Product Strategy
Product Management
Product Development

Building better with better construction loan administration

In vertical construction, good management is everything. Speculative builders manage every aspect of building single-family homes — from framing to finish-out — on their phones. But lenders have yet to serve this market with loan administration that moves at the pace of construction. What if builders could attract the best possible subcontractors by paying them faster for great work?


Snap.Build is revolutionizing construction loans to enable builders to operate more profitably while maintaining better subcontractor relationships. By applying state-of-the-art financial technology and improved user experiences, Snap.Build enhances builder’s ability to communicate with lenders, get paid for completed phases of work, and pay their valuable partners and trade workers in a timely fashion — thereby mitigating risks for lenders and helping builders perform to their top potential.

The old way involves too many lags and approximations to keep people productive and relationships strong. Today’s builders deserve tools that enable them to manage the money side of the operation in an easier, more transparent, and immediate manner that up-levels professionalism from the boots on the ground on up to the balance sheet.”

Matt Merritt, CEO, Snap.Build


Snap.Build envisioned dramatic improvements to the speculative homebuilding business with a next-generation fintech platform specifically suited to the needs of vertical construction builders. Snap.Build envisioned dramatically streamlined loan administration and draw management that would help builders borrow more efficiently, move fast, and pay faster. Snap.Build’s solution would improve five key areas of construction lending to strengthen end-to-end construction delivery:

  1. Planning: Snap.Build’s platform would enable builders and lenders to agree on detailed construction project plans tied to each construction loan.
  2. Drawing: The platform would also empower builders to make daily draw requests against the construction loan as each task in the project plan is completed.
  3. Verifying: Then, lenders could verify the completion of tasks against pre-approved cost-coded budgets via photos, videos, and documentation submitted with each completed task.
  4. Partnering: Meanwhile, builders using Snap.Build’s platform would be able to skip time-sucking vendor management tasks with automated electronic Lien Waiver management.
  5. Payment: Finally, would enable builders to create stronger vendor and sub-contractor relationships by paying them in real-time as compared to the typical 1- to 2-month wait for lagging draws to catch up with completed construction work.

To get from vision to custom software product, Snap.Build needed meticulous alignment between executive vision, market drivers, and what construction crews care about on the job site. Snap.Build approached Altus Nova as their existing development team began a 30-day phase out. Snap.Build needed a new team to onboard fast, learn the business and the system in development, and take over without missing a beat.

Altus Nova began by conducting an in-depth audit of the existing system. After looking at back- and front-end architecture as well as the environment and infrastructure, Altus Nova proposed two parallel workstreams. One would leap to remediating the issues found during the initial audit. The other would analyze Snap.Build’s full business picture in order to define the current state, establish the future vision, and map Snap.Build’s best path to success.


The Snap.Build leadership team saw multiple avenues to grow with custom software development. However, differing visions for the best way to drive revenue led to a lack of clarity around software development priorities. For example, Snap.Build saw potential in every aspect of courting the vertical construction lending market:

  • Geographic expansion: How might Snap.Build develop a national footprint? How might hyper-localization play into their growth?
  • Targeted Builders: What would make the platform attractive to enterprise-sized builders? Could it gain traction with smaller players?
  • Construction types supported: Single-family homes are just one kind of venture. Could builders manage more complex multi-unit residential or commercial ventures with Snap.Build?
  • Loan Types supported: How might different loan types, like Dutch Interest, Interest-as-drawn, with or without Escrow expand Snap.Build’s reach?
  • Saas Revenue models: Could Snap.Build white-label their solution rather than continue as the sole servicing team?

Knowing that the vast majority of custom software development projects fail due to a lack of definition, Altus Nova worked closely with Snap.Build to define pain points as well as success criteria, and to fully document end-to-end business processes for loan origination, draw management, and loan payoff processing.

Through Altus Nova’s work, Snap.Build gained detailed definitions on the lending side for everything from borrower and project approval to titling, funding, and closing. Additionally, on the builder side, they gained process definitions for project creation, vendor management, inspections or task completion reviews, and draw request processes.

Altus Nova responded to Snap.Build’s ultimate desire to transition from being a simple loan services company to being a loan servicing technology platform by creating a rational, prioritized product roadmap — one specifically formulated to create a solid technology foundation AND pursue revenue opportunities at the same time.

Despite fixed budgets and aggressive timelines, Altus Nova’s process definitions and phased approach gave Snap.Build new confidence about what technology spend would be needed, how to get moving, and what success might look like all the way to market dominance.

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