We all pride ourselves on being experts in the mortgage market and the idea of looking outside our own resources for help is a fairly alien concept for many mortgage brokers.
The most often quoted reason is the fear of losing control of our customer or worse opening ourselves up to the possibility that our customer might be stolen. However, why would we need help? Aren’t we supposed to be the fount of wisdom for all things concerning how to borrow money to fund the purchase of property?
Yet the lending market continues to expand. Apart from first charge lending for residential property purchases, which is where most of us first got involved in the mortgage business and probably still consider as their primary source of business, there are now no end to the specialisms that have grown up in the last 10 years. Short term finance, second charge lending, equity release, commercial and specialist first charge to name but a few.
As I said, many brokers prefer to go direct and having identified a lending source for anything outside their particular speciality, tend to stick with a few favoured lenders with which they are familiar for subsequent enquiries as they don’t have either the time or the mechanism to prepare comparisons outside of what conventional first charge mortgage sourcing systems can provide.
Distributors like Fluent for Advisers can play a vital role in providing a valuable service to ensure that customer recommendations are available to the introducing broker from a broad spectrum of lenders and in many cases, the introducer will refer the customer to us to provide the actual advice.
With so many customers still being rejected by conventional lenders, brokers have turned to specialists like us, in order to access lenders more in tune with the needs of individual borrowers.
Lenders have already recognised the value of distributing their products through distributor/packagers. Apart from the obvious marketing advantages, appointing a distributor which has gone through the rigorous due diligence entailed in that appointment, means that instead of having to undertake the exercise with multiple introducers, an important outsourced facility is now available, fully checked out as the go-between with the intermediary market.
Over the past few years, more lenders have come to see the value of this important resource. Being able to receive applications, which have been properly prepared by fully trained and very experienced staff from a trusted source, will continue to grow in popularity.
Education has been a theme this year for us. Talking to introducers across the lending spectrum about the time pressures they are under and the extra resources they need to keep ahead of the latest needs of their customers. I am always surprised how many still do not seek out distributors like Fluent for Advisers. As a free to use service offering access to the widest range of options in specialist first charge, second charge and equity release, it is a resource that I believe can only add extra value to the adviser community.
The role of packager/distributors has often been questioned, but in terms of what they offer both lenders and advisers we are unmatched in what we bring to the party. Lenders get distribution and quality business referrals, brokers have a free resource for information and a real helpmate resource, which, in most cases, is better placed and more knowledgeable about the strengths and weaknesses of a greater number of lenders and their criteria than the average adviser.
Jeff Davidson is head of intermediaries at Fluent for Advisers