Site Visits Matter. Here’s How You Prepare

As a banking professional, your job depends on minimizing risk for your bank.

There are multiple ways to do this. But regular site visits to loan properties are certainly among the top practices. That’s because regular site visits help banks curb unwelcome surprises by offering an opportunity to spot potential problems earlier. Ultimately, a bank can be more proactive with their loans.

The dilemma, however, is that site visits are time-consuming and cumbersome. Not to mention all of the paperwork that is involved. How often do you spend thirty minutes scouring your written notes or computer spreadsheet for one tiny detail? Needless to say, the time commitment involved in site inspections means they don’t get completed as often or as thoroughly as they need to.

So how do you minimize time spent on site and maximize the results you can report upon? Proper preparation is key. The next time you’re readying to walk a commercial property, consider the following:

Make Site Visits Frequent

The risk to your bank increases every time you push back a loan inspection. And the longer time goes between visits, the more likely a surprise such as missing collateral, a change of ownership, or property devaluation, will occur. To help avoid this, create a schedule that ensures you visit all properties consistently. Not only will this keep problems from falling through the cracks, but you’ll feel more confident in your lending decisions going forward.

Follow Your Checklist

Plain and simple: when you are consistent with what you check at each property, you save time. So prepare a checklist and several questions to help guide your visit. Not only will having a written “to do” list give you back part of your day, but it will also ensure nothing is missed. You’ll document and photograph the same things every visit so that if there’s ever a problem or dispute, everything is on file with the bank moving you out of the hot seat.

Document, Document, Document

Be ready to document everything. Well-documented reporting makes it easier to spot good candidates for future loan offers. Additionally, good documentation helps with future site visits to help determine how the investment your bank made is faring. Documenting includes everything from good notes to digital photos with timestamps. You should also include information such as lease agreements and contact information in your documentation so that it’s handy should you or the bank ever need it.  

Consider Inspection Software

There was a time when a clipboard and Excel documents were effective for site visits. But not anymore. Good inspection software such as Layer will consolidate all of your notes and photos into one easy-to-access dashboard. It will also include checklists and questions allowing you to stay on task and eliminate the risk of missing something. Plus, Layer automatically organizes all of your field data by its context, making it easy to find the information for your next site visit.

In commercial, residential, and agricultural lending, site visits are a critical part of the job. So be sure to take steps and ensure that you’re performing them correctly protecting both yourself and your bank.

Why Layer?

Layer is an easy-to-use and affordable app that makes it easy to conduct site visits efficiently in one dashboard. With an intuitive interface and responsive support and service, Layer is the perfect solution for your commercial site inspections. Learn more here >