Our team is small, but we dream big. We work hard to consistently ship features and improvements.
We're super excited to share our latest update: Tasks! We've added a new tab to our deals which make it easy to see what the next immediate steps are to move your deal forward. Too many emails and reminders are sent manually trying to assign responsibility and collect documents during underwriting and closing. The process is clunky, requires overhead for our team, and there's no “one place” to look at what needs to get done.
We're solving this by making it incredibly simple to assign responsibility for documents, then our platform automatically creates the tasks to match. Outstanding task notifications and reminders are automatically delivered, keeping everyone on top of what needs to get done.
A common issue with approval workflows is that a task should bounce back and forth between parties responsible for each step. This can work with purely “manual” assignment, but why not help our users and do some of that work for them?
We solved this by creating conditions to “auto assign” responsibility for tasks using natural workflows. For example, if a borrower uploads a new document, responsibility for that document is instantly auto assigned to the WelcomeLend team, a task is created to “review” it, and an email notification is sent.
This is a simple example, but in aggregate, Tasks and Auto Assignment make the process of “pulling everything together” faster and simpler. There's one place to answer “what needs to get done and by whom”.
Today, we are thrilled to share a massive update to our Financing feature. Financing began as a reimagining of sources and uses as a self-balancing calculator that output an interactive, sharable webpage. With this update, we're expanding Financing to handle the most common components of the capital stack:
Effective gross income
Completed value, DSCR, debt yield, etc.
Calculating core financials in a user-friendly calculator and sharing it as a webpage has so many advantages - consistency, accessibility, accuracy, speed - but the greatest benefit is the connectivity of the underlying data. Our system understands the relationships between data points, meaning changes are instantly propogated throughout the entire model.
The Value of Data Connectivity
The cascade of recalculations required for a seemingly small data change can be difficult to track, especially with legacy solutions that don't treat finances as a web of connected data. For example, imagine a change to the debt amount for a deal, even by a few thousand dollars. Here's a bare minimum of recalculations needed:
Total project cost
All fees related to debt - lender, broker, closing costs, etc.
Cash on cash return
Total takeout loan amount
Annual debt service
Annual cash flow
This list doesn't even account for the likely event that a sponsor's required cash to close will also change, creating an even greater cascade of updates. In short, powering a deal's financials with a connected network of data allows us to move faster and keep financials up-to-date and accuate at all times.
Today we shipped an update that allows our team to build a unit matrix that supports all asset types and unit/layout combinations. Even with a feature as mundane as a unit matrix, the immediate follow-on opportunities are massive. By having a granular understanding of square footage, units, and price of the subject property on our platform, we can:
Automatically score the subject property's proposed pricing against market averages to measure how realistic they are.
Automatically generate unit-level comps to further evaluate the risk profile of the deal
Enable stress tests where we can adjust variables like pricing per square foot or unit to see how it effects completed value
This is another step towards bringing the every data point of a deal online, enabling us to automate more of the process, resulting in faster closes with less overhead for borrowers, lenders, and our team.
Commission + Fee Tracking
As our company grows, we close more and more deals with varying forms of complexity related to tracking external fees and internal commissions. Today, we shipped a new feature that manages commissions and fees and does away with error prone spreadsheets.
When closing a deal, our platform automatically pulls in fee data from the deal’s sources and uses (generated by our Finance feature) so the only required input is our internal commissions. This allows us to automatically manage incoming fees and outgoing commissions to our team, plus updates our internal reports dashboard so we can monitor progress against our goals
Closed Deals List
Today we launched a public list of deals we’ve closed in the past 12 months. Our team received feedback that understanding WelcomeLend’s recent history of closes would help borrowers understand our company better. Within 24 hours, we designed, built, and shipped the Closed Deals page!
Since we manage every aspect of our deals on our platform, all the data was immediately available. Better still, any deal we mark as closed on our platform is instantly added to this page and requires zero work from our team.
We don’t typically share internal-only features, but we decided our new reports were useful to share since it gives a little more insight into how we’re using data and goals to drive and grow the company. After a couple weeks in beta, we’ve released an internal reporting dashboard that allows our team to analyze current and historical financials, performance by asset class or team member, and a conversion funnel based on a deal’s lifecycle from first contact through closing.
We’ve also built in a goals system that allow our team to set objectives for metrics like revenue, margin, closing speed, and more. We use projection mechanics to determine if the company is on track to achieve the goal, or if we’re at risk and need to improve or reevaluate our goals.
Goals like these cannot be the only factor in driving decisions, but having our performance data in an accessible, beautiful format is massively helpful in guiding those decisions. Here are a few examples of insights we’ve already discovered:
Over 80% of our deals that have a signed term sheet get closed
Our Financing feature reduces the time to issue a term sheet by over 50%
Every single associate on our team closed over $80,000,000 in 2021
We’re excited to grow this feature over time and continue to use data to inform our company and product decisions.
Financing (Sources & Uses)
Today we are thrilled to ship a brand new feature we’re calling Financing. It reimagines how a Sources and Uses should look and be built. It starts with a deceptively simple calculator that handles every calculation: fees, leverage ratios, cash on cash returns, interest reserves, per footage and unit breakdowns, and much more. It ends with an interactive sources and uses that’s incredibly simple to adjust/balance.
Now, early in a deal, working with borrowers to experiment with different capital structures is fast and friendly. Later in a deal, last-minute changes are equally simple, updates happen instantly, and notifications are sent to all relevant parties.
We’re particularly proud of goal seek, a part of Financing that lives within the calculator. It allows our team to define specific goals, then Financing does the hard work of calculating exactly how to structure Sources and Uses to satisfy those goals. There are endless uses cases, but a common example is a lender may have specific leverage requirements, so we would ask goal seek to solve the question “if this lender requires an LTV of less than 65% and an LTC of less than 85%, how much additional equity does the sponsor have to bring?” For a sponsor we might ask the inverse. “If this sponsors wants to minimize their cash to close, how much debt is required, what are the leverage ratios, and what is the estimated pricing of the higher leverage debt?”
Generating a PDF
Lastly, similar to our Summary feature release, we also automatically and instantly generate a gorgeous PDF with Financing that requires zero work. Again, this gives us the best of both worlds: an interactive, data-driven sources and uses, plus a simple file-based PDF.
Today we’re shipping folder permissions, which allows our team to manage access to sensitive documents. This allows sponsors to upload documents to a folder only visible to our team and specific members of the lending team using the same secure upload they always have.
This also enables our team to invite 3rd parties like appraisers or title officers to a deal, but limit their access to only the specific folders they need. With this, we take another step towards our mission of creating a single place for all parties get work done on CRE deals in the cloud.
Give us a try
WelcomeLend makes financing your deal easy.
Our capital markets team is 100% focused on finding you the perfect funding source and structure for your commercial real estate deal.