Built Technologies, a Nashville, Tenn.-based construction finance software company, has added veteran banking executive Jim Fraser as its director of commercial real estate strategy, to lead its national commercial real estate practice effective immediately.
Fraser spent the last three years as the executive vice president of commercial lending at San Diego-based Axos Bank. Prior to that, he worked as a managing director at Santa Ana, Calif.-based Banc of California.
“I started advising Built during its formation and was fortunate to be an early adopter while at Banc of California,” Fraser told Commercial Observer. “Since the early ’90s, I have been active in financing real estate development and construction for banks, private lenders, and for a short period with the FDIC. After watching Built grow, I knew I had a pretty unique opportunity to join and work on a problem that I have lived in for my career. It felt like a natural next step.”
Founded in 2014, Built connects construction lenders, real estate owners, general contractors, specialty contractors, title companies and vendors to improve the flow of capital through the construction ecosystem.
With more than three decades of experience in financial services—with much of his resume spent doing construction lending and real estate development, Fraser was considered an ideal candidate to join Built’s growing team.
“Given the current market and regulatory headwinds, we know it is crucial for lenders to shore-up their credit risk monitoring practices and wanted a resident expert who has firsthand experience using technology to help manage these challenges,” Chase Gilbert, Built’s co-founder and CEO, said in prepared remarks.
Fraser noted he’s lived through the difficulties that construction loans present to bankers, developers, and regulators firsthand and he plans to leverage his experience and further enhance Built’s value proposition to banks, its service propositions to developers, and provide better transparency to regulators.
“I have the benefit of sitting at the intersection of our product organization and our go-to market strategy,” Fraser said. “Within product, I’m able to help shape solutions based on my experience that meet market needs that I have been searching for for years. Within our go-to-market effort, I’ll be acting as an evangelist and promoting solutions that are finally here—a truly digital approach to managing this complex asset class.”
Currently, Built works with roughly 100 financial institutions, including 20 of the top 100 U.S. and Canadian construction lenders.
“Ultimately, our performance is measured by the percentage of unique construction dollars being successfully managed on Built’s platform relative to the $1.3 trillion of U.S. construction spend,” Fraser said. “In the near-term, my personal goal is to raise awareness with lenders and developers to propel Built towards our goal of helping to manage $100 billion of construction spend annually.”
Built recently acquired lienwaivers.io, a national provider of lien waiver management and payment solutions for commercial and residential construction and is actively exploring all of the integration opportunities it has with its lender products. This linkage, he noted, will allow for fast payments down the construction value chain accompanied by better lien controls for client banks.
In Washington, D.C., Built has $154 million of construction commitments in the D.C. metropolitan market, including a $45 million assisted living facility in suburban Maryland.