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Why the Commercial Construction Industry Benefits from Alternatives to Traditional Lending

Posted May 2nd, 2018

Commercial construction contractors are in an almost impossible situation. The economy is booming, and public and private organizations are looking to build new offices, hotels, skyscrapers and more. But to make all that happen, organizations — and the general contractors they hire — depend on thousands of subcontractors who are willing and able to do the work right.

The construction industry is still considered a high-risk lender, despite all the demand, which means that few commercial contractors are able to qualify for traditional bank loans. And unless the contractor’s credit score is at least 600, most will not qualify for a Small Business Loan (SBA) loan.

Commercial construction companies need outside funding

Without the ability to secure financing, construction companies have to self-fund all of their project expenses out of pocket. Just in the first 30, 60 or 90 days of a job, a commercial construction company needs enough money on hand to cover the project’s expenses, including pricey bond premiums, plus labor and materials costs.

For short-term projects, the company may need to complete all the work before it can bill for the payment. And if the general contractor or project owner does not pay, it could take years for the business to recover.

This reality limits how many people a company can hire, supplies and materials they can order and equipment they can use. Everything is controlled by how much cash they have on hand.

And in an industry notorious for late payments and razor-thin margins, the risk is particularly high. It can take business owners years to build up a war chest that is sufficient to take on larger and more valuable projects. That, in turn, puts a huge strain on the companies who would want to hire them.

The trouble with traditional lending for commercial construction companies

The trouble with many funding options, however, is that the commercial construction industry has its own complex set of rules, regulations and standards. Lien rights, retention and the bonding system are nearly exclusive to construction and are misunderstood by most lenders.

Even though payment terms are set at 30- or 45-days, the average amount of time before payments are issued is actually 57 to 63 days, according to SageWorks. For lenders outside of the industry, those late payments by general contractors and property owners mean frequently dealing with expensive late fees. The resulting hit on the company’s credit score further disqualifies them from future low-interest loans.

Alternative lenders specific to the commercial construction industry have stepped in to solve this problem, allowing companies to take on more risk and grow to meet the increased demand for their services.

Mobilization Funding is one of those alternative lenders. Mobilization Funding began with the interests of a commercial contractor in mind. That means no late fees, and flexible payment terms set around your work schedule, allowing you to better cover the cost of bond premiums, labor and materials up front.

Recommended Reading

Types of Construction Financing and How They Impact Your Ability to Grow