What is a broker builder?

by Jayden Fennell 03 Aug 2022

Finding a good builder to construct your new home can be a massive task.

But one company is connecting builders with people wanting to build a home or renovate in the Sydney metropolitan area.

Builder Finders can be compared to a mortgage brokerage. It sources reliable, trustworthy builders and places them on a panel, similar to a mortgage broker’s lending panel. Builder Finders then matches the right builder to the right client for their project.

The company heavily researches any potential builder matches, completes reference checks on sub-contractors and past clients of their experiences with the builder. It also refers clients on to mortgage brokers to help arrange finance.

“We need to ensure availability for all parties and meeting the needs of the client is the end goal, so having access to a wide range of builders and finding the right fit is key,” said director and co-founder Lynette Manciameli (pictured). “We work with small to medium-sized companies and some sole traders. We do not work with any large project builders as we try to offer a personalised experiences for our clients.”

Read more: Building cost blow-outs – how brokers can help

Manciameli said Builder Brokers follows a similarly aligned business model to a mortgage brokerage.

“Similar to a panel of lenders, we know each of our builders and their offerings,” she said. “If a client had a heritage-listed property, we would match them with a builder with experience working with heritage properties, just like a mortgage broker finds the right lender to match their client’s needs.”

Manciameli said she was actively working with her builder clients as the cost of materials was increasing and becoming harder to source.

“The builders source the materials, not us, however I do have my finger on the pulse with how they are navigating this issue,” she said. “To avoid price increases to client’s contracts, it has changed the industry and negatively impacted builders and their cashflow.”

Read more: Rising building material costs affects brokers

Manciameli said as construction costs have increased so much in the past 18 months, the Master Builders Association had indicated builders should be having direct conversations with clients to re-negotiate fixed price contracts with clients throughout the construction phase.

“Both parties need to realise fixed-price contracts need amendments at times, so creating awareness with the client that issues can arise and having those discussions early to avoid the client going back and refinancing again is important,” she said. “In the current environment, all parties need to think about things differently to continue the build moving forward.”

Manciameli said her advice to people looking to build or renovate a home in the near future was to be prepared and arrange finance pre-approval first.

“I highlight to my clients that this is going to be a large process and keep it mind that a lot of money will be spent, so I try and eliminate as much stress from the process as I can,” she said. “I make sure I spend the time getting to know my clients and it is critical to partner them with the right builder and keep all lines of communication open throughout the construction.”