LandlordInvest interview with CEO & Co-founder Filip Karadaghi
LandlordInvest is a London-based investment marketplace offering retail investors property debt investments in the United Kingdom. In this interview, you will hear from the CEO & Co-founder Filip Karadaghi what it means to invest with LandlordInvest.
This is a written interview with Landlordinvest. P2PMarketData does not receive statistics data to perform in-depth checks of the information and numbers presented by Filip.
To learn more, read the LandlordInvest analysis or get a quick overview of LandlordInvest.
First, could you tell the readers a bit about your background? How did you become interested in working with finance?
I knew early on that I wanted to work in finance and studied a business program in secondary school, then completed a Master’s in Business and Economics at Uppsala University, the oldest and one of the best-ranked universities in the Nordics. I moved to London from Sweden after graduating and immediately began working in the City (London’s financial district).
How do you find and assess the investments LandlordInvest makes available to retail investors?
Our deal flow comes from brokers, other lenders, direct and referrals from professionals (Estate Agents, Lawyers etc.). Having been lending for more than 5 years, we know quite quickly what to look for in a deal (although each deal has its unique points to consider). We consider far more products than your average platform, including bridging finance, first and second charges, residential and commercial properties, development finance, mezzanine loans, whilst most platforms tend to focus on one or two products. We do it to provide diversification and as we asses each deal on its own merits.
Why should the readers choose to invest at LandlordInvest
We have for more than 5 years on average provided double digit returns, which is higher than most platforms in the UK. We provide loans catering for every risk appetite; from relatively safe first charge loans to second charge high leverage loans, with broad geographic spread and diversification (from some of the most exclusive areas in London to remote villages in Wales). Our borrowers tend to be established and successful property investors with substantial property portfolios and experience. Many of our loans are refinanced by banks, dispelling the myth that P2P is a “lender of last resort”.
Finally, we are well capitalised and have been profit-making for almost three years.
What sets LandlordInvest apart from other online property investment platforms in the United Kingdom?
Our platform has offered higher returns, more experienced and quality borrowers, a liquid secondary market, and transparency as we voluntarily publish a loan book each month with details of every completed loan since we began trading.
We also lead innovation on the tech front, regularly implementing platform features before - and often years ahead of - some much larger platforms. We notice that many CTOs of other lending platforms regularly access accounts they've created with us without investing, so our tech prowess has not gone unnoticed.
The UK has sadly seen quite a few platform failures. Many of these failed platforms were much better capitalised and larger than LandlordInvest. However, due to an unhealthy mix of incompetence and greed, they fell for the temptation to originate as many loans as they possibly could to collect fees. Whilst it may have been lucrative in the short term, unsurprisingly it proved to be fatal in the longer term (as a short-term approach often does).
LandlordInvest has for many years worked hard to show that the opposite is possible and we have patiently and diligently built up our technology, systems, loan origination and management processes to ensure long-term viability for the platform and the lenders. The result is more than five years of double digit returns (on average), and no lender has ever lost any capital.
How do you decide when a loan is defaulted or with minimal chance of recovery?
We have fortunately not faced such a situation yet as all defaulted loans (four) since we began trading more than 5 years ago have been repaid in full. Although we hope that our strong underwriting and recovery experience will ensure that it stays this way there is of course never a guarantee as there are many factors outside our control.
How is LandlordInvest regulated?
We are fully authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, the UK’s financial regulator, and have been so since December 2016. Indeed, we were one of the first fully regulated platforms in the UK.
What do you think the future of real estate crowdfunding looks like? Which challenges do you see for the industry in the coming years?
I believe that the outlook is good if the platforms do it well and the regulator ensures that the industry is well regulated.
The demand from both borrowers and lenders is certainly there as there are few viable alternatives to asset-backed lending, which is uncorrelated with most other financial products (i.e. stocks or bonds).
What’s next for LandlordInvest? Where do you see your platform in five years?
We hope to continue to grow, whilst upholding the same high standards and discipline that have brought us to where we are today. We will continue delivering the same outstanding service and returns to our customers that we have over our first five years. We believe in prioritising sustainable growth and want to be an example of P2P executed to a high standard.