Specialist finance trade body, the Financial Intermediary & Broker Association (FIBA), has reported that over 1,000 brokers signed up for its recent series of four live webinars.
The webinars were organised as part of FIBA’s stated strategy to help raise standards and professionalism along with creating a greater understanding of the buy-to-let sector by advisers, particularly for FIBA and SimplyBiz Mortgages members.
The sessions covered the effects of legislative changes, taxation, structures of ownership, HMOs and landlord engagement and gave advisers the opportunity to hear from Roger Morris of Precise Mortgages.
Online questionnaires completed by advisers attending the webinars showed that 30% were new to buy-to-let, with even a small percentage coming on board as they were returning to giving buy-to-let advice with 63% already supporting landlords as clients.
Overall, 47% of respondents were keen to expand their service to landlords, 19% were looking to learn more to establish whether to move into the buy-to-let space and over a third wanted to offer added value to their existing landlord clients.
The session dealing with HMOs found that 26% of the audience were experiencing difficulties finding finance for them. In addition, 49% thought that interest rates offered were high in comparison to standard buy-to-let rates.
Adam Tyler, FIBA executive chairman, said: “It was a fantastic turnout, given that the timing was a regular 2pm on some very sunny Friday afternoons. There were nearly 1000 brokers who’d signed up for the series and 300 for a single session, eager to learn more about taxation in the buy-to-let industry.
“The webinar series as a whole received record-breaking attendances for every session, and even with one on a Friday afternoon before a Bank Holiday weekend. A staggering difference to the pre-Covid world.
“Of course, we were fortunate to have Roger as our speaker but the overall member support for the webinars was amazing. Of course, the view of the future was mixed. 38% of attendees felt the buy-to-let market would increase, 17% felt it would decrease and 45% felt it would remain the same.
“We feel our webinar series has significantly supported attendees. A pleasing 87% stated that they felt more confident in dealing with landlords and the challenges posed by the buy-to-let market. 71% went on to say they would be actively looking to increase the number of landlords they supported over the next twelve months.
“In conclusion, confidence in the buy-to-let market among brokers remains strong and offers significant potential for growth in the future. Some advisers are hesitant about market growth in the short term, but all appreciated that there is a need to add value, knowledge and professionalism to their relationships with landlords in order to be successful in growing this sector in their business in the future.”