At Built, we take a consultative approach with our clients. We really get to know their business -- where they’re doing really well right now and where they have opportunity to improve. From that learning, we tailor our platform to their specific needs, and our implementation team stays in regular contact to make sure they’re getting positive results. You’ll never see us selling our software, then wishing our clients luck from afar.
Today’s post is a peek behind the curtain of this process which is usually reserved for clients, and a look at some of the questions we use to unlock deep insights into our clients’ processes. Some of the questions may appear deceptively simple. That’s on purpose, and if you try them out for yourself, you’ll see just what I mean. The simplest inquiry can sometimes produce the greatest returns.
Question: What steps or tools can I use to take a closer look at our loan process to see where we can make improvements?
Here are four of my favorite questions for helping a client evaluate their construction loan administration process, along with my thoughts on why each of them can unlock such powerful insights.
Where do you see the most difficulty in your existing processes today around managing the draws for your construction portfolio?
This question is useful because of its open-ended nature. It allows clients to prioritize what is most difficult for them as a lender in managing loans, helping us to ask deeper questions and unlock more insights.
Some specific items that tend to come up: What are your current draw turnaround times? What specific areas of the draw process take the longest? How many people touch a request, on average, prior to disbursement?
Can you describe how you proactively monitor your construction portfolio today?
The power of this question lies in asking clients to describe their current process. It challenges them to really ask themselves if they have a way to view and monitor their construction portfolio holistically. Many times they realize that if they do, it is painfully manual and requires a significant time investment to visualize that information.
Are you looking to grow your construction lending portfolio? If so, how do you plan to support that growth from an administrative perspective?
This forward-thinking question combo helps both my clients and me understand their bigger goals so that I can find ways to best support them. I also get to understand them on a strategic level and see where they land in regards to efficiency and hiring decisions. All of this helps us to put a better solution in place for their needs.
How do you get access to the reports you need to monitor and manage your construction portfolio?
This question has helped me to understand that many lenders don't have specific reports for this part of their lending portfolio. Those who do, in many cases end up creating reports through customized work, based on static data. We end up discovering that they are making decisions from stale data, instead of acting in real-time.
As you can see, on the surface, these questions don’t appear to be Earth-shattering. But once lenders take the time to consider them deeply, they help uncover a number of potential areas of opportunity. I encourage you to take some time to answer them for yourself. We would love to hear what other questions you ask your team internally today to elicit change and best practices from a team perspective. And, as always, if you want any feedback through the process, I’m here to help.