Financing commercial real estate is people's business
For many private and institutional investors, investing in real estate has been an area of great interest for a long time. One of the problems encountered in practice, however, was that real estate investors and developers fell between two stools when it came to financing certain projects.
OIMIO founder Jeroen Belt of NIBC bank's Commercial Real Estate team observed that many clients found themselves standing at a closed door when they sought financing below EUR 10 million. For everything above that, there are several providers, including foreign financiers.
Limited number of financiers
For smaller ticket sizes, however, the number of providers is limited. And that is a pity, because the total size of the Dutch commercial real estate financing market is estimated at 70 to 100 billion euros, and a large part of it is in the smaller segment. With OIMIO, NIBC bank has a financier with a focus on a field of financing in which there are currently few experts. The team, consisting of six professionals, brings the necessary experience from NIBC Commercial Real Estate branch and has taken a fresh look at how smaller transactions can best be serviced.
The conclusion was that it was pleasant and necessary for both the client and the bank to set up the process as efficiently as possible. This meant that many of the processes had to be outsourced to FinTech partners and that documentation had to be standardised to a large extent. As a result, a streamlined process was created, allowing OIMIO to assess the feasibility of a transaction within a short period of time. This works well for both the bank and the client, as the client quickly gets clarity on the possibilities of a financing request and there is no need for lengthy wrangling with lawyers to negotiate a contract.
Personal attention through Fintech
The fact that we rely on FinTech to organise the process smoothly does not mean that OIMIO does not pay personal attention to its customers. On the contrary, according to Jeroen Belt: "By allowing Fintech to do most of the data analysis, for example, a lot of time remains for our relationship managers to visit customers. No two properties are the same, so a micro-analysis will always have to be carried out. We always look inside each property and literally look each customer in the eye. After all, real estate is about people. We want to know the client and understand why the property is important for its users." Meanwhile, OIMIO has done transactions for about 150 million euros since its inception in the early 2020s. A clear signal that the market needed the approach of this new real estate financier.