Q&A With Paul Kowalski Builders
Why Builders Prefer to Work with Lenders Who Use Built
Charlotte-based builder, Paul Kowalski Builders (PKB) specializes in custom home construction and large-scale remodeling projects. PKB takes pride in providing a collaborative and streamlined construction process that brings its customer’s ideas to life on time and within budget.
Like many builders, PKB was forced to settle for inconsistent and manual draw processes established by the lenders it was working with. Draw requests were often facilitated via email or phone call and payments were tracked using spreadsheets. After partnering with a lender that used Built, PKB experienced the simplicity and efficiency of a digital draw process. With Built, the transfer of funds was quick, predictable, and transparent–allowing PKB to build faster and deliver the streamlined experience its customers expect.
PKB owner, Paul Kowalski, discusses his experience using the platform and shares why he and his team now prefer to work with lenders who use Built.
- When working with a lender who doesn’t use Built, how do you request draws?
We use the internal system of whichever lender we’re working with at the time. As the builder, this involves figuring out how to request draws for each new lender. One lender may require draw requests to be emailed to a specific contact in its construction department. Another may require you to call. The method of requesting draws is inconsistent between lenders and the quality of the internal processes is unpredictable.
- How were you first introduced to Built and what were your initial thoughts?
I was initially introduced to Built through one of our lending partners. This was the first digital draw platform that I interfaced with and it was a great experience–especially because this lender fully committed to using the system. Requesting draws digitally was so much easier than having to send requests via email or phone call. Built created a centralized platform where I no longer had to rely on another firm’s internal processes to execute funds. In terms of implementation, there wasn’t a large learning curve. The system just did what it was supposed to do and we were able to start requesting draws.
- Have you noticed a difference between lenders who use Built and those who don’t?
Yes. When working with a lender that has fully bought into Built, everything can be done online. It’s super easy, transparent, and intuitive. When working with a lender who doesn’t use Built, the process of requesting draws is unpredictable. You may get someone who is super responsive, or you may not. They may have a smooth draw process that works great, or they may not. There isn’t any consistency. With Built, it’s just so much easier. With just a few clicks, you request the draw, an inspector comes out, they report back with photos, and you get your money. Everything is very easy to understand and everyone involved has full visibility. It’s great. There’s also a clear difference between a lender that has fully invested in the Built platform and its suite of capabilities versus a lender that is only using a select few features. For example, we work with a lender that uses Built, but its system is missing key features like the percentage calculator based on the schedule of draws. That’s a nice feature to have because it allows us to see exactly how much has been paid out. When a lender hasn’t fully committed, it’s not the same experience.
- What are your favorite Built features? Why?
I love the ease and the speed of being able to request a draw and have it all be very transparent to everyone involved. With Built, you request a draw online with a couple of clicks, and money is exchanged a few days later.
- What would you say to a lender considering Built?
It’s an easier way to do things. Built adds a high level of transparency and simplifies the entire draw process. I would view it as a tool for lenders to attract more clients. As a Builder, I’m going to choose to partner with a lender that uses Built because I know if I need money, I’m just a couple of clicks away from it coming to me. If a builder recommends a particular lender because it likes using Built to request draws, that lender earns more business. Builders get an easier draw process and lenders earn more business–everyone wins.
This has been the best system to request draws and track payments I have used.