I’m getting asked a lot these days what it’s like to start a new lender in such a testing, saturated market. My response is that I don’t see us as a new market entrant. Ultimately people do business people. The Magnet Capital team is obviously a relaunch of a previous business, but it’s great to be able to bring something fresh and innovative to the table. In my opinion the key to succeeding in today’s marketplace is innovation. As a lender, do we dare to do things a little differently?
The beauty of development finance is that there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Our approach is deeply rooted in decades of ‘old fashioned’ lending principles, however, we are twinning this with a new style of doing things including technology that allows us to be as efficient and streamlined as ever. My main concern about introducing too much tech as a core part of a lending business is that you run the risk of depersonalising the borrowing experience. As I mentioned, people do business with people, and I think when you’re borrowing money to support the growth of your business it should be done face to face with individuals you can trust, and not a computer screen. At Magnet Capital we place a big emphasis on meeting every single person we lend to, in our office before the loan starts and then on the development site whilst the building project is ongoing. Aside from being great for building relationships, as a lender I think it’s vital to go and look at what you’re lending on. It’s not rocket science, it’s a bit old fashioned, but it’s amazing how many lenders aren’t too interested in looking at what they’re lending on, and meeting the people they’re lending to.