Q&A with Shanta Lobo – Senior Relationship Manager

Shanta is Senior Relationship Manager LendingShanta Lobo recently joined Private Mortgages Australia in the role of Senior Relationship Manager. We thought we’d take the opportunity to find out from Shanta herself what’s involved in her role and how she can help clients with short-term business finance.

1. What made you decide to join PMA?

Having been a career banker, with a history of 20 years in commercial business banking, I wanted to try something different that also complemented my experience and expertise. The role with PMA was able to offer me just that. The Senior Relationship Manager role is challenging because it’s a new environment but maintains the basic functions of a commercial lender.

2. What are you looking forward to most in this role?

I’m looking forward to learning more about the private mortgage space and working out ways to help small-to-medium businesses with their borrowing needs. I’m also excited about establishing relationships with brokers and helping to educate them about the various ways we can help their clients.

3. What do you think the key benefits of working with a private lender are?

This is lending at a grass roots level. We’re helping clients based on their individual needs and providing realistic lending solutions. The best thing is that we’re able to think outside the square and structure deals very differently to banks in order to provide more practical options for businesses.

4. What do you bring specifically to the PMA team?

With my background in business banking I bring a thorough understanding of business requirements. I have extensive knowledge relating to interpreting financials, financial projections and security structure. I also have a great network of brokers and referrers that I’m looking forward to working with in the future.

5. What makes PMA different to other lenders?

PMA recently made the decision to increase our maximum LVR to 80%. Most private lenders will generally only lend 65% to 70% LVR, and a lot of the time this is based on a forced-sale valuation rather than the true value of the security property. We always take the true value of the security property without any tricks in order to give our borrowers a better solution.

We’ve also introduced a ‘subsequent referral fee’ in order to eliminate channel conflict. This means we still pay a referrer should a borrower come back to PMA directly after taking a previous loan with us via a referrer.

At PMA we’re all about having a transparent lending process that offers greater flexibility and quicker turnarounds than traditional lenders so that a business can get the best solution.

6. What do you think is most important when maintaining good relationships with brokers/referrers?

Listening to client or referrer and understanding their requirements is absolutely paramount. Taking the time to ask questions and fully understand their individual circumstances makes the rest of the process so much simpler. It’s also important to provide prompt responses and to make quick lending decisions. Overall, by providing solutions that work for the client ensures a smooth process that everyone is happy with.

7. PMA doubled its new loan volume last financial year, why do you think this is?

I think it comes down to great service and delivering great results. We receive a lot of return business which is pretty rare in private lending but it’s something we’re extremely proud of. We’ve found that the great relationship we have with brokers means that they spread the word to other brokers in their network.

8. What are you aiming to achieve at PMA?

I’m hoping to get in touch with as many brokers as possible to find out more about their clients’ needs and educate them about what PMA is able to provide. I also think it’s important to establish a good relationship with the client directly and make them comfortable whilst maintaining a good relationship with the broker.

I’m aiming to always provide prompt and efficient lending solutions and keep on top of the entire lending process through to settlement.

 

To speak to Shanta about your business finance needs get in touch with her on 03 8488 9926 or 

[email protected]

 

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PMA’s 2017 In Review

What a year it’s been for Private Mortgages Australia! We’ve had some standout moments in 2017 including:Private Mortgages Australia celebrates some stellar moments in 2017

  • Doubling our new loan volume in the 12 months leading up to our third birthday in July
  • Raising our maximum LVR to 80%
  • Taking a stand to put an end to channel conflict.

We’ve also continued to grow our team with new hires, hosted well-attended webinars and increased our Referrer Remuneration and Referrer Rewards. Here’s a bit more information about the highlights of 2017:

Doubling our Loan Book

In 2017 we saw our new loans grow by 115%, doubling our volume.  We’re so impressed that we’ve been able to maintain this growth (in our second year we increased our loan volume by 151%) – we definitely have our database of 3,000 brokers and referrers to thank for this.

We’ve put this success down the ever-increasing number of small-to-medium businesses needing access to commercial funding who can’t get it from the banks. It’s also been great to see so many brokers diversifying into the commercial space to work with these businesses.

We’re expecting a further 50% increase in the number of settled loans in the current financial year and are already well on track to achieve this.

LVR Increase

In the second half of this year we decided to raise our maximum LVR to 80%. The decision comes after we partnered with Property Predictions Pty Ltd, the creator of patented methodologies which measure demand trends and predict expected changes in prices across the Australian property market.

Most private lenders will generally only lend 65% to 70% LVR, and a lot of the time this is based on a forced-sale valuation rather than the true value of the security property. We always take the true value of the security property without any tricks in order to give our borrowers a better solution. The Traffic Light Reports from Property Predictions employ predictive and patented algorithms developed by leading property market analyst, John Lindeman, to provide highly accurate short term rent and price change predictions for houses and units in any suburb in Australia.

Combatting Channel Conflict

A recent survey conducted by The Adviser found that 78 per cent of brokers had lost a client as a result of channel conflict. It appears to be a growing concern with 88 per cent more worried about channel conflict than they were 12 months ago.

We receive over 90 per cent of our business from broker referrals and we want to keep it that way. That’s why we decided to make changes to our referral fee structure to alleviate any concerns from our broker partners about channel conflict.

We’ve now introduced a ‘subsequent referral fee’ which is paid to the referrer should a borrower come back to PMA directly after taking a previous loan with us via a referrer. We get a lot of repeat clients (which is uncommon in private lending) so we believe we’ve got to be doing something right. We want to reward referrers for providing us with a good lead and will continue to do so no matter how many times that client comes back to us directly. It’s basically free money for our referrers but we believe they deserve it. All referrer fees are paid within 24 hours of settlement with no clawbacks.

Finally, we’d like to take this opportunity to wish all of our supporters a very merry Christmas! It’s an extremely busy time for us and we’ll be working right up until Christmas Day in order to help any borrowers who need finance before the end of the year. If you have any commercial finance needs please get in touch.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Private Mortgages Australia raises maximum LVR to 80%

Specialist commercial lender, Private Mortgages Australia, today announced that it has raised its maximum LVR to 80%. The decision comes after the private lender partnered with Property Predictions Pty Ltd, the creator of patented methodologies which measure demand trends and predict expected changes in prices across the Australian property market.

“Having access to these Traffic Light Reports from Property Predictions gives us confidence to offer a higher LVR to borrowers who are looking to secure finance against properties in those suburbs,” said Tony Barbone, Managing Director of Private Mortgages Australia.

“Most private lenders will generally only lend 65% to 70% LVR, and a lot of the time this is based on a forced-sale valuation rather than the true value of the security property. We always take the true value of the security property without any tricks in order to give our borrowers a better solution.”

The Traffic Light Reports from Property Predictions employ predictive and patented algorithms developed by leading property market analyst, John Lindeman to provide highly accurate short term rent and price change predictions for houses and units in any suburb in Australia.

“It’s great that PMA is able to use the insights from our Traffic Light Reports to offer better solutions to their borrowers,” Lindeman said. “The predictive software we use gives them the confidence to back the borrower and increase the maximum LVR to 80% in selected suburbs. It creates a win-win situation for both PMA and the borrower.”

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PMA puts a stop to channel conflict

Channel conflict: PMA moves to stop channel conflictA recent survey conducted by The Adviser found that 78 per cent of brokers had lost a client as a result of channel conflict. It appears to be a growing concern with 88 per cent more worried about channel conflict than they were 12 months ago. Over 93 per cent of brokers cited the major banks as their biggest concern and 74 per cent of brokers said channel conflict would influence which lenders they recommend to clients over the coming 12 months.

Private Mortgages Australia receives over 90 per cent of our business from broker referrals and we want to keep it that way. That is why we’ve decided to make changes to our referral fee structure to alleviate any concerns from our broker partners about channel conflict.

We’ve now introduced a ‘subsequent referral fee’ which is paid to the referrer should a borrower comes back to PMA directly after taking a previous loan with us via a referrer. We get a lot of repeat clients (which is uncommon in private lending) so we believe we’ve got to be doing something right. We want to reward referrers for providing us with a good lead and will continue to do so no matter how many times that client comes back to us directly. It’s basically free money for our referrers but we believe they deserve it. All referrer fees are paid within 24 hours of settlement with no clawbacks.

Of course, we do have some conditions around this. For instance, if a client comes back for a subsequent loan via a new referrer with an updated client mandate, PMA will always pay the new referrer based on the client’s updated direction to pay.

To find out more about the referral fees, interest rates and LVRs you can view a copy of our Referrer pack here.

PMA has also introduced a Referrer Reward program to show our appreciation for the great work our referrers do. As part of the program, the value of all transactions settled with PMA will count towards your referrer rewards total and each time you reach a referrer milestone you will receive a reward from PMA – think a nice bottle of Grange, flights, shopping vouchers and much more. Each time you reach a new milestone we’ll have a bigger and better reward for you.

To find out more about the rewards milestones, visit the Referrer page on our website here.

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Why are foreign investors interested in Australian commercial property?

Australia has always been a popular place for foreign investors looking to invest in the property marketAustralia has always been a popular place for foreign investors looking to invest in the property market, particularly with Asian countries like China. The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) found that Chinese buyers in Australia were approved to purchase $23.8bn of property in 2015-2016, an increase from $18.4bn in 2014-2015. Australia received the second largest share of outflowing capital from China after the United States.

Despite the regulatory restrictions, and the banks’ new curbs on lending to foreign property investors, many foreign investors remain undaunted when it comes to purchasing property in Australia.

Luckily for them, there are options outside of the banks to obtain finance for the purchase of property. While banks are primarily concerned with serviceability and proof of income, private mortgage lenders like Private Mortgages Australia approach the lending process quite differently. Usually the loan is secured by property equity so as long as a foreign borrower has property assets to use as collateral the lending process should go smoothly.

One space that is of particular interest to foreign investors is the commercial property market. There are many reasons for the growth in this sector, starting with the types of investors:

Two types of foreign investors

There are two main types of investors who are interested in Australian commercial property – corporate and institutional investors, or high net worth individuals. Each of these investors has different motivations for choosing to invest in Australia, as well as a varied perspective on what they hope to achieve from their investment.

Corporate or institutional investors choose to invest offshore for two main reasons. The first is the mandate to deploy large funds, and with many domestic markets slowing, this has driven them to look overseas. The second is to keep their investment assets diverse and spread out over markets and cities that are seen to be well supported by demand, with survival possible even in the event of a global downturn. These markets mainly include Australia, the USA and the UK. Further to that, the top tier cities are seen as the lowest risk and best understood and therefore are the main focal point of investment. These cities include San Francisco, New York, London, Sydney and Melbourne.

The second type of investors – those with a high net worth – are commonly seen to be motivated to invest for migration purposes. As with corporate investors, the places high net worth investors choose to invest are within the tier one cities. The reason for this is mainly due to the cycle of popularity of these cities. Investors with a high net worth choose to migrate to these regions, driving corporate investors to strategically target these cities as their buyers are planning on moving there.

Getting a piece of the foreign pie

With continued interest in Australia from foreign investors, brokers have an opportunity to assist them in accessing funding for property purchases. According to Juwai.com’s March Chinese Consumer Survey, 25% of respondents cited financing or transferring money to pay for overseas property as being difficult. By working with non-bank lenders like PMA, brokers can help foreign clients access cost-effective loans with quick turn-arounds and in the meantime earn a slice of the lucrative foreign investor pie.

Private Mortgages Australia is able to lend to foreign investors when they are borrowing using an established Australian company.

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PMA doubles yearly loan volume

Private Mortgages Australia doubles loan book Specialist commercial lender Private Mortgages Australia (PMA) has celebrated three years in business by doubling its volume of newly settled loans over the past financial year.

PMA managing director Tony Barbone said the firm’s success was a result of an increase in small-to-medium businesses needing alternatives to the banks.

“We’ve had so many brokers and referrers come to us with clients who have been turned down by the banks. While serviceability is the greatest concern for banks, we are primarily focussed on securing the loan using property equity which allows us to be a lot more flexible.”

While Barbone was reluctant to mention the specific size of PMA’s loan book, it had increased by 151% in its second year and then a further 115% in its third, most recent year, he told Australian Broker. PMA was first established in 2014.

“We’re so impressed that we’ve been able to maintain this growth and double our loan volume year on year. We definitely have our brokers and referrers to thank for this.”

Barbone said he had also noticed an increase in the number of brokers diversifying into the commercial lending sector.

“It’s great that brokers are starting to see the benefits of working with small-to-medium businesses as there are so many who struggle to access funding when it is readily available from non-bank lenders.”

PMA currently has over 3,000 brokers in its database with an increasing number referring commercial loans to the lender, Barbone said.

“We’ve found that educating brokers about commercial loans via our regular webinars has helped us continually grow the number of referrers that come us.”

The directors of PMA expect a further 50% increase in the number of settled loans in the coming financial year.

The firm has recently focused on reducing channel conflict by bringing in ‘subsequent referral fees’ to referrer clients who approach PMA directly for additional loans. The firm has also amended its Referrer Rewards Program to make obtaining rewards simpler when referrers introduce clients to the lender.

“We have now become ‘channel agnostic’ whereby a borrower pays the same approval fee if they come direct to us or through a broker. We also allow our brokers to add a service fee or mandate,” Barbone said.

“We have also added a new policy whereby if a broker sends us a client, that client takes out a loan and then that same client comes back to us directly for another loan we will still pay the broker a referral fee.”

It’s important to respect the fact that these individuals are all broker clients, he added, especially since more than 90% of PMA’s loans come from the third party channel.

Posted on Australian Broker

 

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Birthday Bonanza: Submit a deal, get $250

Private Mortgages Australia is celebrating its third birthdayHappy birthday to us! We’re very excited to be celebrating our third birthday on the 9th July but we want to give the gifts to our referrers. Refer a loan to us between the 1st of June and the 9th of July and have your client accept an Indicative Letter of Offer then we’ll give you a $250 Myer voucher. Easy as that!

Each additional loan will also earn you another $250.

Head on over to our Facebook and LinkedIn pages and share a birthday message with us using #HoorayPMA

If you have any commercial clients that need fast, flexible finance, then get in touch with us now.

 

Rewarding our referrers

Don’t forget that we also offer great rewards to our referrers through our Referrer Rewards program.  As part of the program, the value of all transactions settled with PMA will count towards your referrer rewards total and each time you reach a referrer milestone you will receive a reward from PMA – think a nice bottle of Grange, flights, shopping vouchers and much more. Each time you reach a new milestone we’ll have a bigger and better reward for you.

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Budget 2017: Changes to stamp duty hits Victorian developers

Budget 2017: Changes to stamp duty hits Victorian developersChanges to stamp duty concessions in the latest Victorian budget and restrictions from banks on developer finance are driving property developers to seek alternatives for finance.

The 2017/2018 State budget has introduced changes stating that from 1 July 2017, purchasers of off-the-plan commercial properties or residential investment properties (not yet constructed) in Victoria will be liable to pay stamp duty on the purchase price or the market value of the property (whichever is greater). This will not affect owner occupied off-plan purchases.

Until now, Victorian purchasers of real estate that was not yet constructed were only required to pay stamp duty on the value of the land and any improvements that were already constructed on the land, as at the date of the contract. The value of any construction or refurbishment that was carried out on or after the contract date and before settlement was disregarded for the purposes of calculating the purchaser’s stamp duty liability.

Under the proposed new regime, purchasers of commercial properties or residential investment properties who enter into an off-the-plan contract of sale on or after 1 July 2017 will be liable to pay duty on the purchase price or the market value of the property (whichever is greater).

This will have a significant impact on the purchase price feasibility for property investors and the confidence of developers to attract sufficient pre-sales to obtain financing in the current challenging lending environment. Furthermore, obtaining finance for development projects has become even more difficult with banks placing stronger restrictions on lending and increasing serviceability requirements.

Property developers are copping blows from both sides, however there are still options for obtaining finance for projects from alternative lenders like Private Mortgages Australia. The flexibility of non-bank lenders will be an attractive option for developers who are finding it difficult to access a loan following the restrictions being put in place by the banks.

To discuss developer finance please get in touch with Private Mortgages Australia.

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Brokers can achieve 50% market share for business loans

Brokers can achieve commercial and business lending origination

The Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) has said that brokers can achieve 50 per cent of commercial and business lending origination.

The FBAA’s executive director Peter White said that brokers in Australia “have every opportunity to follow markets like the UK [where brokers have around 70 per cent market share] and dramatically increase origination market share”.

He said: “The high level of professionalism and best practice engaged in Australia under our regulations, and genuine concerns for skilled conduct producing best outcomes for borrowers, is a recipe for more and more borrowers using brokers.”

As an advisory board member for the Small Business Association of Australia (SBAA), Mr White said that opportunities exist for brokers in the small business sector to improve the service they currently provide.

“Many brokers are very proficient at business and commercial lending, but they need stronger knowledge skill-sets that deepen their understanding of how those loans function within business markets.

“If you are dealing with a borrower who is in an aged care facility, you need to understand the aged care market and its needs. Same with hoteliers, restauranteurs and motel owners, so you can speak their language and gain their respect.

“When you actually know their industry and market, you will own the right to their business,” he said.

This article originally appeared on SME Adviser.

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Funding options for settling a development site

Funding options for settling a development siteIn this guest post, PMA referrer, Dan Holden, Director of HoldenCAPITAL, writes about the benefits of using private capital to settle a development site.

Banks are very reluctant to get involved in lending against development sites. Some developers were getting sites funded as house investment loans because there was an existing house on the land they were purchasing. This was all too common until 2015, when the valuation industry was ordered to make a note wherever they thought the purchase was actually intended for a development project rather than a passive rental return house. The heads up from the valuer to the bank resulted in loans being declined if the bank believed it was for a development project.

Some of the reasons the banks are so reluctant to lend against a development site include:

  • An inability to prove the borrower can service the monthly interest, usually requiring 1.5 times interest cover from recurring income.
  • The main exit strategy is via a construction loan, which the banks are now only doing on a selective basis.

Banks take a view that they will only lend up to 75% of total development cost for the construction loan, and the land in a development project should typically takes up less than 20% of the total development cost. If they were to advance monies against the land, then they are reliant upon the developer putting in further cash to actually convert it into a construction facility. Being reliant upon a developer to find more money down the track is not a palatable credit answer. To put that in numbers, if you had a $10 million TDC project and the land was $1.8 million, the bank is only going to lend you $7.5 million to build the project. So if you don’t have $2.5 million now, they won’t rely on you finding it under your pillow in six months’ time.

We have seen a rise in developers using private capital to get these loans completed quickly and without the fuss of proving serviceability or an exit strategy. The cost of capital is higher at 15%p.a. however, at a lower LVR and/or with a robust sponsor we have been able to secure 12%p.a. While 15%p.a. sounds high, it is typically just for 4-6 months while the developer finalises his BA and any marketing, so the overall burden to the project is fairly insignificant. It is also better than using cash for that period and if you’re an elite property developer, you would want to see your cash invested at better than 15%p.a.

Dan Holden is Director of Holden CapitalDan Holden – Director, Holden Capital

HoldenCAPITAL is a specialist construction finance group, recognised as a market leader through its successes in deal structuring and the sourcing of debt and equity solutions.

Dan has over 13 years of development and finance experience which includes over six years in finance consultancy and funds management. You can contact Dan at [email protected].

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