BWFD's Eugene Owusu talks about digitalisation and "the new way of conducting business in the real estate debt market."
BWFD was one of the first real estate debt investment & advisory firms in Germany to acquire FinLoop's White Label product and integrate the platform into its daily business activities as a debt advisor.
What was behind the decision, and how does FinLoop's White Label offer match with the BWFD's plans for future growth?
We spoke to Eugene Owusu, Head of Real Estate Finance at BWFD, who talks passionately about the efficiency that digitalisation can bring to real estate businesses.
I came to BWFD from a B2C environment, where, over the past decade, digitalisation has transformed business processes. In the B2C market, digitalisation has enabled finance providers, typically banks, to make rapid assessments of loans, and equally quick decisions on finance agreements, he says.
This vastly increased the number of loan applications and deals that teams are able to process, bringing huge benefits. When I joined BWFD, I could see that there was huge potential to improve the efficiency of our business processes and to bring value to our clients and partners.
B2B is different, it is far more complex than the consumer market, and is behind it in terms of digitalisation.
The huge amount of documentation involved in commercial transactions means that developers and investors often only work with a handful of banks and lenders. Building new relationships with lenders is time-consuming. For compliance purposes, there is a need to provide huge amounts of background information; a borrower's experience and track record, what the funding will be used for, etc. This can be very time consuming and inefficient.
Eugene's goal is for BWFD to enable borrowers to extend their network of lenders easily and efficiently and provide them with access to a wider choice of funding opportunities. He sees FinLoop's lender management and client onboarding tools as central to this. It not only offers borrowers a broad spectrum of loans, but FinLoop's White Label product also allows BWFD to introduce new features to its business processes, bringing even greater benefits to the firm's clients and partners, such as loan analysis and monitoring tools.
In such a competitive market, we must ask ourselves, what is the added value that we bring to our clients? In such a tough market you need to bring something new to the table.
FinLoop's White Label product gives us this ability and introduces speed to the game. This is a huge benefit, making us far more efficient and enables us to handle far more deals simultaneously than was previously possible. Right now, with FinLoop's integrated management tools, it's easy to do it, says Eugene.
Previously, we would often chase required documents to be able to present them adequately to banks, costing time, leading to inefficiencies, and causing a lot of frustration. The document management system and bespoke dataroom within FinLoop has allowed us to overcome this problem.
For me, FinLoop is the new way of conducting business in the real estate debt market. It's like the Apple of our financial market and is setting new standards, he concludes.
Founded in 2002, BWFD is a real estate advisor and service provider in Germany, advising hundreds of private and institutional investors worldwide, regarding real estate financing and transaction management across the commercial and residential asset classes.
Further information regarding BWFD is available at: https://www.bwfd.de