10X Growth Fueled by Automation
JV Capital Success Story
JV Capital, a successful private lending company in Toronto, manages a portfolio of over 100 million dollars with a team of just five people. We sat down with Joseph Fooks (Founder & CEO) and Lawrence Schwartz (Co-Owner & President) to talk about the lessons they learned along the way, and what contributed to their success.
The challenge of starting out
Joseph Fooks started out as a mortgage broker and eventually ventured off into the private lending side of the business. He founded JV Capital in 2013 with just a few hundred thousand dollars in funding capital, which quickly grew to a couple million.
Running the company all on his own, Joseph was soon challenged with a long list of time-consuming tasks that took away from his focus on growing the business. He had to manually prepare all the documentation, track the deals, ensure that calculations were done correctly, all the while trying to raise more money, bring in more deals, and manage every aspect of the business.
As the company was growing, the volume of manual work was expanding accordingly. It was important to get documents generated and sent out as quickly as possible so work didn’t pile up. It was equally important to make sure not to compromise on quality and accuracy.
Finding the right software
When Lawrence Schwartz joined Joseph at JV Capital, the business grew even more. As great as this was, it also meant more work, so they quickly found themselves working 15-hour days just to keep up with everything.
When the company’s portfolio reached 10 million dollars, they were faced with a dilemma to either hire more people or find software that would help them automate their processes. Adding to their workforce was expensive for what still was a small operation back then, so they started looking for software to keep them organized.
JV Capital explored the main lending software options available on the Canadian market. They felt that those were rather archaic out-of-the-box systems that offered no flexibility in terms of adjusting to JV’s own processes. Their needs were more front-end focused, with matters like document generation and customization being the most pressing. These software companies asked for extremely high upfront costs to purchase one or more licenses without giving JV a chance to explore what the software could do for their business.
Having found no suitable option, JV Capital hired a software development company to create a system that could truly automate private lending processes. That’s how Mortgage Automator was born.
Automation is the key to sustainable growth
With Mortgage Automator, JV Capital found the flexibility they were looking for. Their team enjoys the convenience of a web-based platform that can be accessed remotely, from anywhere, on any device. As a result, they are able to collaborate on documents in real-time, getting them prepared and sent out much faster than ever before.
All the updates Mortgage Automator releases are available instantly at no extra cost. In comparison, you can access the competitors’ software only from one machine (or pay for more licenses), and updates come at a premium or are not available at all
Looking back, Joseph and Lawrence feel that they missed out on growth opportunities having waited so long to automate their business processes with software. Had they done so earlier, they would have been further ahead than where they were at that 10 million dollar point when the software was brought in.
This is one of the dilemmas that many small and mid-size private lenders face. They think they don’t have enough deals to justify investing in loan origination and servicing software. However, the problem is that without that kind of software, they are so busy with their routine processes that they don’t have the possibility to make more deals and grow the business.
Streamlining the business
Last month alone, JV Capital did 15 million dollars in deal volume. With Mortgage Automator as their favorite “employee”, they can still maintain a small workforce that can easily handle the company’s operations. In addition to Joseph and Lawrence, who help with origination and broker relations, there is a BDM and two underwriters that review all incoming deals and take care of all related operations.
Mortgage Automator enables the team to collaborate easily and jump in whenever one of them might need help.
With a solid business foundation, all processes in place and automated, the future is looking bright for JV Capital. They are confident that they are fully prepared to handle growth and the additional funding volume thanks to the foundation they can rely on. Their workforce can stay organized and productive, while maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and their documents and calculations will always be impeccable.