Benefits of Participation Loans in Real Estate

By August 10, 2022Blog

If you’re looking to diversify your loan portfolio, a participation loan may be right for you. These loans are a great way for small and medium capital lenders to increase their loan portfolios. Inflation-proofing, reduced risk, and the ability to diversify your investment portfolio are some of the benefits of this type of loan. Here are some of the most important reasons to consider participation loans. And, as always, don’t forget about the profit-sharing approach, which makes them one of the most attractive loan structures available today.

Profit-sharing approach

A profit-sharing approach to participation loans in real estate is the most popular type of loan. This type of loan enables investors to diversify their investments and reduce the risks associated with large disbursements of cash. Participation mortgage issuers typically are non-traditional lenders, such as pension funds. They can benefit from the higher rate of return a participation loan can provide, without the hassle and risk of a traditional bond. They can also be silent partners, investing in real estate, without the burden of maintenance and development.

The profit-sharing approach to participation loans in real estate is advantageous for both parties, but borrowers should perform due diligence before entering into such a deal. It is essential to read the participation agreement carefully and ensure that all borrowers share equally in the cash flow and that repayment dates work for the bank. When entering into a participation loan, the lender usually offers a lower interest rate than a regular loan. The lender is also willing to offer a larger loan to participate in the profits. However, the larger the loan is, the riskier it is.

Within the real estate loan category, there are many varieties of loans available: construction, development, multi-family, and others. As we all know, real estate is one of the most stable markets, but is not recession proof. It has had ups and downs like all other markets.

Reduced default risk

The principal purpose of a participation loan is to reduce the lender’s risk of default, while the borrower benefits as a result of increased purchasing power. Because the lender is not directly entitled to the loan proceeds, the borrower’s risk is significantly reduced. The lender also gets to retain its title to the property and thus, the valued customer.

In principle, participation loans are beneficial for banks looking to put excess liquidity to work in a low risk way. By only taking responsibility for a portion of several loans, a bank can lower their borrowing risk. This is another great way to diversify a bank’s portfolio. If you main borrowers and customers are focused on agricultural loans, you may want to participate in a variety of other industry loans to help keep your portfolio balanced.

Inflation proofing

Inflation-proofing a participation loan is a great way to get the best return on your investment. Participation mortgages are ideal for retirement funds and pension plans, since they generally track inflation. While this means a lower return on your loan today, it will still be worth more down the line. And participation loans are beneficial for both the lender and borrower, as low-interest rates can compensate for lower earnings over time, especially if you own rental properties or plan to sell them in the future.

The key to inflation-proofing your investment portfolio is to find a real estate property that generates cash flow. Investing in rental properties will protect your investment portfolio against inflation because they typically increase in value over time. While some real estate investments can be risky, these properties will generally provide a great income stream in times of inflation. Using rental property as an inflation hedge is a smart idea, especially if you want to keep your rental prices flexible.

Relationship between originator and participants

The relationship between the lead lender or originator and participants of participation loans is not an exclusive one. Often, participations are prearranged and documented concurrently with a loan closing. Most banks favor a select group of participants and work with them regularly, if originating participation loans is a major part of their banking strategy. 

Increasingly, originators are needing to look outside of their typical participant circle and grow their network with new partners. One great tool within the BankLabs Participate platform is the Participate Marketplace, where banks can find loans available to purchase. Loans can be filtered and categorized by size, type, and other characteristics participants are looking for. Sometimes an originator’s typical circle of partners are not interested in the type of loan that the originator is offering, and that is ok. There are many banks out in the marketplace looking for new loans.

The lead bank can use participation loans to originate a large loan while remaining within the regulatory limits. The lead bank can then share the profits of the loan. In this way, a financial institution that is struggling in a difficult market can partner with a bank that is more profitable. The two organizations can help each other improve their financial health and protect their customers. A financial institution that is struggling in a recession or is facing a downturn can still use participation loans to make a profit. In fact, participation loans are a great way to manage your balance sheet.

The relationship between the lead lender and the participants of participation loans is almost entirely governed by the participation agreement between the lead lender and the participants. The loan participation agreement clearly defines the roles of each bank and the responsibilities of the participants. Regulatory bodies have set certain limits for banks, and they must follow these limits.