Jonathan Sealy

Bridging

Hope Capital CEO interview with Bridging Loan Directory

5 Mar 2021

Emily Crowe

by Emily Crowe

How has the Covid-19 pandemic changed the way Hope Capital operate?

 

There is no doubt the Covid-19 pandemic has brought a massive change for the bridging finance industry. At the beginning of the pandemic, many lenders stopped providing bridging loans altogether, while others announced they were temporarily stopping all new lending or restricting the size and types of loan they offered. However, while it has been challenging at times, Hope Capital are resilient and we have looked at new ways to work, to ensure we can continue to provide the same exceptional service to brokers and their clients.

 

This included introducing an Automated Valuation Model (AVM), a mathematical and statistical service which provides quick, real estate property valuations, alongside other valuation methods to ensure the continuation of our service throughout the various lockdown periods. In addition, these new methods have been found to be ideal for cases where funds are needed urgently.

 

We have also recently partnered with Nivo to implement new ID verification and messaging technology, enhancing the customer experience and making underwriting deals more efficient.

 

Ultimately, Hope Capital have had to make many changes to the way we operate, however instead of this disrupting the service we provide, it has provided us with new, improved ways to adapt to working to meet the changing needs of our customers. As a result, we have experienced an extremely busy period and recorded a 291% increase in completions for the 12 months to December 2020 versus 2019 and this has flowed into 2021.

"We've experienced an extremely busy period and recorded a 291% increase in completions for the 12 months to December 2020 versus 2019 and this has flowed into 2021."

Jonathan Sealey, CEO

What opportunities has the Covid-19 pandemic created for Hope Capital?

 

Unlike many industries which are struggling to weather the Covid-19 storm, the demand for bridging loans is currently booming. In uncertain times, like what we have been experiencing for nearly 12 months, investors often turn to property as it’s viewed as a safe haven. As a result, there are many opportunities for lenders to evolve and stand out from the crowd, by listening to brokers and borrowers and identifying what the new market trends are. In particular, we have witnessed a significant shift in the rise of homeworking and the demand for properties which can accommodate and promote this.

 

Subsequently, a new level of opportunity has arisen for Hope Capital to create a product range which provides a solution for borrowers who are seeing this trend to be part of their investment plans.

 

To meet this demand, we therefore launched the Refurbishment Range at the beginning of 2021, aimed specifically at property investors and renovators undertaking property purchases and refurbishment projects. The three products are ideal for those who require a short-term finance solution in order to fund their project and improve their investment property, to fit in with the ever-increasing work from home trend and increase yield.

 

In addition, there has been an opportunity to create other bridging finance products to ensure the market keeps moving forward and to provide a variety of options for brokers and borrowers in all areas.

 

Of note, we launched the Seventies Collection in September 2020, suitable for residential purchases and refinance. In February 2021, we also launched the Eighties Collection, designed for mixed-use property purchases and refinance and the Nineties Collection, suitable for commercial purchases and refinance. All are highly competitive bridging loan products and provide fantastic rates for those who are looking to continue with their investment plans throughout the pandemic.

 

"There has been an opportunity to create other bridging finance products to ensure the market keeps moving forward and to provide a variety of options for brokers and borrowers in all areas."

Jonathan Sealey, CEO

What does 2021 hold for Hope Capital?

 

While the future remains unclear and despite the ongoing nature of the pandemic, Hope Capital has so far managed to support more clients than ever, whether assisting their business through difficult times or to seize new opportunities with the help of bridging finance. Ultimately, I can’t see the property market slowing down, even post 31-March, and while mainstream lenders remain slow and protracted, there’s a real need for bridging finance as a first-choice solution.

 

Therefore, we see our success continuing throughout 2021 and are committed to adapting to the changing needs of our customers, by continuing to push product innovation, develop processes and ensure Hope Capital delivers unrivalled borrowing solutions with exceptional service, no matter what is happening in the world. We are optimistic for 2021 and beyond and have our sights set on growing the loan book even further.

 

To ensure we achieve this, we will also be continuing to invest in talent as part of our ambitious expansion strategy, which will help us grow the business and guarantee we are best positioned to meet the diverse range of needs of brokers and their clients.

 

What would you recommend brokers and borrowers look out for when choosing a bridging lender in the coming months?

 

There is no doubt the bridging finance industry is going to face more challenges as the Covid-19 pandemic continues, which is why it is essential brokers and borrowers find a lender who can provide a transparent service and has expert knowledge of property and finance markets. It is essential any lender has a guaranteed source of funding, is clear when communicating the different options available to customers and is able to find a solution in a timely manner.

At Hope Capital, we continue to remain true to our core principles; delivering rapid short term bridging loans with total professionalism, honesty and transparency.

 

 

Emily Crowe

Emily Crowe

Emily is responsible for developing, implementing and managing the positive image of Hope Capital, as well as communicating key messages to stakeholders within the industry.
For all press enquiries, please contact Emily directly on 0151 522 2582 or via email.

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