can evaluate risk factors by analyzing patterns and anomalies in data that might not be immediately evident to even the most seasoned professionals.  
  • Financial Modelling: Powered by automation technologies, such as Smart Capital, AI tools can help generate financial models that predict the future performance of an asset, considering various scenarios. It employs machine learning to process vast datasets, enabling the creation of predictive models that take into account a variety of factors such as economic conditions, market trends, and interest rates. 

These AI-driven models deliver comprehensive scenario analyses, offering a detailed view of potential financial outcomes. They perform stress tests on financial assumptions, modifying key variables such as occupancy rates or financing costs to evaluate an asset’s resilience under fluctuating market conditions. 

Furthermore, automation systems powered by generative AI improve risk assessment by calculating crucial financial ratios and metrics, such as debt service coverage and loan-to-value ratios, essential for gauging financing viability. Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) generated by AI provide quick property valuations by analyzing comparable sales, property features, and market data. By integrating these AI capabilities, financial modeling becomes not just faster but also more accurate, providing lenders and asset managers with a richer, data-driven understanding of potential returns and risks associated with their lending decisions. 

Creating Charts for Enhanced Visualization and Insight 

  • During deal analysis and underwriting, Generative AI, such as GPT technology can be used to generate interactive charts and visualizations.  

Such visual representation aids in quick and effective assessment of financial and operating property and borrower performance, market analysis, and the like. 

In addition to the default charts generated by underwriting systems like Smart Capital, users can now create their own visualizations within minutes without the need for complex SQL queries and manipulations. Instead, users can simply write a description of the chart they want to see, and the system will generate it in real-time.  

Optimizing Communication Between Lenders, Borrowers and Other Stakeholders 

Generative AI is not only redefining the backend of financial services but also transforming interactions between borrowers and lenders. By facilitating fast, effective communications, AI makes the loan process more transparent and efficient. 

Streamlined Communication and Collaboration 

Generative AI also excels in creating fast, informative, and well-written materials that bridge the communication gap between borrowers and lenders. This includes automatic generation of notes, messages, emails, documents, and chat Q&As, ensuring that all parties are consistently informed and engaged throughout the lending process. 

By harnessing the power of AI, financial institutions can provide personalized and precise information tailored to the specific needs of each borrower, facilitating a smoother and more user-friendly experience. 

Deal team members, including borrowers and lender deal team, can also be assigned various tasks, with the system sending out reminders and notifications, reducing the need for manual follow-ups. Generative AI helps streamline these processes with automated natural language messaging and reminders.  

AI can prioritize tasks, suggest actions based on the data reviewed, and flag any issues or missing documents, ensuring nothing falls through the cracks. 

Investor Portal and Borrower Engagement 

A rich investor portal integrated with generative AI provides deep property and market insights, which not only drive engagement from borrowers but also strengthen relationships with the lender. The portal can serve personalized content, reports, and analytics to borrowers, keeping them informed and connected to the lender. This level of engagement is essential for building trust and fostering long-term partnerships. 

Smart Capital is a great example of such digital space between property investors, lenders, and brokers. In addition to loan statements, document exchange, and messaging, the platform assists with routine tasks and helps each focus on critical decision-making. 

By leveraging AI-powered platforms, such as Smart Capital Center, the digital workspace between lender and borrower can be transformed into a dynamic, interactive environment that not only enhances the efficiency of the lending process but also contributes to better customer service and stickier, stronger relationships between borrowers and lenders. 

Streamlining Document Creation 

In the complex world of real estate, the volume and intricacy of deal-related documentation have grown substantially. For lenders and asset managers, GenAI is proving to be a game-changer, transforming the document creation process by leveraging its advanced understanding of language and context. 

Optimized Loan Materials Preparation 

The preparation of critical loan documents such as Letters of Intent (LOI), mortgage agreements, and other related notes and materials can be significantly enhanced with the adoption of Generative AI technology. This optimization not only speeds up the creation process but also improves the overall quality of these documents. 

By automating and refining the drafting of such intricate paperwork, AI can reduce manual errors, ensure compliance with relevant regulations, and tailor each document to the specific needs of the transaction, leading to a more streamlined, efficient, and reliable loan materials preparation workflow. 

In real estate, where document accuracy and persuasiveness are key, generative AI offers a significant advantage. It enables professionals to create high-quality documents more quickly and efficiently than traditional methods. 

Data Security Concerns with Generative AI in Enterprise  

Data security has been a significant concern for many companies regarding the use of ChatGPT and similar LLMs. The apprehension about data leakage and privacy breaches has led to some organizations imposing bans on the use of these AI tools. However, the landscape of AI and data security is rapidly evolving, and these prohibitions are likely temporary. There are several reasons to be optimistic about the integration of LLMs into corporate environments: 

  • In-House LLM Deployment: Corporations have the option to set up their own LLMs on private servers. This approach ensures that sensitive data does not leave the corporate environment, mitigating the risk of external data breaches. 
  • Privacy Modes in Public LLMs: Public LLMs such as ChatGPT are introducing privacy modes where the AI does not retain or train on specific user data. Both OpenAI and Microsoft, major players in the AI field, have emphasized their commitment to enhancing security and compliance measures. Additionally, HIPAA-compliant versions of major AI models are becoming available, such as Anthropic’s Claude AI, which adheres to healthcare data protection standards. 
  • Anonymized Data Feeds: Companies can anonymize information before feeding it into Large Language Models (LLMs). For instance, Smart Capital Center is a frontrunner in leveraging advanced technology. It employs generative AI for real-time analysis of core borrower and property operating and financial materials. 

 Smart Capital Center’s state-of-the-art technology excels at extracting and standardizing data from core documents. As a result, after such processing, Smart Capital can feed only selected data feeds to generative AI. For example, in analyzing rent rolls, Smart Capital Center first processes the documents internally, leveraging its own advanced technology. Afterward, the processed and carefully curated data feed, which excludes tenant names, property addresses, and any other identifying information, , is fed to an LLM. This method ensures that the LLM can still process and analyze relevant data without compromising privacy. 

Given these developments, companies should consider transitioning from blanket bans on using Generative AI to targeted policies focusing on specific types of AI use. Such policies would enable corporations to leverage the benefits of AI while maintaining rigorous data security standards. As AI technology advances, its incorporation into corporate workflows is likely to become more secure and compliant with industry-specific regulations. 

Servicing and Asset Management with AI 

A survey by the Smart Capital Center team has uncovered a significant potential for automation in real estate servicing and asset management. Respondents estimate that between 50% to 90% of servicing tasks can be automated. This trend points towards a transformative shift in the industry, driven by the capabilities of AI. 

Generative AI has been instrumental in automating financial analysis and providing deep portfolio insights. The AI system takes over the meticulous task of analyzing financial data, thereby offering real-time portfolio performance insights. 

It also generates detailed financial commentaries, converting complex data into understandable and actionable insights.  

In workflow automation, AI has shown significant efficiency, especially in areas such as draw management. It simplifies the process of managing fund flows and resource allocation. 

The role of AI in processing invoices and reconciliation of expenses with budgets ensures accurate financial tracking and efficient construction loan management. The draw approval process is another area where AI-driven automation streamlines operations, enabling faster and more informed decisions.  

Moreover, the role of GenAI in loan servicing extends to the meticulous monitoring of loans for compliance with terms and covenants, as well as proactive management of covenant-related metrics. The technology’s advanced algorithms can analyze compliance data, flag potential issues, and assist in maintaining covenant adherence, thereby enhancing risk management.  

The survey findings underscore the growing importance of AI in real estate servicing and asset management. By automating a vast range of tasks, AI-powered platforms such as Smart Capital is not just enhancing operational efficiency but are also reshaping how financial analysis and portfolio management are conducted in the industry. 

Accelerating Loan Closing 

The finalization of loan transactions is a critical phase that has been significantly streamlined by the introduction of AI. This advanced system plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the transition to loan servicing is smooth and efficient. 

Verifying Legal and Financial Documents 

One of the key functions of LLM technology in loan closing is its ability to ensure that all necessary legal and financial documents are correctly completed, duly signed, and properly filed. 

Efficient Document Cross-Verification and Closure Process 

Traditionally, the process of cross-verifying documents and finalizing closing statements in CRE lending is time-consuming, often stretching over several weeks. LLM technology transforms this process by bringing in unparalleled efficiency. 

Smart Capital Center Approach  

Helping commercial real estate lenders and investors drive faster, more cost-efficient, and smarter financing processes and asset management is at the heart of Smart Capital Center’s mission, a commitment further solidified by our integration of Generative AI into the platform. This advancement was prominently featured in our recent collaboration with top US Commercial Real Estate, managing a substantial $10 billion mortgage portfolio. 

The financial institution faced the challenge of extracting critical data from thousands of pages of documents – financial statements, rent rolls, budgets, and projections. With Smart Capital Center, data hidden in multiple pages were processed and transformed into actionable insights within minutes. 

Our platform offered real-time, accurate portfolio performance insights, equipping the lender with an accurate snapshot of its portfolio at any moment. Moreover, it provides high-quality, consistent, traceable data, simplified compliance procedures, and increased transparency. This not only led to sizable direct cost savings by reducing manual labor but also revealed significant revenue opportunities. 

The result was a testament to the transformative potential of automation, and technology such as Generative AI. The financial institution could automate time-consuming tasks, focus on getting better property and portfolio insight and proactive risk management, and build stronger customer relationships — all with fewer resources. 

AI Paradox in CRE: Friend or Foe? 

As AI continues to advance the efficiency and effectiveness of CRE professionals, it also embodies the dual role of both a potential benefactor and a disruptor in the industry. On one side, the ability of AI to boost worker productivity across the economy could lead to general economic growth and job creation. Conversely, AI poses the risk of replacing knowledge workers in office settings by automating routine tasks such as drafting legal documents or analyzing financial statements. 

A comprehensive study by McKinsey & Company suggests that we should anticipate a significant uplift in worker productivity, job creation, wage growth, and, consequently, overall economic expansion. This growth could directly benefit commercial real estate markets through increased job creation and, more indirectly, through broader economic expansion, potentially driving greater demand for CRE across various property sectors. 

However, alongside these optimistic projections, there is also a narrative of potential job displacement due to AI. Historically, every introduction of new technology has sparked fears of widespread job loss. For instance, the rise of robotics in warehouses was anticipated to reduce jobs in that sector. Contrary to these fears, historical patterns show that technological advancements generally result in a net gain of jobs by promoting productivity, though transitional job losses are an inevitable part of the process. 

The advent of the automobile, for example, led to the decline of jobs associated with horses and buggies but created a larger number of jobs in car manufacturing and related services. Similarly, despite initial concerns, warehouse jobs have significantly increased in recent years. 

The upcoming wave of job displacement may primarily affect white-collar professionals, a shift from the blue-collar seen in recent decades. This could further challenge the office sector, already facing reduced tenant demand due to the rise of remote work. An executive in investment banking highlighted that AI might exacerbate this trend, potentially leading to the obsolescence of certain office roles and affecting demand for non-commoditized office buildings. 

Nevertheless, the potential job losses might be counterbalanced by the growing demand for office space from AI firms themselves. While precise employment figures for the AI industry are not definitive, estimates suggest at least 100,000 AI-related jobs currently exist in the U.S.  

According to JLL, the AI industry occupies over 17 million square feet of office space, a figure expected to surge to over 60 million square feet within five years if current growth trends persist.  

AI is catalyzing employment in adjacent sectors. For example, Salesforce’s recent announcement of hiring 3,300 workers for AI-related roles, despite prior job cuts, underscores the demand generated by the AI industry. 

This complex and evolving landscape indicates that the impact of AI on CRE is multifaceted, with the potential to significantly reshape the sector in the years ahead. 

Looking Ahead: The Expanding Horizons of Generative AI in CRE Lending 

As we move forward, the evolution of generative AI technology promises to bring even more sophisticated applications in CRE lending. We can anticipate the development of more advanced AI models, with enhanced predictive accuracy, refined machine learning algorithms, and an even more seamless integration into various lending processes. 

The benefits of LLM technology in CRE lending are becoming increasingly apparent, and as a result, its adoption rates are poised to rise. 

A report by Gartner suggests that by the end of 2025, 70% of organizations will have commenced their journey toward integrating AI and ML technology in their operations. 

The shift towards embracing GenAI is becoming a critical strategic decision, no longer a question of if but when. Its role in redefining the CRE lending landscape underscores the need for industry players to adapt and evolve, harnessing the power of AI to stay competitive and successful in an ever-changing financial environment. 

In a presentation made by Maurice Conti at the ULI Fall Conference, he emphasized the transformative impact of AI on the workforce and industry at large. “AI is not going to take jobs,” Conti predicted, “It’s going to take tasks.” This shift implies that the automation of simpler tasks will liberate workers to engage in more complex and meaningful activities. 

Conti’s outlook suggests a future where “we will have more jobs rather than less, and they will be higher-value jobs.” As automation becomes more prevalent, the bar for employee output is expected to rise. “The expectation will be that you need to do more than you used to, and the only way to do that is with AI.” 

Another concern often voiced is the fear of superintelligent AI dominating the world. Conti believes that this level of artificial general intelligence is at least 50 years away, if not a century, offering humanity ample time to devise strategies to mitigate any potential threats. 

He advises against worrying about the existence of AI itself. Instead, Conti warns, “Worry about your competitor down the street making better use of this technology than you are. That’s the risk.” He concludes that companies that effectively leverage AI will emerge as the most resilient in the face of future challenges. 

Final Thoughts 

The traditional challenges of the CRE loan cycle—such as the intricacies of origination, underwriting, closing, and loan servicing, — are being progressively addressed by advanced digital solutions such as Smart Capital Center. 

By leveraging Generative AI to handle routine tasks, human professionals are empowered to concentrate on strategic decision-making and creative problem-solving. Innovations such as Smart Capital Center exemplify this shift, showcasing a model where human expertise and AI collaboration amplify the strengths of both. 

Looking to the future, the rapid advancement of LLM technology in CRE lending is undeniable. We are witnessing an era where AI and ML algorithms are becoming more sophisticated, increasing predictive accuracy, and integrating even more seamlessly into financing processes. 

The future of CRE lending is poised to be dominated by those who embrace the power of Generative AI technology, adapt to its evolving nature, and fully utilize its potential. 

If you are ready to explore the possibilities that generative AI offers for your CRE lending business, understand that the future is not something to await — it’s something we can construct together. Witness this in action by booking a demo with Smart Capital Center today. Position yourself at the forefront of the industry transformation and take the driving seat in shaping the future of CRE finance. 

Discover how Smart Capital Center can drive speed, enhance insight, and cut costs for any real estate transaction. 🚀🚀🚀

or contact us at demo@smartcapital.center or call (866) 725 – 0555

Smart Capital is the world’s first real-time valuation and mortgage platform. It empowers real estate investors with institutional-grade insight, unbiased investment analysis, ultra-fast property valuation & deal underwriting, low-cost

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