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Female Realtor Standing Outside Residential Property

Cash Before Close- Commission Advances

Female Realtor Standing Outside Residential Property

Cash Before Close

Phil Guertin launched a creative financial business with one element in mind: help real estate agents and brokers get commission advances within minutes to meet critical cash flow issues.

By Rick Weinberg, California Business Journal

If you’re a real estate agent or broker, cash flow is critical for such vital matters as meeting payroll, buying leads, or completing consistent marketing initiatives to keep up with the competition.

Yet with a property sitting in escrow, many agents and brokers often find themselves a little short on funds at those crucial moments. With banks unable to provide loans quickly, agents and brokers can often find themselves in dire straits.

However, thanks to a creative business model designed by Phil Guertin of Irvine, Calif., agents and brokers can get advances of up to $100,000 through Express Cash Flow (“ECF”) in a day—not weeks or months like at a bank, without even a credit check.

Recently, a Southern California agent approached the company late on Friday—15 minutes before the wire deadline. Within 12 minutes, the $2,000 advance was complete. It was the second transaction in less than two weeks that the agent requested. The first was for $5,000.

“There were a lot of moving parts that had to come together between the agent calling and funding the advance so rapidly,” Guertin says. “That’s one of the many major advantages of working with us.”

The company is self-funded and has significant capital behind it to fund commission advances. The company also quickly underwrites each deal since no two transactions are the same.

“It’s a much more streamlined process than any bank can offer,” says Jake Kucheck, Director of ECF. “Banks normally take 30-45 day to review a file, let alone fund the transaction.”

Express Cash Flow has grown exponentially over a six-month period in 2015-2016, advancing to agents and brokers from some of the largest franchises in the U.S., including, Berkshire, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, First Team, John L. Scott, Keller Williams, and many others.

ECF has experienced a 40% growth rate month over month and expect that rate to continue through the end of 2016, Guertin says.  The company has proven marketing strategies that are scalable nationwide.  In just a brief period of time, it has emerged as the top-ranked business in its space in California.

“High repeat business with top franchises and top producers along with great customer service has fueled the growth,” Kucheck says.

Approximately 50% of the business is generated from top real estate grounds and the remaining from independent brokers and agents.

Express Cash Flow features two primary products:

  1. Listing advances of up to $3,000
  2. Commission advances of up to $100,000 (advancing up to 75% of the net commission due)

Both with without a credit check and eligible for same-day funding.

The range of properties Express Cash Flow handles runs the gamut from the low end on a $87,000 property in Texas to the high end on a $15.7 million estate in Laguna Beach.

How do competitors compare?

  1. Express Cash Flow is usually a third less than the largest competitor
  2. Advances up to $100,000 per transaction while most competitors max out at $15,000
  3. The company provides creative custom solutions

Guertin has been in finance and real estate for his entire professional career spanning 20 years.  Previous experience includes:

  • Chief Financial Officer of the Miller’s Outpost family
  • Restructuring of various portfolio companies for private equity firms
  • Whole loan trader at New Century Mortgage trading bulk pools of loans to regional banks and Wall Street firms
  • Other experience in factoring, business intelligence analytics, the family office space and capital markets helped

He researched various business models in real estate and finance and came up with Express Cash Flow, then he decided he wanted to go off on his own and start his own firm.

“I knew this would be a big business because you’re working with real estate and sales people—and real estate is huge in California and Orange County,” he says. “This model had every metric I was looking for in a business—it’s high yielding, it’s short term and scalable on a national level. Advancing $5,000 or more can be risky, but the possibility of a real estate deal closing is 90% depending on when you advance. I saw it as a huge possibility and a great opportunity.”

He built out a complex pricing model to take into account multiple data points for each transaction to price various risk factors.

There are similar business models to ECF, “but we’re more aggressive on our lending limits going up to $100,000 per transaction and we structure the advances in creative ways,” Guertin says. “We underwrite the transaction differently. We look at how active the agents are, how strong the transaction is, and how far out the close of escrow is, which determines the advance pricing. Typically, we save our clients 30 percent or more compared to other companies.”

Says Kucheck: “We saw an opportunity to improve on the existing model by adding a risk-based pricing component. The existing models were more of a ‘one size fits all’ approach. We wanted to give our clients more options.”

No two real estate transactions are alike. Because they’re different, ECF immediately sees what’s different about it and that will translate that into particular grades of risk to determine the cost for advancing funds.

“We review each deal and come up with a precise calculation of how likely it is to close, using our proprietary pricing matrix,” Guertin says. “What we want an agent or broker to do is take a portion of the commissions now and grow their business, buy leads and do their marketing so that it converts into two other leads or open escrows. Yes, you’re getting $5,000 from us, but we want you to get $25,000 or $50,000 from that reinvestment. If you look at that, the cost is very minimal.”

Without appropriate funds for marketing initiatives, for example, an agent cannot be as effective as their competition, which happens to be chasing down the same buyers and sellers.

“We don’t want agents to delay their growth and we want them to stay ‘top of mind,’” Guertin says. “Most agents are waiting for their commissions and then they’re reinvesting it. This way, they get to do it faster.”

Copyright © 2016 California Business Journal. All Rights Reserved



Express Cash Flow

Phil Guertin, Managing Partner

19800 MacArthur Blvd Suite 650

Irvine, CA 92612

Phone: 844-818-2274

Loan documents in CA

Market Conditions Effect on Escrow

Loan documents in CA

We have worked in the world of advanced commission for a long time, which means we have seen things change in a lot of different ways over the years. Every time a major shift happens in the financial market, it immediately follows that things change in the world of escrow accounts as well. We track these shifts pretty closely as it is directly connected to advanced commission. The following is a list of some of the changes we have seen with the current market conditions.

Longer Escrow Wait Times

The financial market is improving, which is a good thing, but many different big institutions are now making it a little harder for people to get the financing they need. This is a good thing, as a little caution now can help prevent another big meltdown like the one that happened back in 2008. That being said, the advanced investigations create a longer escrow time. The money sits longer before being distributed to the deserving parties.

Larger Escrow Accounts

There are fewer loans happening, but we have noticed that these loans are growing in size. The larger loans mean larger down payments and earnest money amounts. All of that is the money that typically sits in escrow accounts. This means that the escrow accounts we deal with are larger in nature due to the growth in the economic market.

More Restrictions on Accounts

This goes back to the tighter restrictions happening with loans. Banking institutions cannot afford to be lax about the security of the accounts under their stewardship. This has affected the world of escrow by making it so fewer people have access to these accounts, and fewer loans are able to utilize an escrow service. This is especially true in the case of new construction loans. We believe that as the market continues to improve, this particular change will not be as stark a difference as it is right now.

Business Plan for Real Estsate

The best real estate professionals understand what it takes to grow their business and stay one step ahead of their competition. 3 out of 5 top real estate agents utilize commission advances to support the growth of their business, as they realize the need for capital is real and it is an important component of a successful business. In addition, here are 5 other useful tips to help grow a successful business.

Develop a Business Plan for Real Estate

When starting any new business, it’s important to create a business plan. Your business plan should include information about your business structure, budget, and other things. Having it approved by a business attorney can also be helpful to ensure that you don’t forget anything and you are in compliance with all regulations.

Use Technology

Clients are using technology to find the businesses that they want to hire, so you need to use technology to find your clients. There are mobile applications, CRM systems for emailing, cloud storage, and many other technologies that you can use to boost your business.

Focus on Marketing

Marketing is important to gain more clients. You need to figure out the best method to reach your target market and make sure you allocate a sufficient budget to marketing each month.

Thank Your Clients

If you help your clients seal the deal on buying or selling their property or your clients refer someone to you, take the time to thank them. Write a handwritten thank-you note or drop off a meaningful gift to let them know that you appreciate their business.

Continue to Learn and focus on your Business Plan for Real Estate

After starting your business plan for real estate, don’t stop learning. You need to stay ahead of your competition by learning everything that you can about your field. Complete certifications, attend conferences, seek a mentor in your field, and find other educational opportunities.

When you’re just starting out, you can use these tips to help grow your business. And when you need realtor commission to help grow your business, stay one step ahead of the competition and use the advances to support the growth of your business.

Express Cash Flow, Commission Advances

3 Reasons Commission Advances Can Jump Start Your Business

Many real estate agents start their businesses on a shoestring. Even when an agent has been able to secure dozens of listings and potential buyers, there are a number of costs agents incur in the time between signing a listing agreement and closing a deal. Fortunately, today’s real estate agents can rely on commission advances from places like Express Cash Flow to ensure the bills are paid on time.

Here are 3 reasons commission advances can work for your business.

Traditional Loans May Be Hard to Attain

Traditional banks and lenders are often leery of loaning money to real estate agents and brokers. As you know, your income can be unpredictable, swinging wildly depending on the local housing market and even the season. Banks know this too, and many are reluctant to lend money to an agent who may have unpredictable income and is unwilling or unable to pledge traditional collateral. This can leave a hungry agent – even one with several deals in the works – in a difficult financial situation.


Running a Business Is Expensive

Though an agent may have an impressive number of deals pending, he or she may find themselves cash short when critical bills come due. Association and board dues can be a hefty expense, as well as access to the local MLS. To make matters worse, these fees generally come due at about the same time. Additionally, one of an agent’s most important expenditures – marketing – is ongoing. Those signs, flyers, open house goodies, and websites are a necessary part of doing business, and they aren’t free.

A Short Term Advance Can Hit the Spot

Traditional loans are great, but as a real estate agent, you don’t necessarily need a long term loan. While some banks will offer loans with repayment terms as little as 90 days, these loans are generally tied directly to an agent’s credit score. Since a credit score doesn’t factor in future income, this may not be the best way to assess a Realtor’s ability to pay back an advance.

Commission Advances  are a simple and speedy way to finance your business’s immediate costs. There’s no reason to put off paying your marketing or other business fees until your next deal closes. A commission advance will let you pay those bills today, and continue to grow your business.

Advance commissions in California are a simple and speedy way to finance your business’s immediate costs. There’s no reason to put off paying your marketing or other business fees until your next deal closes. A commission advance will let you pay those bills today.

3 Reasons a Deal Might Fall Through

One of the largest challenges of running your own real estate business is maintaining steady cash flow. You may have multiple contracts pending and ready to close within the next month, but that means nothing when you have expenses and overhead that need to be taken care of immediately.

Maintaining relationships with vendors, as well as with clients, is at the heart of your business.  Here at Express Cash Flow, we are dedicated to helping professional real estate agents and brokers improve their day to day cash flow and operating budgets. Similar to the way banks offer loans based on accounts receivable, commission advance companies like Express Cash Flow provide early payment on your pending commissions. You get up to 75% of your commission before closing so you can pay your service providers on time. Once you receive your commission on a real estate sale, Express Cash Flow receives the amount of the advance, plus their fee, back through closing.

Deals can fall through, however. Here are three reasons real estate deals sometimes breakdown:


Every lender and loan requires that the property in a pending real estate transaction be appraised. This protects the buyer – they don’t want to end up upside down in a new real estate investment – and ultimately, protects the lender, too. Real estate appraisals are typically based on recent sales.  If sales haven’t caught up to a shifting market on the rise, this can happen. Sometimes, these deals can be saved through negotiations, but if the difference between the appraised value and the sale value is too great, these deals can fall through.

Property Condition

With the help of savvy buyers’ agents, most prospective home purchasers will request an inspection. An inspector will test and examine all of a home’s systems, including electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and even the roof. These deals may fall through if the seller doesn’t have the finances to cover the work and can’t afford to take a hit on the sales price. In foreclosed homes, banks are often unwilling to finance any repairs, meanwhile, the lending bank is unwilling to make a loan in the home’s current condition.

Buyer Motivation

Looking at homes to buy is fun. Dealing with all the requisite paperwork and effort to close a deal isn’t. If a buyer isn’t very motivated, even the smallest hiccup – and there will be hiccups – may lead them to believe it’s easier to walk away from a real estate transaction.

Any of these factors, as well as many others, can delay the all-important close of escrow.  Utilizing a commission advance can allow agents to breathe a little easier during their escrow, knowing that the money is already in their pocket.

Express Cash Flow also understands that not every escrow closes.  As a real estate professional, we trust that you are going to close another escrow in the near future, and may even have other escrows going concurrently with the escrow associated with the advance.  That’s an easy enough solution we simply transfer your advance to another escrow, and there is no out of pocket payment for you.

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