We recently sat down with Dan Eaton, CEO of Pivotal Point Group based in the South West, specialising in conversion-type projects for residential use of usually 10 to 20 types of units. We’re working with Dan to fund several of his projects, so it was great to catch up and discuss his experience as a developer and hear his lessons about the financial aspect of the industry.
Pivotal Point Group has been on a mission to help combat the ongoing national housing shortage. The overall use of high street buildings has changed, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated this change. More and more facilities are becoming vacant, which gives opportunities to convert existing buildings into residential ones. The government plans to build 300k new housing every year, but as Dan shared, “we can’t keep expanding out, we’re going to run out of rooms. So we’ve got to repurpose the ones that we’ve already got as well.”
Dan also shared more details about some of Pivotal Point Group’s latest projects, why they embarked on converting a former care home, and how Blend Network supported them in this project. Here we share with you some extracts from our recent interview with Dan…
How long have you been working with Blend Network to fund your deals?
I came across Blend back in February 2020. I went out to a broker with a project we had and they introduced us to Blend. I had the privilege of hosting Daniel Netzer, one of your team in Cheltenham, just to show him the project we were going over, a care home conversion that originally was a residential house. Danny came down from Blend to Cheltenham and on the project, we talked about it. And that’s when I first met with Blend. I really liked the way that Blend was structured in terms of its lender networks, and also that we could put, you know, these funds into a site conversion project.
But then as we know we went into lockdown in March 2020. So everything had to go on hold. What was interesting was that Blend stood by what they’d agreed on even despite the lockdown and the uncertainty. This stood in contrast to what I was hearing about other lenders. Other developers I spoke to at the time and who were working with other lenders told me that the lenders had basically pulled the rug. So, for me it was really refreshing to talk to a lender and go “right, okay, we recognise that there’s an unprecedented situation here, but we’re not going to go”, you know, knee jerk reaction, “we’re just going to pause and see what’s what, we’ll stick by what we’ve done”. And as soon as we’re able to come out of lockdown, sort of in June, July, August time, that’s when we carried on. And then we took possession of the building with Blends funds in the September of 2020. So, overall it was really refreshing to have a lender that you could actually talk to, but also they stood by what they said they were going to do. So that was really nice for me and I liked that.
“When I was talking to my other developers and other cohorts, etc, who were working with other lenders, the lenders have basically pulled the rug said no more. It was really refreshing to get a lender that you could actually talk to, but also they stood by what they said they were going to do.”
Dan also shared with us what it’s like working with Blend Network and the gearing that we were able to offer him on his development projects…
You’ve also done more deals with us. Tell us more about your deal and what sort of gearing we were able to offer you?
Yes, that second project we did with Blend Network consisted of 10 houses on one street, all on separate titles, being converted into 82 individual rental units. All the permissions were in place, and it was a previously sort of abandoned site. The gearing that Blend Network offered us on this deal was amazing. I think the LTGDV on this deal must have been about 85%. We initially faced some issues structuring the deal and coming up with a funding package that worked because this was a complex project – it was more of a residential, heavy refurbishment/conversion than a straight conversion. So, it was really good to work with a lender who came back with a solution. Blend Network effectively structured the deal for us and were like “okay, how do we make this fit?”. Daniel and the team went through the deal and came back and said “okay, well, how about this?”. They offered us a solution and a product that fitted with what we wanted to do, which ultimately led us to about 85% gearing.
Did Blend Network deliver the service that you expected?
I’m gonna say no, it didn’t actually Roxana 😊 It massively exceeded my expectations! Having worked with a number of lenders previously, working with Blend is a complete breath of fresh air. So, it exceeded my expectations.
When working with Blend Network, we will do everything we can to help your project kick off, no matter the obstacle. We offer a variety of loans and lend between £500,000 and £10,000,000 against property assets, all with the flexibility and speed you need. So, if you have a property project you are looking to fund, drop us a line today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 3409 3301 to see how we can help you.
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