HFG Trust gained greater loan visibility, process efficiency, and industry expertise to scale their construction programs
- Fix and Flip
- New Construction
- Construction Loan Manager™ software
- Draw Administration Services
- Exceptional borrower experience
- Loan program growth
- Improved access and visibility for borrowers and builders
- Reduced administration time
- Streamlined process
HFG Trust specializes in securing funding for clients who do not fit the conventional mortgage needs of today’s market. Offering a variety of loan products including fix and flip, spec construction, and investor and commercial bridge loans, HFG Trust’s success is defined by its ability to help clients achieve their real estate investment goals.
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The HFG Trust team has always been very attentive and hands-on in the management of fix and flip, bridge, and construction loans since its beginnings in 2016. As a small team with a growing portfolio, their process was very manual.
“It began organically,” said Morgan Smith, President, Private Lending, HFG Trust. “After loan closing, our team would drive out and look at the projects and do the inspections. As we grew, we brought in an operations manager and that’s where we decided we needed to do this the right way. So we tried a variety of ways to do that.”
HFG Trust began with local inspection companies, however they were limited based on geography. Since projects were nationwide, this quickly became an inhibitor. From there, they engaged with two nationwide construction loan management partners. However, both engagements resulted in poor experiences and inadequate service levels.
This led to a search for another partner, ultimately leading HFG Trust to evaluate Land Gorilla. Borrower experience was an important consideration in the evaluation process, as was the speed of the draw process.
“We heard great things about Land Gorilla,” said Smith. “Many industry peers said this was the group to use. We signed with Land Gorilla and we’ve been very pleased.”
HFG Trust selected Land Gorilla’s Construction Loan Manager (CLM) software, as well as Land Gorilla draw administration services.
“Land Gorilla is by far the best platform,” said Smith. “I like the way the borrowers and builders can access the loan (online). What sets Land Gorilla apart in the industry is its technology and team of experts that really know what they are doing.”
As part of their technology solution, HFG Trust provides borrowers and builders access to their loan information through the web portal powered by Land Gorilla’s Construction Loan Manager.
“Having the ability for them to log on and see their loan and make requests, I think it’s had a great impact for them,” said Carrie Lucas, VP of Operations, Private Lending, HFG Trust. “We have a lot of repeat customers, and prior to Land Gorilla, they were all coming to me through emails. The CLM allows them to see what’s been entered, all the related documents, and the inspections if they wanted to review that themselves. Prior to that, we didn’t have a platform or website that could be utilized for this. Our customers are able to relax a bit more having that access to check things out and see the status of where they’re at with draw requests.”
Our loan process has become much more manageable
HFG Trust was very satisfied with the thorough onboarding and training process. “It was a good introduction on how everything works,” said Smith. “It was quite extensive with several meetings and webinars.”
“The recorded training videos provided were very helpful,” said Lucas. “I attended all the initial training and then I was able to provide our processors, whom are setting up the files and new accounts in the CLM, I was able to give them the recorded versions of just the pieces they needed. So that was terrific and very handy and we can always go back in the event that we need a refresher or we bring someone new on.”
“Our loan process has become much more manageable,” continued Lucas. “The visibility is there for all loan stakeholders and they are able to self-service. And the Land Gorilla staff is very knowledgeable of what they’re doing. It’s been a huge relief for us when inspections come back or contractors are making changes throughout the process. I’ve been able to walk away from this piece where before I was knee-deep in everything with the rehab and construction funds. It’s been a great experience.”
HFG Trust also valued the draw management and risk management best practices from Land Gorilla. “There is the construction draw administration process and then there are the policies behind it,” said Smith. “When are you going to release the draw and are you going to front funds to a contractor to buy materials, and examples like that. Every case can be a little bit different and I have appreciated the Land Gorilla staff advising how we should do it based on best practices.”
In cases where a construction loan is sold prior to completion and HFG Trust continues to administer the construction draw process, the CLM can provide view-only access to the investor group. With all of the information housed in the CLM, investors can log in themselves, have visibility and be up-to-date with the status of the loan.
Partnering with Land Gorilla provides HFG Trust the structure and tools they will need to grow their loan programs. As their programs expand, HFG Trust plans to utilize more features and functions of the CLM. Expectations are to double their overall business and continue to expand their renovation lending expertise.
“We’re committed to the space and have goals to grow to a $150 million dollar a year renovation lender and continue to get better and better,” said Lucas. “It’s a lot different than traditional mortgage and takes more chops than doing regular loans. We’ve learned a lot and plan to expand to conventional construction products where we see a big area of growth on the consumer side.”