Sorry to say this, but I am not a fan of golf. However, hearing how Tiger Woods made one of the most impressive comebacks since Lazarus in winning the Masters’ Green Jacket made me think.
I have many friends who I am sure are wondering now whether it wasn’t too late for them to win their first golfing major – I guess there is nothing wrong with having pipe dreams but that sometimes living in the real world is probably best for everybody.
Woods of course has the talent and the perseverance to battle through his [quote] Demons [unquote] and no doubt there was a rather large amount of satisfaction to be had from proving his nay-sayers wrong.
For the rest of us mere ‘mortals’ we are not able to fall back on a multi-million dollar earning career, or indeed a raft of sporting endorsements, although once again it’s not too late for Nike to secure my services and launch, what I’m sure will be a highly lucrative, range of ‘JK’ leisure-ware based upon my exploits with crazy golf (my level). Call me.
However, should that call never come, I – and the vast majority of mortgage practitioners – will have to rely on my/our own experience and deal with the reality of life as a mortgage market stakeholder. And, if there’s one thing we share with the Tiger, it’s that we can’t do it alone and we all need some certainties to help us do our job well.
One of the major positives that advisers tend to cite around why they like working with certain lenders is the certainty they provide. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard from advisers who lost all faith with a lender simply because they were told one thing, and later on, were told completely the opposite. Most advisers I know can live with a case being declined, as long as they know the reasons behind it, they know in a quick timescale, and they are not told yes, only to be told no later on.
Certainty in this market – and indeed in the economy at large – is pretty much everything. And, at a time when certainty can seem like being in very short supply, who better than a mortgage adviser to deliver that particular commodity to a client and to ensure they know exactly where they stand, what they can secure, what they’ll pay, and what can and can’t be done?
Part of our role as a buy-let-lender is to deliver that certainty to advisers and their clients – for example, so they know that when it comes to a portfolio landlord client we don’t require an asset liability statement from them and neither do we require a business plan. Plus, and this chimes perfectly with the certainty required, our assessment of a client’s portfolio stands for six-month period and we won’t be continually re-assessing it within that timescale.
It means that for advisers seeking homes for their limited company landlord clients, they can be certain that our process is exactly the same as it is for individual buy-to-let. And there’s no rate discrepancy between limited company and individual products, and we allow the client to use their own solicitor for non-HMO/MUB cases.
Knowing this at the outset can be a significant positive because, when it comes to working out where certain buy-to-let cases fit, there’s already an understanding that Foundation works this way, or allows this within its criteria and from then the adviser can look at other factors – perhaps they need to know whether we allow short-term lets as a limited company (we do), or whether we take into account shareholders within the company who own less than a 19% share (we don’t).
And knowing all this, allows a fuller picture to be formed about where the landlord fits and whether we are the right lender/offer the right product for their client. Having that certainty means we don’t waste the adviser’s time and we can give a positive answer in double-quick time that allows the recommendation to be made, and for the case to get moving.
Living in these uncertain times – where a former, supposedly ‘washed out’ ex-champion golfer can win one of the biggest tournaments on the planet – it’s important that we also have certainty in many other areas. No doubt for Tiger that came from the backing he gets from family, managers, and the Nike marketing budget. For mortgage advisers that comes from having clarity from lenders like ourselves and it allows you to know that you can ‘just do it’ as many times as you wish.
Jeff Knight is director of marketing at Foundation Home Loans