Builders Capital views themselves as an extension of your team. With offices around the country and headquarters located in Seattle, Washington, the group offers a wide range of loan programs for builders, developers, and real estate investors. To better understand the Builders Capital ‘secret sauce,’ including how the group has grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic, Originate Report sat down with Chairman and Founder, Curt Altig.
“Acting as an extension of a borrower or lender’s team,” Curt said, “is at the forefront of the Builders Capital mantra. In a world that is ‘awash with capital,’ it is essential to value customer relationships, innovation in the real estate space, and invest in technology that extends outside the ‘basics’ required to complete a transaction.”
“As much as it’s about that initial product, the programs we put into place, it’s only the critical first step,” he said. “The relationships we build extend all the way through a project, and we’re going to be with those borrowers every month as they complete their draws and get their project to the finish line. Our team is there, side-by-side, to troubleshoot hiccups that come down the pipeline so that once a project comes to fruition, they can move to the next project and see their business grow.”
Builders Capital operates in numerous markets across the country and provides loan programs in states that differ significantly in regulation, requirements, and infrastructure. Though some lenders may view this as an insurmountable challenge rife with headaches and complications, Curt said that his group works to streamline processes using the latest technology and a much more subtle element, the team that sees deals to their completion.
“Our borrowers are interfacing with us at least once a month, so they have long forgotten what the rate and fee is,” he said. “Outside of our operation hub in Seattle, for example, when someone is making a loan in Orlando, we make sure that we have people placed strategically, who are familiar with the area, so deals can be completed on schedule.”
More important to Curt, however, than the strategic placement of personnel is a commitment to bringing personal attention – the Builders Capital touch – to every customer relationship. This includes having boots on the ground across the country and encapsulating a pledge to invest in technology. Curt admitted that at times, the lending industry relies on ‘arcane technology’ to complete deals, but in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven marketplace, it is essential to know what customers want and how to provide it.
“We have around $8 million invested in our technology platform,” Curt said. “You will be hard-pressed to find that sort of commitment elsewhere in the lending world. We realized early on that selecting a product off of the shelf would not work, so we doubled-down on our commitment to implementing our platform into the backbone of our business.”
“A core component of this platform,” he said, “is serving as a one-stop-shop for lending professionals from across the country. But paired with this platform, is an element that is ‘make or break’ for any organization, the culture.”
“Make no mistake – our team works very hard, and there is a high expectation for performance and execution. At the same time, there is an environment in place where people enjoy coming into work, there is a camaraderie in place that allows people to work with each other and solve any issues that may come up. We want to deliver on our brand promise, and there’s a culture in place where it’s safe to encourage suggestions – every person, by themselves, doesn’t have all the answers. We’re a team.”
Curt added that a critical component of Builders Capital’s success is its ‘extremely flat’ organization. He said that you won’t find ‘layers of hierarchy’ like other organizations and that all team members roll up their sleeves to see a project to completion.
Looking forward to a post-coronavirus economy, Curt said that Builders Capital is continually looking for new markets to grow into, adding that the ‘big, audacious goal’ is to be the largest private construction lender in the country.
“We are squarely pointed in the direction of continued growth,” he said. “We are building our team, investing in technology, and continuing to secure deals that fully encapsulate the breadth of our experience and expertise in this space. I couldn’t be prouder of the way our team has dealt with this situation, the pandemic, and I think we will emerge from this period ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”