Here at Ignite Funding we offer passive real estate investments that earn investors a 10%-12% annualized fixed income. All you have to do is choose an investment, fill-out some paperwork and send in your funds. Now you can sit back and enjoy your returns, but for Ignite Funding, the work carries on. Today we are giving you a behind the scenes look with Pat Vassar, Director of Underwriting, to see some of what Ignite Funding does in its daily operations to keep these investments passive for its investors.
For construction/development loans, do you visit the properties to see the borrowers progress in-person? How often?
Carrie Cook (Ignite Funding’s President) and I visit each property on average once every four months. In a given year, we can service up to 100 projects, visiting each of those about four times (depends on the length of the loan) averages out to about 350 total site visits per year. At each site we are looking to make sure that the money is being used to enhance the value of the property, whether it’s for horizontal development, vertical construction, or both. We recently started sharing some of our videos* of these site visits with investors so they can see their funds in action and the value of their collateral increasing over time.
For acquisition projects and projects that do not involve physical/tangible changes to the property, how do you track that progress?
Just because you can’t physically see it, entitlement work and zoning permits add a tremendous amount of value to a property because they can sometimes take more time and effort than the actual development/construction of the project. We ask for updates on when the city or county planning commissions are scheduled, follow-up to see if plans were approved, and if so, what were the conditions. Usually when something is approved it is not unanimous. 99.9% of the time there are conditions, such as you have to add an offsite improvement like a traffic light or stop sign to a major intersection. We want to see what those conditions are because if they are onerous and cost a lot of money, it will devalue the site and we will need to pay attention to the viability of it in the future. With Ignite Funding’s strong development background, we can often help our borrowers troubleshoot these conditions to get the project back on good ground.
Are you keeping track of the borrower’s financials even after their loans have been funded?
We receive quarterly financial updates from the borrower on both the special purpose LLCs that own the properties and the parent companies that run those LLCs. The funds provided for the projects flow in-and-out between both entities. Therefore, we keep close tabs on these reports to see if there is any instability happening internally with the borrower. If the borrower is working on a subdivision (property where they are selling multiple lots or homes), we also receive weekly reports on sales velocities to see how fast they are getting them under contract and ultimately closing. With this information we look to see how that corresponds with the underwriting we did before we originated the loan to see if we were on target and, more importantly, if the borrower is on target with their sales and traffic count predictions. We receive the borrower’s annual financial audits as well.
How often are you in communication with the borrowers?
Every day, whether it is on current or upcoming projects we are always in communication with the borrowers. We also visit each borrower’s parent company once a year. This is important because then we can see if they are adding staff or cutting back, and if it’s the same faces as before or if they have cleaned house. What’s observed at the in-person visits and in the annual financial audits are more indicative of the overall health of the company. With quarterly financials it is very easy for people to move money around to make it look like everything is great or status quo.
This blog barely scratches the surface of everything Ignite Funding does for its investors and how it provides solid Trust Deed investment opportunities. If you have any questions related to this topic that we didn’t answer, please leave it in the comment section below or send it to your Investment Representative.
Want more free education? You can view our videos on our YouTube channel by following the link here.