CommonBond, a financial technology company which uses modularly-designed financial service tools to provide customers affordable, transparent, and simple ways to pay their loans. announced that it has launched a new solar financing business.
Within the new venture, the company hopes to be able to lowers costs for both installers and homeowners, and promises increased sales velocity for installers.
As for why solar and why now, CommonBond Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, David Klein told pv magazine it was the next natural evolution for serving its existing customer base.
In 2019, CommonBond completed market research which showed that 77% of its customers have a house or intend to buy one within three years of refinancing their student loan with the company. This realization had those within the company exploring opportunities presented by homes and their contained elements, like energy efficiency upgrades or HVAC systems. Around this time, the company also started forming relationships with solar installers, which led to an interesting discovery.
“We had some relationships with solar installers,” said Klein. “So we were hearing about a few pain points. One: they wanted to make sure that they were optimizing for their own economics. Two: they wanted to make sure that the financing function that they’re plugging in to their sales cycle is not just cost effective, but also timely, automated, and simplified in a way that actually increases sales velocity, including an easier experience for the installer sales agent in the field and the homeowner that they’re interfacing with.”
There are three ways installers work with CommonBond to increase sales velocity and deliver service to their customers:
- API-based point of sale integrations for a fully integrated sales and financing experience
- Web and app-based point of sale portals for installers to quickly and easily access CommonBond financing solutions
- Integrations with leading solar proposal generation tools
Having an existing customer base interested in solar, knowing of solutions they could provide to common installer pain points, seeing that solar system costs have been trending down significantly since the start of the last decade, and recognizing increased climate and energy consciousness across consumers all combined to make the move into solar a no-brainer for CommonBond.
And while most in the financial services field for solar focus on the value they can bring to the homeowner, Klein believes that CommonBond can also help installers. The platform promises faster project approvals, higher rates of approvals, and competitive rates, all aspects installers look for when choosing a financial services partner, and there’s another aspect CommonBond is focusing on.
“There are a lot of installers who are so busy growing and so focused on the installations, we’ve found that many of them don’t have a lot of data and analytics making visible what’s going on in the business,” said Klein. “We’re finding that many installers, most actually, have this need, that is currently being unmet in general.”
It’s a term that Klein refers to as “growth instrumentation”, the service of feeding installer data in real time to arm them with insights and visibility into their business. Those insights enable them to make better decisions quicker on anything related to cost, budgeting, overarching business and funnel management.
CommonBond initially launched its Solar financing business in “stealth mode” in Q3 2021 and the company claims that it is on pace to do $1 billion of Solar originations in 2022.
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