A new tracker tool from Built Technologies is providing the company’s lender clients with unique insight into federally declared disaster zones that may be impacting projects they are financing.
“In response to the uptick, it seems, in 2020 of natural disasters occurring — wildfires, hurricanes, a slew of other things — we wanted to provide some tooling to lenders so they could better understand their risk associated with their projects for construction they are financing in those areas,” Chris Boyd, the vice president of product at Built, told Inman.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) creates a unique page that’s constantly updated for each disaster declaration, which shows when it struck, the amount of damage, federal aid provided to the area, if the disaster has concluded and a multitude of other data points.
The lender can then overlay their own construction projects so they can see what might be impacted. From there, they can research the disaster further from FEMA’s page, or flag the project or communicate with the builder or owner.
“It not only allows them to look at areas that may have been impacted where they’re about to fund — projects that are in the origination process — but it also overlays all of the active projects in their portfolio by country so they can see which projects may be impacted,” Boyd said.
“The real goal was to switch from being extremely reactive — sometimes not knowing if a project has been impacted for weeks or months — to far more proactive so they can reach out on their own.”
Built, in launching the tool, compiled data from FEMA going back three years and found that approximately $5 billion in loan funds the company tracks — or roughly 7,300 projects were impacted.
The new FEMA tracker tool is just one of many map tracker tools launched by the construction financing technology startup. The company also created, earlier in the year, a COVID-19 map that overlays local building regulations and restrictions with construction projects.
“This philosophy of proactively providing lenders with insight into the state of their portfolio that they wouldn’t have had otherwise is really just part of our status quo and something we’re going to keep doing,” Boyd said.