From conception to delivery - Partnering for every step of the journey

By Michael Grant, Head of Bridging & Development, West One Loans

Certainty is a commodity that has been in short supply of late, as a result of the global events of the last year or so, nowhere has that been more true than for developers looking to raise finance.

In fact, it has really served to underline the vital importance of having a broker and lender that are able to work together and understand the client’s journey from end-to-end.

Whether a project is a heavy refurbishment, permitted development conversion, or a full ground-up development, most developers will need finance to fund the works. Typically, a residential development, or conversion from retail to ‘resi’, will require more than one product to support each phase.

Of course, there are many products on the market that a developer can draw on to get their project through the various stages of development to completion and ready for sale, and it can be common for developers to approach different lenders throughout the project lifecycle.

However, moving from one lender to another is not always straight forward and can cause additional stress, adding time when deadlines are already tight and can result in project costs creeping up.

Therefore, it is much more valuable to be able to work with one single lender from the outset of the project, if that lender is able to understand the client and the financial journey they are on.

Working with a client over a period of time on a development, which could be three, four or five years, you get a much better understanding of them as an individual but also their commercial acumen and their ability to reach each key milestone.

That makes it easier to keep faith in the project if something unexpected happens, such as the destabilising effects of a global pandemic. Fortunately, that is an extremely rare event but one that tested lenders’ nerve during 2020.

At West One, we have always believed in supporting the client throughout the whole development process and have developed strong relationships with brokers as a result over the last 15 years.

A clear demonstration of this is a client we have been working with throughout their construction journey by providing four separate products, which allowed them to convert a vacant two-storey office block into nine residential dwellings, seamlessly.

The deal began as a £320k bridging loan, which transitioned on to a £1.7m development finance facility. This then exited on a £983k development exit bridge and concluded with a re-finance onto a £667k buy-to-let product.

Supporting the developer through every stage of their journey with our diverse product range is integral to what we offer our clients, and in this case, we were able to provide exactly what was required to realise the ambition of the developer.

To manage the lifecycle of a deal involving so many products from end-to-end is a rare achievement but testament to West One’s range of products that give our customers a fast transition from one type of finance to another.

As a result, the client was able to obtain different types of finance much faster and easier by staying with West One. Our team of experts worked together ensuring seamless transitions through the products which gave the client peace of mind whilst also avoiding delays and additional costs.

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