If I ask a roomful of advisers what takes up the majority of their time in a working day, consistently the largest number of responses come back as product research. All advisers agree that they would prefer to be either prospecting or talking to customers, rather than sifting through product criteria or calling helpdesks or BDMs for various lenders.
Of course, there are those advisers who have access to support staff, who can do some of the heavy lifting for them. However, for most of us, long parts of the day are taken up making sure that we have covered all the bases before making that all important recommendation.
But does it have to be that way? We all have access to sourcing systems for mortgages and some of them can filter second charge providers quite effectively now as well. But, in an age when fewer customers fit into neat little boxes where their needs are a clear match for lender criteria, good advisers have learnt that basic criteria are just a starting point and in no way guarantee a successful journey towards a DIP and completion.
This is particularly true of secured loans or second charge mortgages, depending on your choice of name. One of the less talked about reasons for not recommending a second charge mortgage is because of the time constraints that modern product research now takes.
As advisers, we all know we have to tell our customer of the choices that are available for capital raising, regardless of whether we have always tended to use remortgages as a primary focus. Making customers aware of something is not the same as offering a direct comparison and for many the remortgage route remains the only option the customer sees as a recommendation.
It is not because the adviser cannot be bothered, although he or she might have lingering doubts about the historical issues that once surrounded secured loans. It can be because when time is at a premium, advising a customer to take a remortgage to raise capital is never going to be an issue.
I am not so sure. Of course, as I work for a second charge provider, I would say that, wouldn’t I?
Joking apart, it is more than likely that compliance officers and the regulator are going to start looking at cases retrospectively and will act where they see that a secured loan would have been in the customer’s best interests, rather than a remortgage.
The simple solution is to make use of what distributors, like Fluent for Advisers, can provide as a whole of market specialist in the second charge sector. If there is any doubt in your mind or you just want to make sure that your client has had every opportunity to see the alternative funding sources side by side, make use of this free resource to provide quotes and all the information you need to show your customer.
Don’t forget, you can also relieve yourself of so much of the day to day toil involved with seeing your customer through the second charge research and application process by referring your clients directly to any of the leading specialists and let their qualified staff work directly with them, while keeping you directly informed of progress.
The simple fact is that you have choice. You don’t have to waste your valuable sales time. By making use of these specialist resources, you can ensure your clients have access to all the alternatives when capital raising.
How much is your time worth?
Jeff Davidson is head of intermediaries at Fluent for Advisers