At Built, we take pride in the onboarding and implementation of each new client -- working with our clients to truly get to know the ins and outs of their workflows and tailoring our implementation process to meet their needs. We place a great deal of focus on making things as simple and pain free as possible for everyone who uses our platform, which is why we were honored when we delighted a client to the extent that they wanted to join our team. This was exactly the case with Natalie Myrick, our recently appointed director of mortgage solutions, who came on board last fall from Umpqua Bank. In this quick interview conversation, Natalie shares a little bit of her story and what she’s looking forward to helping us create at Built.
What attracted you to Built?
When we first demoed with Built, I was really attracted to the platform and its capabilities. During that meeting, my team and I were able to figure out exactly how we'd use the platform to solve the challenges we were experiencing when managing our construction loans. That was all impressive, but for me, the true differentiator for Built was when it came time for implementation.
Working with the Built team was fast and easy. Communication was firing back and forth, as we relayed our reporting needs and delivered what they requested to make that happen. Within a week of being on the system, all of our builders and borrowers were on as well. I’d never seen anything like that. In fact, whenever I go on site with clients, I tell them that if they’re on board and willing to get things going quickly, just give us a dedicated person and we’ll get them up and running in no time.
After we were fully on boarded and using the platform, I became a reference for Built, speaking with clients across the country. I enjoyed sharing our experience and learning how other lenders were implementing the platform on their end. At this point, we'd been using the platform for eight or ten months, and I began to find myself more and more excited to be on calls with Built. That's when I knew I needed to reach out and get in touch with Chase.
I truly believe in the direction that Built is going, both as a company and a product, and stand by the solutions we provide to our clients. That's why I moved my whole family across the country to go on this amazing journey. And to stay in the construction finance industry is really a blessing.
How would you describe your first few months at Built?
Seeing new clients, especially on site, has helped to continue the excitement I felt when doing reference calls for Built. Being able to expand the knowledge I have in the construction finance world -- revalidating what we experienced at Umpqua or opening new ideas for us to try out -- has been a valuable experience.
I bring the client’s perspective to conversations and can talk openly and honestly with them, to create solutions rather than simply making a sale. “You want this, we can do this.” “This is how your implementation plan should go.” “After implementation, be sure to get training properly done. Then improve workflows as needed.” I want to get them using Built for the reason they bought it, and the fact that clients know I was once in their shoes is a powerful statement.
This experience sort of rounds things out for me. I grew up in construction -- at 19, my dad handed me plans and told me to build a subdivision. I’ve gone from the builder side to the client/lender side and now I get to be on the software side.
What changes have you seen recently in construction lending and what are lenders doing to respond?
The biggest trend I’ve seen is that we now have contractors coming back into the industry or entering the industry brand new. It can be hard for a lender to trust working with them given they don’t have a proven history.
It’s been a long time since we’ve had this type of market. The cost to build is going up and you need a lot of money up front. In Oregon, we saw builds going up everywhere, and these factors raise a bunch of questions. How can we ensure these new homes are built and built to spec? How do we make sure inspectors are checking every box to make sure corners aren’t cut? Are builders going to be underbidding? And are banks going to allow more contingency or finance that contingency?
Those all impact the purchaser and the bank has to ensure the value is still there when the home is built.
A lot of lenders are reevaluating what products they have and how their portfolio is performing, to find a better way to manage what they’re doing. Built has a builder tracking system to help lenders ensure that the builders they work with are still licensed and insured, or to monitor customer complaints. Lenders will now have a source for evaluating builders, to identify which builders they want to work with and which products they want to offer.
What has life been like in Nashville so far?
We've been enjoying getting to know Tennessee. We live outside of town and are experiencing the nature side of Nashville. It’s beautiful country down here. We try to take our Jeeps off road as much as we can.