Inside Information: Industry Leader’s Book Unpacks Construction Finance Secrets


Leading Brisbane property identity Dan Holden has written a book, but it’s not just any book.

Constructive Finance is a labour of passion by “someone who lives and breathes to help others achieve their property dreams”, he said.

Holden said he wrote the book not only because every property developer deserved the opportunity to secure the best available construction finance for their project, but also because when he was starting out in the industry, he couldn’t find anything of help.

“There were no texts available to help me understand how all the elements of the development process come together and in particular nothing at all to explain the machinations of its finance sector,” he said.

A few years later, as his enthusiasm for knowledge continued to outstrip the few available texts, which were largely from the US, the idea of writing his own book began to take shape.

“Since 2007 I have worked around the clock helping property developers’ fund their projects,” Holden said.

“I helped more than a few out of some tight situations during the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, which in retrospect provided me with stimulating work challenges along with some fun anecdotes to share—and some others best not repeated.

“There are many time-saving ideas, strategies and creative structures that I learned and implemented along the way which helped my clients get a great result.

“I thought by sharing those ideas and lessons in a book I might help a wider group of people looking to participate or accelerate their journey in our great industry, and ultimately help to improve the property development outcomes throughout Australia’.

▲ HoldenCAPITAL was named Australia’s No1 Commercial Broker of the Year in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
▲ HoldenCAPITAL was named Australia’s No1 Commercial Broker of the Year in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Holden has the credentials to write this book: during the past 11 years as the principal of HoldenCAPITAL, which was founded in 2011, he has created a business that has grown to become one of Australia’s largest and most respected construction finance specialists, named Australia’s No1 Commercial Broker of the Year in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The business has also won BRW Fast Starters and then BRW Fast100 honours.

In 2015 it expanded with offices in Sydney and Melbourne.

Holden Capital is a team of highly experienced property professionals who leverage their collective skills together to help each other deliver positive solutions to clients, rather than a collective of individual brokers running their own race.

Holden said he went to great lengths to retain experienced staff who share his commitment to helping developers maintain their project pipeline knowing that their capital is working productively, that the right debt solutions are available when they need them and that it all comes at competitive price.

That is Holden and the HoldenCAPITAL team’s mantra, and the volume of deals that pass through HoldenCAPITAL every month ensures they have the market intel to take advantage of a wide range of lender appetites and structure deals to match the expectations of both parties.

He said that since beginning his broker journey about 14 years ago he had “witnessed some monumental changes in the construction finance industry, and I have no doubt I will be witnessing even more as the market continues to mature and seek new solutions to the fresh challenges that face developers daily”.

“This book is designed to assist everyone involved in that process, from new players to old hands, and I welcome readers to join us on this journey of learning.”

Property developers are constantly searching for ways to improve the profitability of their operations but are often left with so many questions unanswered.

There are no road signs helping you to navigate the means to secure a reverse equity loan, or how you can structure a blended rate transaction using a combination of senior and mezzanine debt. For the uninitiated this can be a very disconcerting journey.

Acutely aware of this issue, in 2016 Holden established HoldenCAPITAL Partners, which is a direct lender to property developers delivering a range of financial packages ranging from senior debt construction, junior debt-pref equity JV partnerships and reverse equity debt, all with the aim of helping developers, particularly those in the early stages of building their business to better utilise these structures to their advantage while aiming to ‘keep it simple’.

“The book is written in such a way that you can refer back to it whenever you have a specific hurdle to deal with or need some ideas to help stimulate some creative structuring solutions, or to simply help navigate the ‘finance speak’ being thrown at you when you are looking to raise extra capital for your next project” Holden said.

“So, there is no real beginning or end; this is just a collection of useful information and anecdotes to share. And hopefully over time, it will be expanded upon from our future shared experiences.”

Constructive Finance seeks to remove the mystique of construction finance and make it accessible to everyone.

Financing options are explained with real-life examples, plus tips and resources that could make your next project even more successful.

Holden was born and raised in Brisbane, where he lives with his wife Megan and his children Jessica, Harry and Charlotte.

He enjoys participating in the community in many different ways whether it’s helping a fledgling developer or supporting a needy charity by gathering the resources of the collective connections he has in the business community to get the job done.

In short, Holden says, he loves solving other people’s problems and that this book is another example of his determination to deliver a solution and help others.

Click here to purchase your copy of Constructive Finance: Insight into the world of Australian Construction Finance.

The Urban Developer is proud to partner with HoldenCAPITAL to deliver this article to you. In doing so, we can continue to publish our daily news, information, insights and opinion to you, our valued readers.

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