Construction is the main component of many self-storage projects. From site plans to budgets, having a team to handle the ins and outs of the process is critical. At Live Oak Bank, our in-house construction loan team handles over 442 projects including dental offices, hotels, and self-storage facilities. Currently, the construction loan team is working on 63 self-storage projects. We asked construction loan officer, Barrett Zurbruegg, to provide insight on her role and how the self-storage construction loan team is an added bonus to Live Oak borrowers.
Q: What is your role as a construction specialist at Live Oak?
A: As a construction specialist, my job is to offer borrowers insight and expertise when selecting contractors and reviewing proposed budgets. Our team offers resources that will enable borrowers to efficiently grow their facility post-construction. We also provide support to nurture relationships between the borrower and the contractors/vendors involved in their projects. Since the construction specialists work with specific industries, we can provide borrowers with insight based on past projects we’ve worked on.
Q: Why is the construction team an added value to the bank?
A: The construction team allows for focus specifically on the construction aspect of the loan – this is especially helpful during closing as there are so many requirements for both the credit file and the construction file for the loan. By having both the closer and a construction specialist tackle the closing process on the bank’s end, we can combine our expertise to streamline the process for the borrower and make sure all questions are answered on each of the specific requirements.
Another way that the construction team adds value to the bank is simply by taking on the role of handling all construction loans after they are closed. Our department manages hundreds of relationships every day – from borrowers, general contractors, individual subcontractors and suppliers to third party inspection companies. Without these relationships, our disbursement process for construction loans would not be able to function. Live Oak is unique in that we have a developed construction department that can take on these responsibilities.
Q: What are your day to day tasks?
A: Our day to day tasks vary; however, our number one task is being available to borrowers. We are responsible for being available at any time to answer questions or address comments or concerns. We also communicate heavily with the contractors for each project. We send funds to the contractors and vendors on behalf of our borrowers, so we spend a lot of time collecting documentation to have each person paid on time while also staying compliant with bank and SBA requirements.
As construction specialists, we are involved with projects from start to finish. A bank policy is to review any change in a contract amount whether it is increasing or decreasing. Staying on top of these change orders keeps us heavily involved.
Q: Tell me a little about the disbursement process and how we differ from another lender.
A: Each customer at Live Oak has a dedicated construction specialist to handle disbursements. He or she is responsible for gathering and managing documentation on behalf of the customer. Since we provide one-on-one customer service, we treat each customer as if he or she is the only customer in the bank. We disburse funds through the entire process, not just in the beginning. This way, our borrowers only pay interest on what has been disbursed, helping them get through the ramp up period and their facility to cash flow.
If you are looking to build, renovate or convert a self-storage facility, Live Oak specializes in construction. Our team of dedicated experts will partner with you from Day One. Learn more about our self-storage finance solutions here.