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When Shantal Feltham decided to switch banks and obtain a mortgage to buy her office building, she hired a commercial banking expert to help her get the best deal possible. His help included analyzing proposals from the banks vying for her business and advising her on which terms to negotiate—and which ones to let the bank have the win.

“I used his experience to look for red flags that only someone well versed in commercial banking would spot,” says Feltham. The expert turned the review into a formal RFP process, and advised the banks of the five selection criteria and how Stiris would weight them.

The specialist analyzed each bank’s proposal, then sat down with Feltham to review her options. “In less than an hour, he and I discussed each proposal, reviewed concerns, weighed the results and did the final gut check,” she says. In the end, the bank Feltham chose wasn’t the one with the lowest lending rates but with the most favourable terms overall.

Feltham says hiring the specialist let her see the big picture and freed up most of the time she would have had to spend on this. Best of all: “It allowed me to focus on my business and gave me peace of mind that I was receiving a fair deal.”

Feltham’s company Stiris Research is No. 94 on the 2013 PROFIT/Chatelaine W100. View the full list or read other success profiles.

Register now for the W100 Idea Exchange, designed specifically for women entrepreneurs by the editors of PROFIT and Chatelaine

Related:

Office Space: Should You Rent or Buy?

How I Invest: Pay Yourself, Not Your Landlord

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