The current market is throwing up a unique set of challenges. Many brokers are reporting record enquiry levels, but each case is taking longer to research and place, which is causing frustration at a time when you should be reaping the rewards of a vibrant property market.
So, what is causing this situation and what options do you have to improve it?
There are a number of factors that are feeding the frustration. The financial fallout of Covid-19 means that many clients have more complex circumstances as a result of furloughed employment, reduced self-employed income, mortgage payment holidays and numerous other factors that nobody could have anticipated at the beginning of the year.
At the same time, lenders are taking a more forensic approach to underwriting every application and many are working at reduced capacity to facilitate social distancing and home working. This means that lenders are taking longer to progress cases, and this is creating a backlog in their own processes.
What’s more, as lenders adjust their risk appetite to navigate the uncertain environment, product and criteria changes are a frequent occurrence. The result is that cases are taking brokers considerably longer to research and place, and there have been numerous reports in the trade press and social media of brokers complaining about the amount of time they are wasting just waiting on the phone to speak to a lender.
All the while, with new enquiries coming in, the longer you spend on trying to place one case the less chance you have of converting the new opportunities.
In this situation, wouldn’t it be fantastic to have an extra pair of hands that you could trust help you manage your caseload?
It’s perhaps something you have overlooked, but if you choose to partner with a specialist distributor either by working alongside them or referring your cases, you can outsource a chunk of your workload and free up more time to generate income.
In many ways, there has never been a more relevant time to work with a specialist distribution partner. Finding the research process too labour intensive? Outsource it to a specialist distributor. Fed up of hanging on the phone to speak to lenders? Well, don’t – work with a specialist distributor that can do this for you.
And there are more benefits than just saving time and freeing up capacity – working with a specialist distributor can help deliver better outcomes for your clients. As well as specialist sector expertise, specialist distributors often have access to lenders and products that are not available to brokers directly either because of the panel they are able to access through their network, or because that lender is operating on a limited distribution basis.
Limited distribution tends to be a cyclical trend. At some points in the cycle, when lenders have a more open appetite, they also open up their distribution. However, at times like this, when lenders are much more alert to the level of risk they take onto their books, it can be easier to manage volumes, and risk, by limiting the distribution of their products. In these circumstances, working with a specialist distributor could be the key to accessing the more appropriate product for your client’s circumstances.
So, at times like this when enquiry levels are high, but time is short, don’t forget that you can buy yourself some more time, and find more options for your clients, by taking a collaborative approach to your caseload and working with a specialist distributor.
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SOURCE: Financial Reporter