A Chat with The MD : Danny Sofizade

12 Jun 2019 by Top Tier Bridging Loans

Chat with the MD

Q: Danny, tell us about your property background and your inspiration for this new venture?

I started working in the property sector at the relatively late age of 33 and then opened a serviced apartment company in 2007 before Airbnb took off in the UK. Initially, in Elstree and Watford we then expanded into north London. Although the business has done well and continues to do so, time and again I was spending far too much time and energy trying to secure what should have been simple buy to let mortgages to finance the purchase of new apartments as the banks became increasingly cautious after the credit crunch. I realised however that re-mortgaging the same apartments seemed to be far easier with the same banks. In addition, fellow property managers and landlords, as well as other business people I came across, were all saying how much harder it is to obtain initial finance from banks. However once finance is in place, the general consensus was (and still is) that the banks seem to be more relaxed about taking on existing debt. I saw a gap in the market!

Q: What happened next?

I had already worked with some high net worth individuals on property developments and they were keen to act as lenders and I knew that the borrowers were out there.  I slowly started introducing lenders and borrowers to each other, on a deal by deal basis. Always being clear on the following points to the borrowers:

  • that I was just acting as the intermediary 
  • that the lender was always my client as he / she  paid me an introduction fee
  • that the loan would always need to be secured on a property
  • that as I and my lender clients were not working in the regulated lending market that we could never work on a first charge loan on a borrower’s home   

The business quickly began to grow as more and more borrowers and more lenders contacted me. Although bridging companies were out there (and of course still are) I found that working on each deal personally with borrowers and lenders developed the business very quickly.  

Q: Why did you decide to create a separate trading company focussing purely on bridging finance?

The business has continued to expand rapidly. We are now agreeing deals every week and are being contacted by more and more borrowers. We have created a new website, new easy signup docs but are still working with the same few lenders. Property professionals who understand how bridging loans work and understand how hard it can be to secure initial or continued funding in today’s uncertain economic climate.

Q: Finally, why the name Top Tier Bridging Loans?

Mainstream bridging companies tend to lend up to 60% of the value of a property offered for a charge. Our lenders will go higher. In addition, many bridging lenders insist on monthly repayments of a loan  Our lenders do not – they actually prefer to roll the interest up into the loan. Finally, our lenders will often offer loan extensions when requested (subject to the interim interest being paid). Many bridging companies today will currently not do so. So, by offering a personal service, tailored specifically to each deal to make sure all parties are happy, we like to think we are in the Top Tier of bridging companies!

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