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Realty Assist promises to help property buyers get what they want when they want it.
Inspired by the rise of buy now, pay later, Realty Assist is all about getting money into the hands of property buyers faster.
Speaking to Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant, Realty Assist director Sam Rettke described the company as ‘the Afterpay of real estate’.
Mr Rettke explained the issue property buyers face when looking to finance a new purchase, which can be especially damaging in a fast-growing market.
“If you go into a bank to get a bridging loan to purchase a property that you found which is perfect, a bank will typically take three weeks to slog you with a bunch of fees and exit fees,” he said.
While Realty Assist’s once-off credit does mean it’s slightly more expensive than traditional lenders, that premium comes with the promise of a much faster service.
“I can give you up to 80 per cent of the equity in one of your properties immediately, within 15 minutes have that approved and funded into your account,” Mr Rettke said.
“Obviously there’s a cost of money, but there’s a cost of missing opportunity, FOMO, fear of missing out, everyone’s in that space.”
While this velocity of finance doesn’t come without caveats, it does come without credit checks.
“We don’t do a credit check,” Mr Rettke confirmed.
“We don’t look into your details. The reason we don’t do that is not because we don’t want to understand our client’s position, but rather if we do a credit check, it actually has a negative impact on you when you go to do finance and so forth in the future.”
From his perspective, the beauty of this non-traditional approach to lending is that they’re able to insert themselves into the transaction process with a degree of security that’s comparable to that of a second mortgage.
“We simply execute a deed where that deed will go through to the settlement agent or the conveyancer or the legal practitioner who’s taking care of the settlement, and that deed basically gives us the right to the funding to get back at settlement,” he explained.
Mr Rettke said that this approach has quickly proved a winner among property investors.
According to him, BNPL-like options could mean investors are able to secure the property they want when they want it.
“The loss of opportunity if you waited four weeks to miss out on that property, or the value increase in that property anyway, it seems like smart money in most cases to come to us and get the money fast,” he said.
While credit-check-free lending has its risks, Mr Rettke has a good reason to be confident: a 100 per cent return rate.
He said that if something actually goes wrong on an unconditional deal, he’ll freeze the interest for up to six weeks “because we understand that 99 times out of a 100 that won’t happen, and if it does, it’s no one’s real fault”.
According to Mr Rettke, “People want access to money fast, and they’re happy to pay for it if there’s an opportunity at the other side.”