Real estate finance and corporate finance are distinct and possess unique characteristics. The significant disparities between the two can present a steep learning curve for many individuals. Understanding some of the key differences between these fields is essential to navigating them successfully, and it is recommended to seek professional guidance to navigate these areas successfully.
What are the key differences, you ask?
While some mortgage borrowers can go it alone, most use brokers to ensure sound advice and a seamless experience. However, given the increased complexity and range of debt facilities available with corporate financing, all businesses seeking to raise debt should use an intermediary despite there being less available.
Similarly, approaching and communicating with corporate credit line providers can be much more challenging. Many products are bespoke, and decisions can take longer, which could spell disaster if cash flow is tight.
Every mortgage application is different, but each case follows a broad set of parameters. With corporate debt, mortgage fundamentals go out of the window, and a considerable emphasis is placed on the business narrative. An SME could be loss-making or have only commenced trading six months ago, but if lenders can understand the story, vision and impact of raising finance, there's scope to obtain debt.
Individual mortgage transactions generally happen every few years, but corporate demands reoccur much more frequently. While Mergers or Acquisitions might happen once in a business's life cycle, VAT bills, stock purchases, or general working capital improvement/ optimisation can make or break a business. It's for this reason alone that corporate finance is so heavily integrated into SMEs across every sector; without it, many would fail.
Depending on the complexity of the transaction, mortgage applications can take up to around 12 weeks from start to finish - even if bridging finance is being used; completion won't likely occur in less than a week. In the corporate space, some transactions can be funded in less than 24 hours.
While comparing mortgage and corporate finance is parallel to comparing apples and oranges, on the whole, funding is much faster-paced in the corporate space.
With both mortgage and corporate finance, debt quantum is ultimately based on the underlying asset's value (i.e., the property being refinanced or the machinery being acquired). The main difference here is that unlike with mortgage finance, it can be expected for lenders in the corporate debt space to lend against a multitude of resources such as R&D expenditure, EBITDA or a receivables book to formulate a tailored finance package. When there aren't sufficient assets in the business to leverage, lenders can look to take charges over personal property.
Corporate lenders are much more holistic in this approach, making this finance area much more bespoke.
To summarise, the corporate debt landscape is a path less travelled in comparison to mortgages and one that's largely unregulated. Debt facilities are less standardised; decisions are much more subjective, and in some cases, the stakes are higher. To combat this, industry relationships are more important than ever - relationships that Enness have fostered over several years and, in some cases, decades.
While an intermediary will never understand your business in as much detail as you, they must be part of the equation to ensure your requirements are presented to lenders in the best possible light, and the process is professionally managed from start to finish. As experts in raising debt, allow Enness to solve your business requirements so that you can continue fighting fires where it matters.
The views and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not constitute advise or a recommendation, nor do they necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Enness. They are also not intended to indicate any market or industry viewpoints, or those of other industry professionals.
This guide is for information and illustrative purposes only and nothing contain within should be construed as advice or a recommendation.
Corporate financing and lender introductions are unregulated.