In recent years, there has been an uptick in family-owned commercial real estate ventures here in Montgomery, from families looking to open a doctor’s office to couples seeking to grow their commercial real estate portfolio.
But whether your family is looking to get into commercial real estate or some other type of business venture, it’s essential to get your banker involved.
For 30 years, commercial real estate lending for families has been one of my top areas of expertise. From hotels and pharmacies to car washes, restaurants and even granite quarries, I’ve helped finance a wide variety of properties.
While couples, siblings and all family groups face the same challenges as any entrepreneur, going into business with family requires additional considerations. To help families be successful in their business ventures, here are tips I’ve shared with my longtime clients:
1. Separate business and pleasure.
You may be excited to go into business with your family, but as with anything, there will be ups and downs. Make sure you set clear boundaries between your business and personal lives to keep them separate. When the office closes for the day, it’s important to protect time to just be family.
2. Share your visions and set a common goal.
It’s important that the whole family understands what each wants from each business venture. Sharing your visions with each other and setting clear goals will set you up for success. Hold recurring meetings to honestly evaluate your progress and shift gears when necessary.
3. Use trusted third parties to settle disputes.
Having trusted third-party experts to help in decision-making will get disputes settled fast and fairly. While the whole family may have an opinion on how to handle cash flow, for example, a trusted outside expert like a banking partner will have valuable insight. These third parties will also help take some of the emotion out of decision making and keep the peace.
4. Work with a banking partner who knows you.
My goal as a lender is to develop relationships that extend beyond a single transaction and to be a resource for my clients at every step of their financial journey. Whether you’re looking to grow your family business or start one, having a trusted banking partner can make your financial decision making easier.
Going into business with family can be a rewarding experience, but it requires careful planning, clear communication and a solid understanding of each family member’s expectations and goals. By following these tips and working with a trusted banking partner, families can successfully navigate the complexities of business while maintaining strong family relationships.
Valley National Bank is a Member of the FDIC and Equal Opportunity Lender.
Dana Moore is the Vice President and a Commercial Loan Officer at Valley Bank in Montgomery and has been a lender for 30 years