Showhome’s Lauren Barnett spoke to Keith Howard Forster, owner of PF&D Ltd about how they make their mark in the property finance and development industry.
PF&D Ltd specialise solely in securing development finance for the Property Developer – we are not a jack of all trades broker. We can secure development finance across the UK from single plots to multi plots and flatted schemes.
How did the company start?
It emerged from a brokerage that was established 25 years ago. PF&D Ltd itself was launched and incorporated in 2011 with PF&D being an acronym for Property Finance and Development.
How has the company grown?
The company has gone from strength to strength with turnover growing by a minimum of 50% year on year and with 2016 on line to do the same.
What purpose do you serve in the property finance and development industry?
Put simply, PF&D Ltd connect developers to lenders. Since the ‘crash’ the small to medium sized developer has found it difficult to secure finance for their projects and that’s where we come in.
Developers have good projects they want to develop out but limited access to funds. We have direct access to over 90 lenders and so we are perfectly positioned to help the developer secure the right funding for them.
What trends have you seen within this industry?
With the High Street banks effectively out of the market this has created a void, which has been filled by Merchant Banks and other private lending institutions. These funders have become very creative and there are some amazing prodcuts to help the property developer to grow their business. These include 100% JV finance and forward funding of construction costs.
What are some of the more high profile developments you have secured finance for?
We have financed projects that have appeared on the likes or TV programmes such as Dream Homes and are involved in a couple of Landmark sites in Hertfordshire. We have a handful of case studies on our website (www.pf-d.com) including a 52 flatted scheme we recently completed on.
What does the process of securing development finance look like?
It is relatively straightforward however issues often arise if the developer is using a lawyer that doesn’t specialise in development finance. It is our experience is that the lawyer’s lack of expertise slows down the entire process and sometimes grinds to a halt.
In terms of a simplified process see below:
- Developer approaches us with a project and we seek to understand their finance requirements
- We quickly ascertain if this project is bankable and if so we package up the proposal and send to the most appropraite lender(s)
- We usually get indicative terms from one or more lenders within 48 hours…sometimes less
- The process from there on depends on the lender with some requiring a Site Visit with the developer
- Assuming that the proposal ticks all the boxes then a formal offer letter can be issued
- It is then down to valuation and QS (where applicable) and the legals
- Once all the professional tasks are signed off the developer can draw down funds.
How do you go above and beyond for your clients?
We pride ourselves in the fact that we are considered, by not only our clients but also lenders in providing a service that is second to none. We do not just ping an email to a lender and ask them to contact the client and wait for our fee as some brokers do I’m told. We fully analyse the proposal and check that it is a bankable proposition. We then determine what the client’s financial needs are around that project as this enables us to submit the proposal to the most appropriate lender(s).
We are continually involved in the process right up to offer (including site visits where necessary) and on to completion. Post completion we deal with issues arising that are brought to us by the client and we set about resolving them with the lender – draw downs are a common one.
What sets you apart from your competition?
Service, expertise and an enviable list of lender contacts – Service is key. It is what brings our clients back to us time and time again.
What are the future plans for the company?
We will not change our modus operandi by looking to take on more staff as this could dilute our service levels. Our focus is that of nurturing our clients and dealing with larger and larger transactions, which enables us to maintain growth, but not at the expense of service.