Q&A with Bre Milanovich

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Built Team
Reviewed By
Bre Milanovich
6 min
PUBLISHED: 06/21/2023

Bre Milanovich was a regular user of Built’s suite of solutions for construction loan administration (CLA) as a former Senior Vice President of Loan Administration and Special Assets for a multi-billion dollar bank. Eventually, she transitioned to using her expertise and providing guidance on the ongoing development of Built’s solution. Built was the future in addressing significant pain points for people in her position. By working on the product rather than with it, she knew she could offer many people in her world something of real value.

How did you first learn about Built when you were using it as a customer? What was that process like?


I was working at a bank that specialized in resi-spec construction, and I joined the loan administration team in 2017. We were using Excel to process draws. We had a master project spreadsheet that had calculations, and if it broke, there was one person who owned it. There was a lot of risk there and the folks processing draws did not have the technical expertise to be protecting the master Excel file from manual errors. For example, if there was a VLOOKUP to an existing Excel for a change order that lived in someone’s S Drive, that left room for mistakes.

There came a time when we wanted to grow the balance sheet. The Chief Credit Officer, who was running loan administration at the time, knew that there was just too much risk with using Excel and share drives. And so we wanted the ability to do more with less, and to take on a technology partner was not something common at the bank or this family of companies.

I remember recalling one of the first demos, and I could just see how clean the visuals were. That gave me some peace of mind.

What were some of Built’s features you utilized as a product user?


Before onboarding to Built, we were doing forensic accounting for every single draw. When we decided to onboard with Built, we moved to a single point of contact for the borrower. Having one relationship manager would decrease the time spent on the administration of each draw, and less documentation is required. Plus, there’s one centralized system. In essence, the draw process is totally streamlined.

The feature we used right away was Built Borrower Engagement. The driver of that internally was mitigating the risk of manual error. For example, typing in each line item–we were doing itemized draw requests– and accidentally typing the line item above; now you have a contingency disbursed issue. These types of things were happening in the spreadsheet. Six months to a year after onboarding we leveraged Inspections Tech. It was in its infancy, and utilizing inspections and sharing inspections with clients was the first iteration of Built Inspections Technology and Services.

Why was Built useful in helping you solve those specific pain points you experienced as a user?


Achieving growth at scale. We were able to grow the balance sheet to a goal of 200 million and construction loans with four people which would not have been possible without Built.

What do you see as the most considerable risk facing portfolio managers today?


I would say, cost overruns, specific to construction portfolios, is my perceived biggest risk. If contractors in 2020, 2021, and probably 2022, were playing up a level, taking jobs that they maybe weren’t qualified to do, and not estimating their budget accurately, they will then have cost overruns, which need to be paid by somebody. Let’s say that the borrower does not have appropriate liquidity to cover these cost overruns to complete the project, the bank may increase the loan amount, that’s highly scrutinized by regulators.

How can Built help curb exposure to this risk?

One way that I would do that is to look for softening in the budget. So, if our lenders do not have a contingency, or do not have an area for cost overruns, I would suggest looking to Draw History. Some questions to consider when looking at the Draw History are: Did I have a draw that decreased by 10% or more? If they were why was that? Was it because it was an inspection discrepancy?

The beauty of Built is that all of your touchpoints, discrepancies, directories, and communications are centralized. Immediately, you can backtrack and pinpoint data in a clean format which immediately allows you to mitigate risk.

How do you see it fitting into the lives of loan administrators, mortgage specialists, or portfolio managers?


It is reducing the hurdle to obtaining information as to the status of something. For example, whether insurance is valid, is the contractor license valid, or is the maturity date upcoming? It is a collaboration hub. But it’s also not one-size-fits-all.

Whether there are portfolio managers that are following up on these due dates or draw administrators who are doing the wires. Whether it’s a $2 billion bank or some of Built’s largest clients–some of the largest lending institutions in the country–there is the ability to collaborate on these important things for construction loans.

It also enables the people who are typically performing the day-to-day tasks to do their job well, and maybe have promotion opportunities. They no longer have to be so mired in the day-to-day. It promotes more proactive communication instead of reactive communication. For example, instead of having 40 unread emails, maybe you have four that need addressing.

It’s the ability to answer the phone on the first ring, to answer emails within two hours, and to simply do more with less.

What about executive-level employees? CFO’s? SVP Lending? Chief Credit Officers?


It’s data in context, it’s data that is centralized and risk analytics. It’s the ability to have all of your data in one place about construction that can provide analytics to the C-suite executives.

Why should perspective clients come on board and leverage the software?


It’s simple: Fund draws fast. Fund draws fast and safely. As a draw administrator, and as a manager of draw administrators, you always want the ball to be in someone’s court. In other words, you don’t want someone calling you saying, “Where’s my money?”. With Built, you’re not dealing with other low-value tasks. Built is valuable because it allows banks to fund draws fast, and it allows builders to receive money fast, which enhances the capital that they have to complete the project. And consumer borrowers have transparency. 

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