Blend Network

Helping support the next generation of property developers — part one

In a four-part series, I will be assessing four real challenges that face the next cohort of developers and will propose concrete solutions as to how lenders can support them.

Over the past few years, we have excitedly seen a new group of property developers enter the market.

These younger, more digitally-savvy and socially engaged property investors are taking the real estate market by storm. Often in their thirties and forties, they are a different breed of developers, frequently driven by a different set of incentives and a more holistic skillset than their precursors.

But how lenders work with them to tackle the housing crisis?

Building a property power team

Firstly, I would like to focus on the challenges of building a powerful network or, as I like to call it, a property power team.

As any developer attending property networking events will know, one of the best kept secrets to success is having a great group of people around you who can help you achieve your goals. The idea behind it is that the right team of individuals and companies will assist you in achieving far more than you could possibly accomplish on your own. They will ensure you avoid costly mistakes and extract value on matters that you might have otherwise wholly missed.

When I first started attending such property networking events, I could feel the thirst for information, desire for knowledge, and the genuine wish for collaboration among attendees in the room. As most developers know, building a property power team is one of the first things you should be doing — before even looking for project opportunities. It’s no good finding an amazing deal and then missing out on it just because you can’t move fast enough.

But while the benefits of this are quite obvious, the reality is that doing so is not an easy task. Who should be on the power team? How should it be constructed? What exactly should be expected from each member? These are all pertinent questions aspiring property developers should be asking themselves.

How lenders can help

I believe that finance providers have a key role to play in supporting emerging property developers to help them build enough ‘muscle’ so they can make a positive change towards building the homes that the country so desperately needs. For example, lenders can help them build their property power team, because they sit at the crossroad between several property professionals with whom they have developed long-standing partnerships over the years.

For example, we regularly work with property lawyers and solicitors, architects, valuers, quantity surveyors, planning consultants, accountants, tax experts, and even other lenders who can provide mezzanine debt if needed. So, an obvious way finance providers can help is by opening up their network and making it available to their clients. This is what we are building at Blend: an exclusive invitation-only property network where our developers can access information, obtain data and research, build contacts, seek mentorship and, perhaps most importantly, unlock the funding they need for their deals. This will be a safe space where all those within our network can connect, interact, and do business together.

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