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North Shore Systems: Automating the Commercial Lending Operations

CIO VendorBrian McCracken, President & CEO
The commercial real estate lending industry is an evolving landscape that is steadily overcoming the universal credit crisis. Although being among the slow adopters of technology as opposed to other industry verticals, the lending space has come to terms with the modern day automation and its advantages to usher it to the next level. Along with market traction and a competitive edge, automation is here to promise efficient originating and underwriting of loans—a vital requisite that remained unfulfilled with the industry’s prior attempts to automation.

Against this backdrop, North Shore Systems has significantly turned the tables by assisting the modern day lenders to approach the lending endeavour with an advanced level of cognizance. The company offers its proprietary, end-to-end commercial lending platform that serves the client from the point of loan origination through servicing to asset management. North Shore Systems offers a platform that not only supports data transparency but also complies with the regulatory standards market. Brian McCracken, president and CEO of North Shore Systems, says, “Unlike other players that address only a part of the process, we have established our niche with a comprehensive and flexible system that is designed from the ground up to cover the entire loan and investment lifecycle for our customers”

The Genesis

After over ten years of experience in construction loan software and a profound understanding of the commercial lending arena, Brian handpicked lenders out of his client base and hired proficient technical staff to establish North Shore Systems. The company set its course by engaging with their first client involved in commercial real estate and financing. In order to match the client’s wide variety of lending, brokering, and CMBS businesses, North shore Systems built a comprehensive and versatile platform. In 2000, the company launched its product into the marketplace, registering 25 successful major implementations over more than 17 years—a feat made possible because of the company’s commitment to quality.

“We chose this marketplace because we believe in quality of customers and successful implementation rather than quantity of customers,” states McCracken. The major catalyst early on for North Shore Systems’ growth was its experiences at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae—the leading players in the multi-family lending business as their customers. With this partnership, the lenders who sell their loans to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae use North Shore’s platform as a conduit to underwrite and submit loans. Today, the company has gradually diversified, developing more products to handle more types of lenders in different sub-markets, a factor that significantly contributes to the longevity of their organization. "Our platform is time-tested, proven, and has a great success rate, which enables us to deliver consistent results and enhance the return on time and technology investments,” adds McCracken.

We have established our niche with a comprehensive and flexible system that is designed from the ground up to cover the entire loan and investment lifecycle for our customers


A Competitive Edge

The North Shore platform is designed to provide a robust breadth of functionalities that facilitate tracking and processing of a broad spectrum of a debt or equity investment’s lifecycle all in a single platform. The platform is highly flexible and provides lenders with innumerable configuration options and an integrated intelligence layer for workflow and credit rules, while also being capable of communicating with other systems involved within the lending processes. In a recent addition to the platform, the company has included a B2B portal capability for borrowers and third parties to interface directly with the system through a common portal. As a last part of their end-to-end real estate solutions, North Shore offers a servicing module, creating a comprehensive software package to fully automate the commercial mortgage and construction, loan servicing, and real estate asset management for both direct lenders and correspondent servicers.

To expound more on the flexibility of their platform, McCracken cites a use-case where a large lending firm was getting into a relatively new lending space of single family rental. They needed a versatile system, using which they could work seamlessly with single family rental firms and investors. When the firm decided to streamline their existing process, North Shore’s comprehensive lending platform came as a blessing in automating the end-to-end business processes. The lending firm implemented North Shore’s front end portal to display their products and start the origination process directly with the investors. By deploying North Shore’s platform at the backend, they were able to successfully scale operations in terms of number of people and loans while becoming one of the leaders in the lending space.

In another instance, a long-established and risk adverse insurance company was looking for a lending automation solution, as their in-house systems were literally falling apart. They were not only struggling to capture the data from the old system but were also looking to expand both debt and equity deals. By partnering with North Shore, the insurance company was able to address the challenges associated with risk management.

The Road to the Future

Currently, equipped with a state-of-the-art offering and experienced staff, North Shore Systems is well positioned to lead the lending space with constant optimization of its platform in line with the market trends and regulations. Moreover, with the recent HTML5 rewrite, the North Shore platform has been enhanced to be browser agnostic and operable on any device. “We are addressing the most crucial concern of our customers related to the longevity of the platform. To provide them with this sense of security, we are offering them a technologically advanced, best practices platform that is here to last for decades,” concludes McCracken.