Non-bank lender launches website to track construction projects

A non-bank lender has launched a new platform that allows the builders, brokers, and borrowers involved in a construction loan to track and monitor the progress of their build.

Australian First Mortgage (AFM), which was acquired by Queensland-based National Mortgage Company in 2015, offers residential, commercial, and leasing finance, but its “bread and butter” is construction finance.

 According to the lender, there are many steps involved during different stages of building a new house, which rely on different parties communicating and providing information to and from a lender.

In order to streamline the process, AFM has now launched a custom-built construction site to “simplify the contraction process for builders, brokers and their customers”.

Linking back to AFM’s internal tracking systems, the site provides live reporting on all aspects of the construction process, from settlement through to handover.

The site works by providing each party with a separate log-in. For example, builders receive a personalised log in and can see every file that they have on the go with AFM during the construction period, whereas brokers will see every construction loan they have with AFM, and borrowers will be able to see the loan they have and details of the project.

Users are also able to see when the loan was settled, who the builder or developer is, funder payment policies, where the site is located, and the status of the project(s).

All users will also be able to access live updates of the construction process, and view photographs of the property at each stage of construction.

AFM has said that the site also keeps track of historical notes, so “no one is in the dark as to where the signed invoice is, or when payments has been made to the builder”.

“The transparency with live tracking, history notes and status updates keeps all parties involved on the same page in real time,” it said.

It is hoped that the platform could reduce confusion and free up more time for each of the parties involved.

Commenting on the new construction site, AFM’s head of broker sales Natasha Sultan told The Adviser: “Our exclusive construction site gives complete transparency during the construction process and customers love the fact they can view photographs of their property being built, especially interstate customers.”

Ms Sultan added that the tool is also useful to brokers, as they can “help build referral partnerships by offering this unique tracking system to builders”.

The construction site is currently only available to brokers attending AFM’s current roadshow, but will also be made available to those watching the national video webinar on November 29.

 

Non-bank lender launches website to track construction projects
The Adviser by Annie Kane