The role that brokers can play varies significantly depending on the client too. While a first-time buyer might need a bit of hand-holding and guidance, seasoned borrowers – professional landlords for example – essentially utilise brokers as business partners.
With brokers playing such a significant role in mortgage distribution, you would think lenders would make it a priority to do whatever they can to make life easier for intermediaries, but the reality can be rather different.
Too often lenders make brokers jump through hoops and toil away in order to place a case.
The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) brought brokers and lenders together last year to discuss the relationship between the two sides.
It was notable here that even lenders accepted brokers were often left frustrated by the application process and by a lack of clarity in the decision-making by lenders.
That isn’t how this relationship should work.
If lenders can work more closely with brokers, offering them tangible help when it comes to advising clients and establishing which products will best meet their needs, then everyone benefits.
In our interest
As lenders it is in our interest to help brokers where we can. The more time they can spend on actually advising borrowers, the more business we should then enjoy.
At LendInvest we have launched a buy-to-let online calculator for brokers, designed to give an accurate borrowing range and cover criteria for borrowers and to help brokers save time so they can focus more of their energies on the advice process.
There are few areas of the mortgage market where this is now more important than buy-to-let.
The days of the buy-to-let mortgage being a slightly reshaped residential mortgage are long behind us now, with regulatory and market changes instead meaning these products now more closely resemble a commercial mortgage.
The underwriting rule changes from the Prudential Regulation Authority have been interpreted in a host of different ways by different lenders, which has only added to the complexity facing brokers simply looking to find the best funding options for their investor clients.
With so many different approaches, criteria and stress tests to keep on top of, it would be all too understandable if an intermediary felt a little overwhelmed.
That’s why it’s so important for lenders to make things easier for advisers, to give them the tools they need in order to provide the best possible advice to their clients.
We know that brokers do far more than simply pick the lowest rate when evaluating who to place business with.
Lenders can no longer take brokers for granted – instead we must work harder to remove unnecessary barriers and allow them to devote more time to providing quality advice.