Most directories of financing sources are long on names and phone numbers but short on information that tells you what kinds of deals they're actually doing. But Fleet's Guide: Income Property Financing Sourcebook scores well on both counts. The guide, founded in 1988, is published by a pair of former commercial-mortgage brokers. The latest edition has detailed information on 357 lenders and investors -- commercial banks, thrifts, pension funds, credit companies, REITs (real-estate investment trusts), and insurance companies -- with appetites for commercial and multifamily real estate.

The most recent sourcebook, which is about 500 pages long, devotes a full page to each lender/investor. It tells, among other things, the types of projects the lender or investor is doing, its geographic requirements, and such underwriting criteria as whether its loans have prepayment penalties. The guide is released twice a year, with two interim supplements.

Over and above the pages of listings, Fleet's Guide devotes more than 100 pages to cross-referencing indexes, allowing you to search for sources with a particular set of interests. A year's subscription (including both volumes, the updates, and a Small Business Administration directory) goes for $285. To order, call 800-336-3246; for an extra $95 a year, you can buy a quarterly computer-diskette subscription that helps you sort through the data even faster. -- Bruce G. Posner