Seagull Prime Real Estate Development Fund Leverages 1build Estimate for Financing

March 25, 2021
|real estate development fund case study|

Seagull Prime Real Estate Strengthens Loan Qualification for a 75M Contract

One of the biggest obstacles a real estate development fund has to face is securing capital for its next project. Even if a real estate development fund has enough liquidity, it can rarely afford to finance its next project without the help of an external financial institution. But the majority of real estate development funds need to ask for external financial help. 

And the best way for a real estate development fund to strengthen its loan qualification is to come to a financing meeting with a clear understanding of its project’s cost. Even more important is to be able to report the project’s final cost as accurately as possible not only to secure financing, but also to save money on the project’s final costs. But given that most large projects are up to 80% over budget and the majority of real estate projects experience cost overruns--a reluctance to provide loans for real estate development is only increasing among financial institutions. What’s more, recent trends, such as COVID-19, which are causing materials and labor costs to soar--suggest cost overruns are likely to get worse, making it that much more difficult for real estate developers to get the critical capital they need to grow their business. 

For these reasons, getting a detailed and accurate cost estimate of a project is essential to speed up the lengthy and complex discussions between real estate developers and lenders and increases the likelihood that a fund will secure the capital needed for its next large real estate development project. 

Seagull Prime Real Estate illustrates the necessity of bringing an accurate cost estimate to lending discussions perfectly. Founded by Chris Hart in 2019 to bring new housing units to the San Francisco Bay Area, Chris was having difficult discussions with lenders because he didn’t feel confident that he truly understood his project’s final costs. Although he had spent many late nights crunching numbers or hired estimators to estimate costs, in the end, his cost estimates were always inaccurate. 

That all changed when Chris discovered 1build and how quickly and cost-effectively he could obtain an accurate cost estimate of a project. Chris soon discovered that 1build could deliver detailed and accurate estimates within days and for a fraction of the cost of hiring an estimator or crunching numbers on his own. 

With a 1build cost estimate, Chris was able to strengthen his loan qualification for a $75M contract with a financial institution that helped him project the lowest possible costs. If you own a real estate development company and need a viable solution to the problem accurately estimating project costs, we invite you to read Chris’s success story.

Overcoming the Challenges of Real Estate Development

Seagull Prime Real Estate is a real estate development fund founded by Chris Hart in 2019. Chris is an entrepreneur and operator with over 34 years in the real estate industry whose passion includes financing, developing, and ensuring housing. Chris “eats, lives, and breathes housing,” so it’s no surprise then that Seagull’s primary goal is to “develop 1000 units in California’s North Bay.”  

Although Chris had been working toward his goal of building 1000 units, uncertainty regarding construction costs was slowing his progress. Chris’s uncertainty was driven by real estate agents, contractors, and subs, who were unable to provide him with detailed and accurate estimates: “It was really unclear what was happening to construction costs and how I could get that information. I don't really trust the initial words of real estate agents and contractors, so it was becoming really difficult to assess costs so I could accurately estimate project costs to lenders.” 

let's talk shop - book a demo

The opportunity came to solve his problem when Seagull began work on a new housing project in San Rafael for 192 units. Chris needed to get an estimate for the cost to build this project quickly so he could properly negotiate with his bank over the project's financing. Chris knew that to get this particular project financed--and come that much closer to achieving his goal of developing 1000 units--he needed to get quality estimates from an independent source he could trust. 

How a Real Estate Development Fund Strengthened Loan Qualification for a $75M Contract with 1build

Ironically, Chris found 1build through an Instagram ad: “I didn't believe it when they told me what 1build could do. And then when I saw it in action, I was amazed.! The service ultimately sold me. What 1build delivered was so much more than I was anticipating.” 

After Chris received the sample estimate back, he realized that the quality of 1build’s estimate was so high and the subscription price so low that subscribing was a “no-brainer”. In fact, according to Chris, the whole process from initial inquiry to final bid submission was effortless: “Starting with 1build was easy and fast.” 

Without 1build, Chris would have spent months sorting through print materials and having many “tough conversations with contractors.” 1build was able to save Chris hours of wasted time grappling with construction costs, which were likely to be inaccurate.

Phenomenal Results

1build delivered an accurate estimate with over “1800 rows of data” for Chris’s 192-unit housing project, enabling him to negotiate with his bank lending partner confidently:

I've used 1build to bid on projects, and it's always going to come down to cost. We're going to haggle over costs, but 1build’s estimates enable me to walk into negotiations like an expert and say “these are my numbers” with confidence. With 1build, I can eliminate the cost discussion from our negotiations and control the conversation. 

With 1build’s help, Chris strengthened his bargaining power to finance the development of 192 units and is now much closer to reaching his goal of developing 1000 units, with 357 units currently in the pipeline.

In fact, Chris is so satisfied with his experience using 1build that he can’t help but recommend the service to everyone he knows: “I don't know how many times I’ve talked about your service. 1build is not only very quick, very responsive, and accurate; 1build is also here to help.”

In short, Seagull Prime Real Estate received a phenomenal return on their investment in 1build: 

  • 6+ Wks Time Savings
  • $75M Contract
  • 900x Return on Investment (ROI)

Want to Secure Capital for Your Next Real Estate Development Project? 1build Can Help You Nail Your Numbers

1build case study: Seagull Prime Real Estate

If you want to know your project’s final costs before you enter into financing discussions with your lender, 1build can help. If you’d like to learn more about how Chris and Seagull Prime Real Estate achieved success with 1build, you can download the real estate development fund case study below and start leveraging the power of on-demand construction estimating services for yourself.


However, if you want to get your first cost estimate started immediately, 1build can help. Once you create a 1build account and submit your plans, you can receive accurate and detailed cost estimates and quantity takeoffs for your next big real estate development project. 

Ready to start securing the capital you need to grow your real estate development fund? Subscribe to 1build and develop your next proforma with ease.

book a demo today

1build provides an easy-to-use integration with construction supplier catalogs and purchasing systems. Get access to millions of construction materials with our API today