Following the last article on first-charge security for lenders, this looks at why property expertise is so vital in property lending. Next, we explain our borrower charges.
Imagine you go to see your GP. As you explain the problem with your back, stomach or whatever, he sits there in his skinny chinos and deck shoes, running his fingers through his designer beard with a look of faint incomprehension on his face.
You pause to remark that he doesn’t look very much like your typical doctor. “I’m not,” he replies, “but I’ve built a terrific app for the practice, so they’re letting me have a go at medical diagnosis.”
We’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts that even if you’re sitting there with water on the knee and a sprained ankle, you’d be out of the door before he could say ‘opioid epidemic’.
You wouldn’t go to an IT person for medical advice, so why would you go to one for property advice? This, to resort to the vernacular, may be stating the bleedin’ obvious, but in a world where technology often parades as a universal panacea, it needs stating. It’s easy to have a ‘website’ or a ‘platform’ but that’s not where excellence in lending is delivered. It’s in expertise of the asset class being lent against.
Property is no different than any other asset class – you need to understand the risks you are taking when you invest in it. Development projects are complicated. We believe we have the best data and analytics to analyse these. But just as importantly, there’s understanding the project risks and the ability for a borrower to deliver that project.
CrowdProperty has exceptional in-house property expertise, setting us apart from the crowd of P2P property lenders. Our founders are leaders in the property industry and our team has been built around both expertise and passion for property. This experience ensures we select and oversee only the very best projects and property professionals for investment.
That’s why we emphasise that we are property experts first, and platform operators second. Our team have many years’ experience in that specific asset class – 75 years between our three founders alone, to be more precise.
The CrowdProperty Credit Committee is made up of all four board members:
Mike Bristow: CEO and co-founder, with 17 years property investment experience and 18 years in strategy consulting. Mike has advised major private equity funds on M&A and portfolio company strategy, and major corporates on their corporate strategy. He is a property technology expert, an angel investor in proptech and marketplace businesses and holds an MBA from London Business School, the Financial Times Non-Executive Director Diploma, is a chartered accountant and graduated from the University of Birmingham with a First Class Masters in Mechanical Engineering.
Andrew Hall: Property director and co-founder; MRICS qualified and has been in the property industry for 34 years working in private practice and property companies in London and Birmingham. Andrew has a comprehensive understanding of the property development process, having personally managed and developed around 5,000,000 sq ft of commercial and residential property.
Simon Zutshi: Chairman and co-founder, with 24 years property investment and development experience and 16 years growing the Property Investors Network, the UK’s largest real estate training and networking organisation; Author of Amazon best seller Property Magic and widely recognised as one of the top property educators and mentors in the UK.
Pamela Tilt: People director, with 35 years’ experience in financial services, including roles at Barclays and Nationwide Building Society. Pamela has qualifications in HR, L&D, Financial Services (CeMAP, FPC, CeFA), and has been a property investor in UK and France since 1994.
In addition, CrowdProperty compliance officer David Kingsmill is a Qualified Chartered Accountant trained by PWC, and experienced Finance and IT director who has worked in regulated financial services businesses for more than 20 years. He is the former COO of Cabot Square Capital, FD at F&C Graphite Capital, and has also worked at Credit Agricole and JP Morgan.
So we didn’t just come up with a nifty website and then thought ‘what’s the best market to point this at in order to make a quick buck?’. No – as property experts, we realised how technology could drive efficiency alongside our effectiveness-driving expertise, enabling our business to deliver a better deal for lenders and borrowers alike.
Technology is the enabler, but asset-class expertise is in the driving seat – and there it will stay.