Launch. Expand. Reflect. Glasslake Funding kicked off 2023 as a new niche funder in the Canadian market.
They set out with a clear vision to fill a market gap through delivering liquidity and simplified qualifying methods on small commercial and residential mortgage needs.
As Glasslake reflects on its journey since its launch, it’s clear the company isn’t just getting started; it’s actively working towards creative solutions that will change access to funding for mortgage brokers and their clients.
Here’s what you should know about Glasslake’s inaugural year as an institutionalized funder in the Canadian alternative mortgage industry:
Setting sail: A bold start in 2023
In January 2023, Glasslake Funding kicked off its journey in the Canadian mortgage scene, through the mortgage broker channel. What’s their secret sauce? Hands on attitude. A defining feature of Glasslake’s approach is its collaborative effort with mortgage brokers, keeping the service they provide, along with their continuous dedication to refining their business at the forefront of their priorities.
Fast forward to July, an important milestone for Glasslake, as the company proudly announced its expansion into Western Canada. This strategic move not only expanded Glasslake’s reach across Canada but also cemented its commitment to supporting non-bank seasoned investors and self-employed clients in both populated and unpopulated markets across Western Canada. The journey was marked by intentional growth and a dedication to serving a broader, yet niche audience.
Glasslake’s Winning Streak: Developing an Edge
Speed and service above everything:
Speed & efficiency: Swift resolutions are assured with same-day commitments, contingent upon brokers effectively communicating their client’s full story and providing the lender with all necessary details. Their ability to quickly commit on deals also allows them to specialize in quick or rush closings, supporting their mantra “There are deals to be made today.” All of this, combined with their broker compensation offerings (finder’s fee), distinguishes them from other players in the private segment.
Serving the industry:Glasslake values direct communication, believing in the efficiency and effectiveness of conversations over presentations. Glasslake prioritizes a human-centred approach to lending and strives to do right by the client by implementing low, and only necessary fees associated with the mortgage. Instead of focusing on product pushing or pitches, they instead ask their broker partners what they need from lenders to improve their business, and tailor their conversations accordingly.
When brokers call, they get a fast, personal response following the Glasslake UP-UP philosophy – Underwriters Pick Up Phones. When brokers call, Glasslake will answer.
Filling specific gaps in the market:
Glasslake knows small commercial: Glasslake excels in navigating small-commercial opportunities, earning praise as a reliable financial partner specializing in non-bank loans ranging from $200,000 to $5 Million.
Fostering segment strength: Through Glasslake’s ample liquidity and stable funding, the company empowers the mortgage broker channel along with third-party originators, injecting sustainable funding and further bolstering the segment as a whole.
Serving a specific niche: The lender has succeeded in addressing the financial needs of self-employed and investor clients, reinforcing its position and expertise in this specialized industry segment. An example of this is by qualifying seasoned investor clients based on the subject property, instead of digging into their several other investments.
The company goes beyond traditional qualifications with expanded criteria:
No stress test:Glasslake stands out in the mortgage industry by going beyond the typical requirements when it comes to approving Residential and Small Commercial loans. A significant departure from the norm is the absence of a mortgage stress test for client approval. Glasslake opts for an alternative approach, with multiple ways to qualify the client.
DCSR Qualification: Glasslake uses the Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) modeling method for several of their product offerings, which prioritizes the assessment of cash flow potential. This means Glasslake doesn’t rely on traditional income verification. While the usual credit score is a factor for lending, Glasslake also takes a more detailed look at the subject property and its ability to generate rental income.
There’s a genuine focus on affordability and growth:
Affordability through longer terms & extended Amortization:Glasslake stands out in its dedication to making funding accessible, affordable, and sustainable. One key aspect of this commitment is the offering of extended amortization terms, reaching up to 40 years for residential purchases. This feature helps clients achieve affordability amidst rate increases. The lender offers client terms ranging from 1 to 7 years, providing options for those seeking long-term payment stability or short-term funding to allow space until their next financial decision.
No boundaries on location: Glasslake’s distinctive approach extends to supporting secondary/rural markets, a segment often overlooked by other financial institutions. This commitment demonstrates the company’s dedication to fostering financial inclusivity. By venturing into areas that may be untapped by others, Glasslake not only contributes to the growth of these markets but also showcases its commitment to providing financial solutions where they are needed the most.
Learnings and Gains: Getting Real About Growth
Reflecting on the past year, Glasslake has gained valuable insights that are influencing its current strategy. Recognizing the importance of focus, Glasslake understands that it can’t meet every borrowing need for every client. Instead, the company has embraced the realization that its strength lies in serving its core niche, including:
Small-commercial mortgages ranging from $200,000 to $5 million.
Clients purchasing residential properties in need of higher LTVs up to 80%.
Self-employed clients seeking a mortgage based on their stated income without bank statements.
Clients in secondary/rural markets seeking both residential and small commercial mortgage loans.
Affordability for clients through longer terms and extended amortization up to 40 years
This targeted approach allows Glasslake to use its time and skills efficiently, ensuring that clients receive the most suitable solutions. If a broker would be better served by approaching another lender for a TDS residential deal, although Glasslake offers solutions outside their niche, their priority is to be transparent and honest in guiding their brokers in the right direction to find the best solution for their clients.
This insight isn’t just about the past but a promise to keep doing things this way in 2024. As Glasslake grows, this method will continue to guide the company, ensuring its core focus is at the forefront of the business for continued success.
What’s next: Glasslake looks beyond boundaries in 2024
Staring into the crystal ball, Glasslake won’t be slowing down in 2024; instead, the company is gearing up for an even more important journey ahead as it prepares to move beyond boundaries to mend current market gaps for brokers.
The upcoming year promises a deep dive into the company’s strengths and insights, mapping out a course for 2024 with the same unwavering commitment to supporting brokers.
The excitement for brokers doesn’t stop here. Glasslake’s vision for the future aims to build on its current momentum by consistently providing affordable and accessible funding solutions for non-bank clients in primary and secondary markets. This commitment is designed to assist brokers in diversifying their portfolios, especially in the face of challenges in the current market.
Rooted in a human-centric approach, Glasslake takes pride in its people, and internal culture. They have established and actively nurture an entrepreneurial environment, evident in their approach to leadership and daily operations. Glasslake is also on a mission to streamline funding through its expanded set of criteria, ensuring that the experience for brokers and clients remains nothing short of personalized, affordable, and seamless – living up to their smooth and simple funding and underwriting process.