The eBay of the commercial finance property world
When dad and daughter duo, David Gammond and Nicola Fernandes created Racefields they looked to eBay for inspiration. “I have been involved in property finance for over 30 years”, explains David, “as a lender I was always frustrated when dealing through brokers rather than directly with the applicants. When Nicola and I started working on Racefields we wanted to bring lenders and borrowers together as efficiently as possible and at the lowest possible cost. We saw eBay doing exactly that by bringing buyers and sellers together via their auction software”.
“The Racefields Exchange does the same thing”, explains Nicola, “bringing lenders and borrowers into direct contact cuts costs and speeds up the lending process which is a win for both sides. We list loan applications on the Exchange and lenders bid to provide the funding. The system is brilliant for borrowers because they can choose from the offers received. It works for lenders too as they can select which loan applications suit their lending criteria without any pressure from a broker”.
The Racefields team know that loan offers are not all about the interest rate. “Loan-to-value is just as important”, explains David, “also a lender might not insist on a guarantee from the borrower and they might accept 2nd charge security. We have lenders who will top-up development finance or will fund VAT. Some of our lenders will provide 100% development finance and some will fund development land without planning. That is the benefit of the Racefields Exchange, all the lenders can see all the loan applications. There are no exceptions”.
Borrowers can list a loan application on the Exchange by completing one simple form or by merely contacting Racefields with their requirements. Only lenders can view the applications listed on the Exchange, brokers are strictly excluded. “It’s not that we dislike brokers”, said David, “specialist finance brokers have an important role to play if a borrower has a complex deal or is new to the market. However, in the vast majority of cases we believe that lenders and borrowers are perfectly capable of dealing directly with each other”.
With billions of pounds flowing through alternative property finance in the UK, Racefields is offering to speed up the application process and to cut costs for thousands of borrowers.