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Service Realty helps ministries and nonprofit organizations translate their ministry and programming goals into an effective real estate strategy. To do this, we lead our clients through a six step process:

Step 1: We want to understand what your current ministry/programming footprint is.
Your impact extends far beyond the building you occupy. Having a clear picture of where your influence lies is a helpful first step in determining where you should relocate – or whether you should stay where you are.
Step 2: Help evaluate potential target areas
With the decision and commitment to relocate firmly established, the next obvious question has to do with where to go. Our experience tells us this is easier to understand when an appropriate amount of attention has been given to Step 1.
Step 3: Understand what is happening in the areas you have targeted
Communities constantly change. We can’t predict the future, but we can evaluate what is happening and make informed decisions about whether or not the areas targeted would be an appropriate option for a long term or short term investment.
Step 4: Determine your financial capacity
Think of this as being pre-qualified to purchase a home. Having a clear picture of what you can afford will save time and frustration as you begin looking for specific locations.
Step 5: Survey of the facility options in your target areas (that also meet your programming and budgetary requirements)
Another critical piece in your real estate evaluation process is understand what your options are. Expanding into one target area may require a commitment to buy land and build while moving into another area means you must purchase and renovate an existing facility.
Step 6: Make an offer and negotiate terms
The direct benefit of investing the time needed to understand what is available in your target area (Step 5) is that we will know what it takes to put a deal together.




I. Establish the Mission and Vision for the Church

‚ Define ministries

‚ Determine ministry targets

‚ Identify physical location target

‚ Facilities are a tool of ministry

II. Prepare Long Range Plans: Ministry and Financial Plans

‚ Define Facility Requirements to fulfill ministry

‚ Involve church leadership in planning: Elders, Committee

‚ Congregational Approval

‚ Develop Comparative Acquisition and Development Budget

III. Get Finances Ready: Determine cash available within 90 days of making offer on property

‚ Keep good financial records

‚ Establish solid relationships with lenders committed to serving the church

‚ Prepare a financial plan

‚ Save funds for a facility

‚ Plan capital campaign

‚ Procure written commitment for cash

IV. Get Team of Professionals Selected: Choose those experienced in serving churches

‚ Church Real Estate Professional

‚ Church Friendly Lender

‚ Architect/Engineer to evaluate facility alternatives

‚ Builder/Project Development Manager

‚ Capital Campaign Consultant

V. Study Facility Options: Be flexible and ready

‚ Evaluate facility solutions

‚ Educate yourself to market values to be able to recognize a good buy

‚ Count the Cost: Compare costs of various options

VI. Implement Plan: Action


General Requirements from Lenders

3 years Historical Financial Statements

a. Income/Expense Statements

b. Budget Comparisons

c. Corresponding Balance Sheets

Current Year to Date Financial Statements

a. Equity in any Real Property

b. Budget Comparisons

Fund Raising

a. Breakdown of giving units and type of pledge campaigns

b. Number of giving units for last three years

c. Comment on success of previous campaigns

CPA Oversight Statement

a. Compilation is Good.

b. Audited is Better.

Top 15 Donors - their Percentage of Total Giving

All Outstanding Debt

Project Information: Size, and Cost

Adult Attendance - Average Weekly for past 3 years and year to date

Government of the Congregation

a. Articles of Incorporation

b. Constitution

c. By-Laws

d. Church or School History

e. Background of pastor, associates pastors, administrators, Headmaster and other staff

f. Governing Body (Board, Committee, etc.)

Demographics of congregation or school

Affiliation with a Denomination or School Organizations