The truth is that most lenders are entirely or almost entirely reliant on brokers for distribution, and the borrowers who need this form of finance almost exclusively do so via a broker.
It’s easy to understand why. Borrowers who need short-term finance, by their very nature, are working to tight deadlines.
They need brokers who are on top of the market and know what lenders are looking for from applicants, and who are able to swiftly take in the details of a case and know precisely which lenders are most likely to be open to this business.
The vast majority of brokers operating in the market today provide that guidance and expertise. They take their role and responsibility seriously, they work diligently to ensure they understand the various product ranges and criteria employed by the many lenders now operating in the bridging market.
But there are some intermediaries who have essentially become introducers, simply passing on the client’s details to the lender and letting them take over.
That’s problematic; the client won’t receive the advice they need and deserve, while the broker is putting their reputation – and that of other brokers within the bridging sector – at risk.
As an industry, we want to see the highest standards of advice from brokers.
We want them to have all of the tools necessary so they can help their clients make informed choices, so that they can complete cases successfully and deliver a satisfying experience to the many borrowers who need bridging finance, whatever they might need that funding for.
But we can’t expect brokers to do it all alone.
Lenders must do more, devote more time to going out and meeting advisers, helping them get to grips with the innovative products constantly being launched and outlining the specific sorts of cases where they can help clients, and where they can’t.
Lenders need to listen to their introducers concerns, find out the precise areas where they need help and then go the extra mile to provide them with it.
We are committed to educating property professionals; it’s why we launched the LendInvest Property Development Academy.
But just as educating prospective property developers is crucial to improving the number of homes built each year, so too is providing intermediaries with the help they need to deliver an even more comprehensive service to their clients.
That is why we extended the LendInvest Property Development Academy to hold a course specifically for brokers which we have run exclusively for NACFB members
Broker education is a subject that the NACFB takes extremely seriously, putting together huge amounts of resources to assist brokers in meeting their compliance needs on its portal.
And its apprentice scheme is encouraging the development of the next generation of bridging brokers.
But we can’t rest on our laurels. Raising broker standards requires action from all stakeholders in the bridging industry.
The reputation of bridging is a world away from where it was just a decade ago. Let’s continue that improvement by helping brokers deliver even higher standards of advice.