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Monday, October 15, 2007

Need financing click here

The homepage for Hasser Construction in Indianapolis is the first time I've seen financing services prominently offered by a commercial contractor. So I called to find if, by helping clients obtain the money for the project, this helps the contractor get more business.

The answer is still uncertain. Roger Upchurch, vice-president of business development, says the financing offer has only been on the website a month and with the exception possibly of a church project, he can't track business directly to the offer. Hassar's annual volume is about $10 million, he says, including tenant retrofits, churches, and other projects.

Upchurch says he is a retired builder who went into the mortgage business about eight years ago. When he joined Hasser to help the contractor secure new clients, he says he decided to bring his financing background and expertise to the job.

Like most general contractors, he networks, seeks referrals, and uses the conventional commercial leads services. Virtually all of Hasser's business is within the Indianapolis area.

The intriguing thing about Upchurch's financing concept is that similar models certainly work in in the retail sector and especially in homeowner renovation projects. If you can help the clients find the money, you find the job. At a higher level, especially in Canada, so-called Public Private Partnerships are building major infrastructure projects including highways and hospitals. In this model, a consortium including financial institutions joins with a general contractor and design and operating specialists to bid on construction and long-term operating contracts; financed by the partnership.

So, maybe it makes sense for the general contractor to have a loan facility for the pizza restaurant, retailer, or medical practice wishing to build a new clinic. I'll check in later to see if Upchurch's concept is succeeding in practice.

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