With the Buy to Let Market Forum bringing together a raft of expert buy-to-let lenders and adviser delegates next week, Mortgage Solutions’ latest poll asked brokers how valuable they find intermediary-focused conference events, with 62 per cent replying positively.
Only 16 per cent of brokers admitted that they do not attend these events, while 22 per cent revealed that the events are fine but it depends who runs them.
Andrew Montlake, director at Coreco, said that although he goes to a lot of events, he is very choosy about the ones attended as they take up valuable time.
He added: “The good thing is that the vast majority of them are useful, often very informative and give me the opportunity to speak to other brokers to gauge the market and share best practice. What I find most welcome is how open the vast majority of brokers and lenders are in these forums.
“Much therefore depends on not just the subject matter, whether it will just be an ‘advert’ or not, but also on the interaction of the delegates at many events. I like events that engage and challenge, invite participation and are held in a spirit of openness.
“As someone who writes and comments, these events are absolutely invaluable to hear other opinions and understand what is happening in the market as a whole rather than the isolated London bubble.”
Excellent hiring tool
Adam Hosker, founder and director of Bespoke Finance, said that intermediary events are vital to new advisers.
He added: “They are a staple for experienced advisers wanting to improve and adapt. We encourage advisers to attend, not just for CPD hours, but there is always something to learn.
“Sure, we have sat through a business development manager (BDM) showing how to click a button on an application form. But other events expand your knowledge of criteria, property and the markets.
“With complacency, you get fewer converted leads, more declines and a step behind your competitors. No one has sat through a Robert Sinclair, chief executive of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, or Roger Morris, sales director at Precise Mortgages, talk and not taken something back to implement.
“If you run a lousy brokerage, its best to keep your advisers away. These local events have been an excellent hiring tool for us.”
Particularly useful for specialists
Richard Ignatowicz, mortgage consultant at Mortgage Savers, said that he always tries to attend as many events as possible.
He added: “Attending these forums is essential to be on top of the developments within the industry.
“As a broker, you need to be up to date with the latest trends and information and I find these events very useful, particularly for the specialist lending sector.”
Other events coming in the next quarter include the Financial Services Expo starting in May, SimplyBiz Mortgage Showcase in June as well as the Legal and General Mortgage Club Autumn conference in September.