Blend Network is a peer-to-peer property lending platform that provides development finance and bridging loans from £150,000 to £3,000,000 to experienced SME property developers all across the UK regions.
Their friendly team is formed of underwriters who are former property developers themselves, truly understand property development and speak property developers’ language.
We speak to Head of Origination, Paul Watson:
What is the best thing about being in the specialist finance business?
Two things – the work is fast paced and exciting and the industry is full of dynamic, intelligent people who are great to work with and learn from.
What keeps you focused?
Having two daughters keeps the mind focused on providing them with the best possible upbringing I can.
What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?
Hard working, loyal and trustworthy people. We are very lucky at Blend and have a dynamic, experienced team who are willing to help one another out whilst being a joy to work alongside.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
Optimist – it just seems a more positive and sensible outlook on life.
What did you want to be as a child?
Sportsman. Football, cricket, rugby…I wasn’t fussy!
What will be the greatest challenge facing the specialist finance industry in the coming months?
In my view, the biggest challenge will be ensuring that the market is tracked closely by lenders and valuers.
The lending landscape has changed immeasurably within a very compressed timeframe, and establishing where the market is at any point is difficult with various temporary Government measures helping underpin values and liquidity. Fundamentally though, we still live in a country with an acute shortage of housing.
Who or what makes you laugh?
Do you dread Monday mornings?
No, I enjoy my work and the people I work alongside so although the weekend is a welcome respite, I enjoy getting back in the zone on the deals front! I don’t think I would be doing my job is I didn’t get enjoyment and satisfaction from it.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I need a good 8 hour sleep; think I’d prefer to get by on around 5 hours. If I do that at the moment, I can barely function especially with broken sleep from young daughters.
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
My family and friends, and that includes my colleagues at Blend Network.
Do you think that going forward more borrowers will turn to specialist lenders? Why?
The speed, certainty and service that Borrowers get from specialist lenders is hard to contend with so I think it’s a sector built to last; it simply makes sense. The traditional lenders remain archaic in their business operations, something we as a company are trying to use to our advantage.