Clients & Results
It was the middle of the global financial crisis and finance companies were going down left right and centre when Tristan Jones, of Northview Capital, was in the market to finance what would become one of Hamilton’s premier sub-divisions.
“ASAP Finance were active in a market where everybody else was pulling out,” says Jones. “We met and ASAP Finance understood our business and our project straight away
“Other finance companies were scurrying away. The banks were onerous in terms and conditions. ASAP Finance backed us, and that first loan set up a relationship that has lasted more than a decade.”
The result of that first project was the prestigious Eton Estate in Hamilton.
Jones says that that typically some developers will shift finance to the banks once pre-sales conditions are met – although every project is different depending on size, location, scale, and whether it is consented or not.
“We often won’t go to the bank for funding even when we have the choice to do so, because the responsive service that we get from ASAP Finance offsets the additional cost. We don’t have to put up with the onerous demands around valuations and quantity surveys that the banks make.
“ASAP Finance makes a real effort to understand all the moving parts of a project and that when you are developing properties the reality is that there can be lots of draw-downs and cost over-runs. They really understand the detail and adapt accordingly. Most other financiers however, will avoid needing to understand the intricacies of what a project is all about.”
Jones says that there are occasions when ASAP Finance will fund a development right to the end.
“ASAP Finance has completed between 20 and 30 loans with our business (each loan could be a stage of a project), including funding through to stages six and seven at Eton Estate.
“We’re developers. We want to get on and do things; to build homes for Kiwis like Eton Estate. Finding a funding partner like ASAP Finance has been a real advantage because they understand our business; they are responsive in they will adapt funding to suit as the market moves and evolves.”
For example, says Jones, say a developer has a three stage sub-division and gets $1.8 million in funding approved from a mainstream bank for the first stage. All good. But in week three, the developer realises that they have sold 18 out of 20 lots and the market is clear that one stage is not enough to meet demand. Further, the business case for a second stage is compelling.
“If you go back to the bank for additional funding, they will view you as changing the loan and therefore unable to manage a project – even though success and economics is behind the decision.
“ASAP Finance, however, will see the business case. They will see that you have met the first milestone and that it makes business sense to build over a wider footprint to take advantage of the economies of scale. They will work with you so that everybody wins,” Jones says.
“That’s why we choose to work with ASAP Finance.”
Developer praises ASAP Finance’s common sense business approach
Referred by a couple of different people to ASAP Finance just before the start of the successful 58ha Flemington sub-division in Lincoln, developer Shane Kennedy says the common theme of his decade-long experience with ASAP Finance is a common-sense approach to financing a project.
“With a big project like Flemington, it’s impossible to get a bank on board, and I’m not sure a bank is the right partner anyway. Common sense is not common these days, but that’s what ASAP Finance brings to the projects we work on,” Kennedy says.
“By common sense I mean they assess the risk in the project from our point of view, and their point of view. They understand that we, as the developers, have no intention of going into a project where there is too much risk. Once we met their requirements, the draw down process was simple.”
Working with ASAP Finance now for more than ten years, Kennedy says it’s a pleasure knowing he deals with the same person, rather than somebody different every time.
“For a big project it is important, but difficult, to build a personal relationship with your financier and to maintain it, but that’s exactly how it has worked.”
ASAP Finance was there for Kennedy through the first three stages of the 570 lot Flemington sub-division in Lincoln, until the project was up and on its feet. Since then there have been other projects in Auckland and Christchurch, including the latest, Verdeco Park, which is located near Lincoln in the Selwyn District.
“It is difficult to get building projects off the ground and bordering on impossible with the banks. Even from the point of view of having to supply more security than is reasonable and 100% pre-sales, the banks only then lend up to 70% of the value – to me that is an over cautious approach that stops a lot of people from progressing with developments like we're doing.
ASAP Finance aren't high risk lenders either, but the structure of their lending makes it achievable. Our business is well set-up in the market down here, but that doesn’t count with the bank. However, as a result of our strong relationship with ASAP Finance we can pick up the phone and talk about it. They take a common sense, business approach to a deal that is good for everybody,” Kennedy says.
If there are issues, they can easily be worked through without putting anybody at risk.
“I’m still talking to the same person at ASAP Finance that I was ten years ago, and that is a comfort for me.
“We haven't had any hiccups that caused problems, but the simplicity of the funding and how they operate mitigates risk areas. Both parties work on a common-sense policy which includes good strong relationships for ten years – I wouldn’t do my projects through anybody else.”