“Like Ma Bell, I got the ill communication” sang guest rapper Q-Tip during his appearance with the Beastie Boys – yes I am aware of their work – on their track Get It Together from the seminal 1994 Ill Communication album.
While I’m more into wielding my guitar axe than spitting lyrics into the mic, I can definitely appreciate the ground-breaking work of Messrs. Mike D, MCA (RIP), and Ad-Rock, particularly on this album.
Now while use of the term ‘ill’ in this context might actually mean ‘good’, I’m sure anyone who has to deal with communication breakdowns in the house purchase process might feel slightly ‘ill’ at the thought of how long they often have to wait in order to get the information they need.
The whole issue of delay within the process is one that is exercising the best minds within the industry and the government at the moment, and to be fair, this does seem like an incredibly important time for all of us. I sense a real opportunity here to get a far more streamlined process where long delays are a thing of the past and we perhaps get a more standardised approach in some key areas.
To that end, the CA has been running a work project over the last year with the lender community in order to try and develop better communication channels between us, but to also cut down on what might be unnecessary queries which lead to unnecessary delays in the process.
It’s because of this that we’ve developed a lender referral form for our member firms to use with lenders, which 94% of conveyancing respondents to our lender survey thought would be helpful. The form enables them to highlight instruction requests clearly, providing the advice and risk attached to a presented issue in a standardised format. By doing this, firms can offer their recommendations and options to resolve the issue and on reaching the lenders, this should allow them to be directed to the right teams quickly and to hopefully receive the requested response within a shorter timescale.
On top of this we’re also asking members firms to give their views on such areas as waiting times to get through to lenders’ mortgage centres, response times to referrals, issue of redemption figures and mortgage offers, and clarity of mortgage instructions.
Ideally from this we’d like to present lenders with the results and see if we can’t begin a process where we move towards the better lenders’ waiting times and responses across the entire industry. Again, having an open dialogue between both parties should hopefully get us to a point where both sides can be comfortable with how they’re dealt with, and hopefully the client gets to see the benefits of such an approach.
I’m sure that within the mortgage advisory community the same frustrations are often felt – in fact I’m 100% positive of it – and again there should be an opportunity for all parties to communicate in terms of what can be done to improve response times, but also perhaps how all concerned can cut down on requests which are not truly required, or queries that are not really necessary.
Undoubtedly we can Get it Together – the time for us to put in place some ‘ill communication’ (in the Beastie Boys’ sense) is now.