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1st Service Solutions employees playing ping pong. The company has a fun and very relaxed work atmosphere. Ping pong is played almost every day.

Featured Article

1st Service Solutions serves the commercial real estate industry

Industry expert and longtime Southlake resident Ann Hambly and her team advocate for commercial real estate (CRE) owners nationwide

If you’ve shopped at a mall, stayed at a hotel or experienced the changes in how people do business now, chances are you’ve been impacted by the world of commercial real estate.

Whether you’re a commercial real estate owner or investor, or simply a keen observer of changes in this industry over recent years, you can see why a commercial loan veteran like Ann Hambly can be an important advisor and liaison between owners and commercial lenders and servicers.

Ann’s company, 1st Service Solutions, founded in 2005, was the first firm dedicated to serving exclusively as a borrower advocate. The company is now the nation’s leading CRE debt advisor. Ann and her team of loan service veterans work with CRE owners nationwide on all types of properties.

“It could be a hotel, mall, town center, hospital, multi-family apartment complex or other commercial property,” Ann explains. “We help owners get things done with their lenders.”

COVID-19 exemplifies how Ann’s business works. Say you own a hotel, COVID hits and the government mandates that you close your hotel - yet you, as the owner, still have to pay your loan payment to your lender. That’s where Ann’s company steps in, negotiating with the lender to obtain payment relief for the owner.

“We worked with more than 600 hotels during COVID,” says Ann.

“The traditional brick-and-mortar world of the past has changed,” she notes. “Our living, shopping and ways of doing business are different now. Technology and other advancements have greatly affected the way commercial buildings are utilized. You can now work from home, shop from your computer, and order many items, including groceries, right to your door the same day. It’s a big switch in our world that’s been coming about for a while.”

During her career spanning over 35 years, Ann has worked on Wall Street; authored four books on leadership, real estate and commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS); and has been involved in literally every aspect of the CMBS industry. Her latest book, CMBS 911, is on Amazon and is very insightful.

She’s led some of the largest CRE firms, as CEO and President of Prudential Asset Resources and BNY Asset Solutions (formerly Nomura Capital) in North Texas; as Managing Director for GE Capital, Houston; and as Senior Vice President for Bank of America, Los Angeles.

Ann is Board Chair for the DFW Chapter of Counselors of Real Estate and was named as a Legend and Woman of Influence in Commercial Real Estate by the Real Estate Forum, as well as one of the Top 10 Most Distinguished Women in Commercial Real Estate by the Mortgage Bankers Association. She was inducted into the Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame in 2015. She’s been a featured speaker at industry conferences and has published numerous business-related papers, commentaries and columns.

Ann hosts a weekly podcast, CRE-Eyes Wide Open, offering straightforward advice for borrowers, and 1st Service Solutions has been featured on William Shatner’s Moving America Forward program as a company changing America’s business landscape.

Ann’s motto is, “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.” When owners contact her company, they’re often in distress. Ann listens to their concerns, assesses what the lender will do and then negotiates daily toward a mutual resolution. Some owners want to sell or return their properties to the lender. Some want options for keeping their properties. For others, where a property has been in a family for decades, there’s significant history they want to hold on to. Ann serves as not just their advisor but also a supportive confidante when owners most need reassuring guidance.

“Behind everything, it’s all about people. People own these properties, people invest in them, people utilize them, and we can’t lose sight of how a situation affects people personally,” she says. “That is why I created this company in 2005.”

Ann Hambly left her corporate career in 2005 to create 1st Service Solutions in Grapevine. Her family moved to Southlake in 1998 when Southlake Blvd. was just a two-lane road, and she has the lived in the same lovely home all these years.

  • Ann Hambly (center) with Steve Banegas, COO, and Sarah Walsingham, client relations manager.
  • 1st Service Solutions employees playing ping pong. The company has a fun and very relaxed work atmosphere. Ping pong is played almost every day.
  • Ann's dog, Pookey, who has been a very important part of the office culture for the last 13 years. He holds the title of "Good Spirit Officer."
  • Ann Hambly, CRE, Founder and CEO, 1st Service Solutions.