By Ryan Johnson
Thinktank, a non-bank lender that exclusively serves the broker community, has announced the release of two product offerings designed to meet the evolving needs of brokers and their clients.
These launches come in direct response to feedback from the third-party channel, signalling a commitment to providing comprehensive business and investor solutions.
“At Thinktank we have worked exclusively with mortgage brokers since 2006, so it’s important that we listen to what they’re telling us and work with them on our product innovation,” said Peter Vala (pictured above), Thinktank general manager for partnerships and distribution.
“Supported by our aggregator partners, we regularly engage with brokers to find out how we can better meet their needs and that of their evolving client base. That’s why we’re particularly excited to launch the first of our new offerings for 2024.”
What are Thinktank’s new commercial products?
The first of these offerings is the Commercial Max product, which introduces a borrowing limit of up to $6 million across full doc, mid doc, and SMSF categories.
“Brokers have told us that their clients want access to larger loan sizes to drive growth within their business, property investment portfolios or SMSF strategies,” Vala said.
“Commercial Max reaffirms our dedication to providing robust financial solutions, ensuring that borrowers can access the capital they require for success.”
In addition to the Commercial Max product, Thinktank has unveiled the Commercial Lease Doc, further expanding its portfolio of tailored financial solutions.
This product simplifies the lending process by allowing borrowers to demonstrate servicing through a fully executed lease with at least 24 months remaining to an arms' length tenant.
“As the market changes, it has become increasingly important for brokers to be able to empower their clients with greater flexibility and smart finance solutions,” Vala said.
“Commercial Lease Doc comes without the worry of a WAULT or WALE for commercial loans up to $2M with up to 70% LVR.”
Commercial and SMSF key to broker diversification trend
Over the past year, brokers have had to navigate the changing economic headwinds that have had an impact on consumer sentiment.
Coming into 2024, businesses have also faced a variety of challenges, with insolvencies surging to 30% above pre-COVID levels on the back of reduced margins and increase pressure from debt recovery agencies.
Taking on the challenge, Vala said brokers have developed or are developing deeper relationships with their customers as they find new and alternate ways to meet their customer’s financial objectives and ease their cashflow concerns.
“As a result, brokers naturally diversify their lending book by extending into products and services beyond that of pure residential lending as witnessed by the increased commercial and SMSF loans we settled during the 2023 calendar year,” Vala said.
In terms of the opportunity for brokers in commercial and SMSF lending, the trends suggest Vala is bang on.
The SMSF sector has also grown in leaps and bounds in recent years, with over 600,000 funds being self-managed – up from 574,000 in 2020.
With many SMSF customers stuck on higher rates from yesteryear, broker have an opportunity to provide value within this niche. For lenders, Vala said there is opportunity to meet this demand.
“We expect the demand for innovative commercial lending solutions to persist in 2024 encompassing the range of purchase, refinance, and equity release transactions- either in traditional lending structures or using a range of SMSF lending options for purchases and refinances, especially under our new Commercial Max product for loans up to $6 million,” Vala said.