Ian Humphreys

New search engine for development finance loans launches

Brickflow, the online search engine for development finance loans which aims to connect borrowers and lenders in seconds, has launched today (30th October).

The property technology platform — co-founded by Ian Humphreys (pictured above) and software developer Robert Lange — aims to open up the market and provide a quick and easy way for property developers to secure finance, by digitally connecting them with lenders.

“It’s well known that the UK has a severe housing shortage and a major reason for this is the challenge many developers face in accessing the best finance for their needs,” said Ian.

“We aim to solve this challenge by shaking up the development finance market and bringing lending online.”

Available online, Brickflow's technology provides "instant access" to 18 lenders, and this is set to grow further.

Property developers can use the platform to secure loans between £150,000 and £100m for various schemes, including new builds, conversions and permitted developments.

All applications are made online and in real time, with applicants able to build out their developer track record and securely upload supporting documents.

Brickflow also allows developers to showcase themselves and their individual projects on one platform, as well as invites lenders to log in and assess loan opportunities.

The online search system aims to help developers improve their return on capital employed on every deal by ranking the loans in size and price order. 

In addition, developers can check the viability of sites online before spending time going to see them.

For lenders, the platform automatically filters out any enquiry which doesn’t meet their criteria.

Brickflow aims to complete all development loans within six weeks if required.

Ian added: “Brickflow makes development finance more accessible to developers and their advisers, while at the same time empowering all market stakeholders to work smarter by digitally sharing trusted data and knowledge. 

“By combining extensive market knowledge, the best digital technology, and the efficiency of a comparison site, we are offering a revolutionary new way to secure development finance for everyone.”

Steven Brigly, director of property development at United Trust Bank, said: “Like many development lenders, we receive a considerable number of loan enquiries that don't meet our criteria. 

“The technology that Brickflow has developed means that more of the loan enquiries I see from them are projects we can consider funding. 

“[This] enables me to spend more time supporting my existing customers and progressing applications with a greater chance of success.”

Terry Woodley, managing director for development finance at Shawbrook Bank, added: “The presentation of information is key when assessing any new scheme for funding.

"When the data is clear and accurate, we can make the right decisions and act quickly to get the funding out.

"The team at Brickflow really understand this and always deliver outstanding project appraisals, which gives their clients the very best chance of securing the right funding for their projects.”

Shawn Rea, chief operating officer at Sitio Homes, said its experience with Brickflow had surpassed its expectations.

“It’s helped us see all the options in one place on a digital platform, which is very important for comparability purposes. 

“What’s even more critical is that the team at Brickflow managed to ensure we got a better deal and, in fact, we got a 1% margin improvement through using the preferred lenders it works with.”

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