The hard money lending industry has been stale for decades. Each financing transaction was born and bred in the same, tired way. Inland Capital, however, wanted to change that.
Traditional hard money lenders only wanted to push out as many loans as possible in the fastest amount of time with seemingly high upfront fees. Lenders weren’t interested in getting to know the person or project behind the loan. It was cold. It was distant.
That’s when Aaron Cunningham and John Urquhart had an idea. With over 20 years of experience between them, they saw an opportunity to build a business devoted to hard money lending without all the fees. On top of that, they could also provide proven real estate experience while building quality relationships with borrowers to keep them coming back. Something the other guys didn’t have.
“Hard money lending is like the Walmart of the lending industry. We wanted to be like Nordstrom. We wanted to take care of people.” Aaron and John wanted to change the industry and take it back to the time where customer service was king. Customers and borrowers were partners not dollar signs. “We didn’t want to just look at borrowers from the perspective of how much money we’ll make off of them. We wanted to look at it as how much money they could and would make.” And in 2009, Inland Capital became fully operational and self funded entirely by John and Aaron.
Today, nearly ten years later, they continue to provide hard money loans to borrowers while coupling it with their strong real estate insight and experience. They also found that being honest and up front with borrowers had an even greater impact. “We had a case where we saw that a borrower may lose money and we called them to let them know what we found,” Aaron recalled. “We said we’d do the loan but we told them that they were not going to make much money if any at all.” Any other traditional lender wouldn’t do that. “Our goal is to help you [the borrower] and see you succeed. We are not trying to make as much money on each individual loan as we possibly can.”
Continuing to flip the industry on its head, Aaron and John have also established a company wide culture in which continued communication with a borrower throughout the lifetime of a loan is expected. “We had a guy whose loan expired and we called him to tell him. He asked us if he was going to go into default and we told him that we’d never do that to him.” Aaron continued, “I would never make him pay us default interest without a conversation first.”
Having a hard money lender who can provide expert real estate advice and care about borrowers from the very beginning up until the end is a newly evolving tactic for the hard money lending industry and it’s paying off for Inland Capital. Borrowers are trusting the Inland Capital model and more and more are coming back to finance their new projects. It truly is a success model with a bright future. “If our clients succeed, we’ll succeed.”