We had the chance to have a talk with the EstateGuru Team, about their platform, their ideas for their future and P2P-Lending in Italy.
(Click here for the Italian version)
What is EstateGuru about?
EstateGuru is an online cross-border peer-to- peer lending platform made by property professionals offering short and mid-term financing to various sized companies. EstateGuru offers flexible terms for its borrowers and an historic average annual interest of 13.4% to its investors. The loans provided through the EstateGuru platform are secured against property with a maximum amount of €3 million and LTV of 75%.
What were your biggest challenges so far during the launch and the operation of EstateGuru?
The biggest challenge for EstateGuru has been implementing safe and thorough risk assessment policies that help us make sure we offer only the most competitive loans with solid business plans to our customers. Also, launching new markets and building up a local client base is always a challenge.
How do you attract borrowers and which kind of controls and assessment you do on the applications received?
In EstateGuru, we are always very clearly communicating the benefits marketplace lenders are able to offer, but traditional financial institutions cannot. Namely flexible loan terms, various repayment options, fast service and the focus on the business plan.
While conducting our risk assessment procedures, we do internal due diligence on the borrower and the project, additionally we always require a third-party assessment and occasionally, if the collateral is a more difficult object, we also require another assessment by a specialist in that field. For an example, if the collateral is forest land, then we include an assessment provided by a company that specializes in assessing forest value.
Further on we conduct an interview with the borrowers to ensure that their business plan is solid and reasonable.
This is the value that EstateGuru brings – we do not get too focused on the numbers or the bureaucratic conditions, but rather we focus on the actual business plan.
I recently noticed a new project from Latvia where I personally invested a sum. Are there any other improvements/changes on your to-do list for the future?
We are preparing for launching in new markets such as Lithuania, the UK and Ireland. We also listen to our users and therefore the auto-invest feature will be introduced shortly and we have a secondary market development in the agenda lined up.
The P2P-Lending concept is still quite undeveloped in Italy, unfortunately. What can you tell our Italian readers in order to convince them to invest in EstateGuru?
Actually, we have over 70 registered investors from Italy, which is the 4 th largest foreign community of investors on our platform. The minimum amount you can invest through EstateGuru platform is 50€ which gives an opportunity to invest into secured property loans for everyone.
In December 2016, our average historical interest for investors rose up to 13.4% and we have never had a defaulted loan, all the loans are secured with a mortgage and the average loan-to- value ratio is 53.35%.
Our loans are vastly short-term, average loan duration has been 16 months. Last but not least, roughly 35% of the loans have already been fully repaid.
Where do you see EstateGuru in the next few years?
We will stick to the core product of ours i.e secured property loans, we will launch in new markets such as Lithuania, UK, Ireland and offer a wide variety of loans for different risk-appetites.
Thank you very much for your time!