Shabir Chowdhary is a successful investor with a growing property portfolio. To succeed as a property developer, Chowdhary says it is essential to work with a finance provider that understands the “cycle of development” and has deep market awareness. “Right from my very first conversation with Aldermore, it was clear that I was dealing with people who understood my business and its market.”
Chowdhary’s success in part comes as a result of the all-round service he’s received from Aldermore since 2016. “In addition to the finance, the service and support I’ve had, particularly from Aldermore’s In-Life team, has been a key factor. It’s helped me to grow my business and is the main reason I keep going back to Aldermore. My relationship with the bank remains very strong.”
As well as development finance, Chowdhary has also had commercial Buy to Let finance.
“The Aldermore team work hard, the process is smooth and efficient, and the communication is excellent. You have a contact you can speak to whenever necessary. Kelly [Hewitt] at Aldermore, who we’ve worked with on the development finance side, totally understands my challenges as a property developer and investor. That’s vital.”
“If something isn’t quite right, Aldermore works with you to find a solution. The strong relationship I have with Aldermore gives me added confidence when I go out into the market looking for new opportunities.”
Chowdhary’s first development was delivered in two phases. The first, in 2015, involved converting vacant office and warehouse space in Surrey into 15 residential units, while the second involved developing and selling six new builds.
Chowdhary says: “An Aldermore relationship manager visited the site very early on. We talked through the numbers and he had a good look around. He totally understood why I wanted to do the deal. I provided the additional information he needed and he came back within days. The service I received was fantastic.”
Formal credit approved terms were drawn up within weeks. Chowdhary continues: “I needed a quick response – and Aldermore certainly delivered. With the finance in place, I had the confidence to engage with the main contractor. That speed and ease continued with the monthly drawdowns. It’s clear to me that Aldermore understands how critical finance is to scheduled construction and development work.”
Open dialogue and good communication between the valuer, Chowdhary and Aldermore’s In-Life team made it possible, he says. Aldermore’s In-Life team made several site visits every other month to check progress, ensuring that Chowdhary continued to get the support he needed to pay his main contractor on time. “Having a separate In-Life team really helps to set Aldermore apart when it comes to development finance. The support I received from the team was excellent throughout” he says.
Chowdhary says another key reason why he chooses Aldermore is because “the deals are competitive,” he smiles. “For me, the price is right – which is crucial too, of course.”
More recently, he needed finance to enable his third development. “Based on my circumstances, Aldermore were able to provide a flexible solution for me to acquire land within three weeks, which then moved into a development finance facility once planning was held. It’s really helpful to partner with a bank that works with you in that way.”
Chowdhary remains ambitious and optimistic for the future. “Going forward, I intend to undertake two or three developments a year. My relationship with Aldermore remains strong and I’m delighted with the finance, services and support I’ve received so far. It’s really made a big difference to my business.”