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Realty Builder
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Nov. 17, 200412:00 PM EST

Lisa Braman: SouthTrust's lender in Jacksonville

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Lisa Braman has been the vice president of commercial real estate lending at SouthTrust Bank in downtown for one year.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

“I specialize in investor real estate including income producing properties. I finance multi-tenant retail strip centers, office buildings, anchored strip centers, flex-use, warehouse and office condominium space and multi-family housing.”

AREA SHE COVERS?

All of Jacksonville.

OFFICE CONDOMINIUM MARKET?

“I’ve heard that the office condominium market is getting saturated. It’s getting to be where people who were going to buy them have already done it. I’ve financed several of these projects. It’s nearing its peak.”

DOWNTOWN?

“I’ve financed office buildings in downtown and retail and strip centers in San Marco. I’ve seen a lot of office buildings being converted into lofts with retail below in downtown and in Riverside. There is a lot more emphasis on getting residential in the downtown. I think once you get people living downtown, that is the key.”

CLIENTS?

Her typical client would be an investor who wants to buy a strip center or office building. They bring a whole package including their leases to her for financing.

BEFORE SOUTHTRUST?

She started her lending career in 1985 with CNS, which later became NationsBank. She then joined First Interstate Bank and did commercial lending with for six years. Most recently, she was with Atlantic Coast Federal as a commercial loan officer for two years.

COLLEGE

She has a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis on public relations from Georgia State University.

WHY DID SHE DECIDE TO GO INTO BANKING?

She worked her way through college at a bank. When she graduated, she briefly went to work at a public relations firm, but didn’t like it, so she decided to go into commercial lending.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE HELP HER NOW?

“I have 20 years experience from the ground up. I have to sell. That’s what I do. I go out and drum up business. Networking really helps.”

WHAT’S GOING ON IN COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE?

Braman said she is seeing a lot of conversions of retail space to upscale retail strip centers and new construction of upscale retail strip centers. She worked on the financing Northbeach Center at Atlantic and Penman Road, which was the old Pic n’Save. “They took the old shell, renovated it and turned it into a nice art deco strip center.”

OTHER PROJECTS SHE FINANCES?

Multi-tenant medical office buildings, freestanding pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy.

CLIENTS?

“A lot of my clients have been repeat business and from people that I’ve met through my networking events. I think it is important to have a good relationship with Realtors so they know what you can offer and the confidence to know that you can deliver. It’s good to have a few choice Realtors that you know specialize in industrial, retail or office space. So, you know what they specialize in and they know what you can deliver.”

LIKE ABOUT COMMERCIAL LENDING?

“I like the fact that my clients are the ones that are the visionaries. Every one of them is so excited about their project and they come to me with this great plan that will enhance Jacksonville. I just help them turn that into reality.”

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS?

Commercial Real Estate Women of Jacksonville, Urban Land Institute, National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and Risk Management Associates.

WHY CREW?

“I just love being around a group of powerful women. I just love the feeling. It’s successful women who are confident. They are their own people and don’t have anything to prove.”

ADVICE FOR NEW COMMERCIAL LOAN OFFICERS?

“Get involved in networking organizations.”

LESSONS LEARNED?

“Always do what you say you will do and don’t promise something you can’t deliver.”

PET PEEVES?

“Dishonesty. I don’t like dishonest people, people who purposely deceive others or people who will sacrifice their integrity to make a sale.”

HOMETOWN

Atlanta.

RESIDES

Avondale in a home that was built in 1913. She and her husband are in the processing of renovating it. “My husband and I have been renovating houses and selling them for the past 15 years. We have moved about every two years. This will be the last one.”

PERSONAL SIDE?

She has been married to David for 15 years. They have a miniature schnauzer named Kiwi. When she is not working, she enjoys fishing and going out on their 22-foot Pathfinder boat. She also enjoys scuba diving in the Keys and playing classical piano. A book she read recently and would recommend is “Flamingo Rising” by Larry Baker. Her favorite movie is “Office Space.” Her favorite getaway spot is Islamorada in the Keys and her favorite restaurant is Marker 32.

- by Michele Newbern Gillis

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