Origination standards and technical support

I attended two MISMO meetings in the last few weeks, and we are making progress.

MBA Tech Conference

During the Commercial Board of Governors meeting at the MBA’s Commercial/Multifamily Servicing & Technology Conference 2013 conference in Phoenix, we agreed to focus on creating a “Deal Standard.” The standard will act as a complete data set to originate a commercial real estate loan including property, debt, borrower and documents. The idea is if we focus on an origination standard — instead of investor reporting or regulatory reporting — we will fill a void and avoid the conflict that comes with proposing additional investor disclosures.

As we got into the details, we realized we have a lot of housekeeping to do before we’re in a position to create an industry standard. The last time C-MISMO made a standard was in 2010 when I led the charge to create a rent roll and operating statement standard. Back then, we had support from MISMO staff to manage the calls, LDD and the schema. Now we have support to facilitate the calls, but we do not have the technical support. We left that meeting with the agreement I would check with MBA and MISMO for support and timing of the new origination standard.

MISMO’s Spring Summit

A week later, I went to Dallas for MISMO’s Spring Summit. This residential trimester meeting was attended by almost 200 people — and it was awesome to see such adoption, participation and progress.

The three-hour board meeting included a review of the MISMO strategic plan, updates from all the committees and a report on the financial condition of the organization. We also talked about steps the MBA is taking to provide additional support to MISMO, including technical support.

While technical support could possibly come in 2013, it’s clear that 2014 is the soonest we should expect it. Given that, I asked how R-MISMO was currently being as successful as it was, and the answer was from volunteers. While they all agree the process of creating standards is inefficient and unsustainable, they have been making it work. An investment in infrastructure is needed for the process to become efficient: It’s a matter of which tools to pick and how to pay for them.

The board was very encouraging of C-MISMO’s mission, and they said they will help where they can. That being said, if we want to start making the standard this year, we have to step up to organize the effort, update the schema and the LDD, and basically boot strap the project. We are going to meet again next week. I will report more as this plays out.

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Jim Flaherty is CEO of CMBS.com and the creator of the Backshop loan origination system. He is a trained credit professional with experience installing enterprise underwriting systems for commercial real estate lenders, rating agencies and investors.

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