When an application is declined it’s more than just a headache for you.
It can damage your client relationship, which does nothing for your reputation.
Even in the best-case scenario you have wasted your (and your client’s) valuable time and now you’ll have to resubmit the case elsewhere and hope it isn’t time sensitive.
That’s why your conversion rate is so important.
All brokers want a steady stream of enquiries, of course, but it’s only by converting those enquiries into paying completions that you can grow your business and your reputation.
So where do you start?
First you need to clearly demonstrate how you can add value by giving your client the best options to meet their needs and that they are eligible for – so they choose to proceed with you.
And the best way to do that is know your market and your client.
Knowledge is power
Get all the information you need upfront. As long as your client understands exactly why you are being so thorough, they should be happy to provide everything you need.
If they arrange to meet you face-to-face or schedule a phone interview, always send a list of documents for them to gather in advance so you have as much detail as possible from the outset. Explain that they will need to find it all for the lender anyway, and that it will help you find the right mortgage for their circumstances.
Ask your client to run their own quick, free credit check.
They may or may not know of any credit issues that could impact their affordability, but having this information in advance can guide you to the right deal with the right lender.
You know only too well the frustration of a client being declined because something came up on the credit check they had not disclosed to you. Tackle the issue early.
Some mainstream lenders will accept an application just outside criteria if you can explain the issue, but many will not be quite as flexible.
If you’ve been thorough on your factfind, you should have a good idea if your client is a candidate for a high street mortgage, or if they are better suited to the specialist market.
If it’s the latter, get it right first time by applying to a lender that you know will be likely to offer the mortgage.
If you are not sure which lender will be right for the case or it’s outside your expertise, a specialist distributor may be able to help you place the deal, meaning you won’t lose the business.
Don’t waste your and your client’s time by applying for headline-grabbing rates they have no chance of getting because they simply don’t meet lending criteria.
Common sense broking
Technology is fantastic and having much of the process automated saves you valuable time.
But taking time to pore over the details of the case and giving it a sense-check before submission could be the most important 20 minutes of your day.
Get the bank statements in front of you and double check everything, from the income stated on the application form to what they spend on child maintenance payments.
Look at the application on screen and cross reference with the documents in front of you.
Is the name spelt correctly? Do the addresses match?
Inconsistencies in the application are one of the main reasons for unnecessary delays, or even applications being rejected. Double check the details every time.
Don’t take a shot in the dark
Sometimes there will be an issue on your client’s case that you are unsure about, have not come across before or cannot find the answer to in the lender’s criteria guide.
Do not worry. Just contact the lender in question to clarify their stance on it before you submit the case.
Start with the telephone helpdesk or your BDM. Both will be able to give you detailed information on criteria and lending policy.
If you are still not sure, ask if you can speak to a decision maker.
It is far better to find out that your case is not likely to be accepted before submission, so you can look at other options.
A quick call could reassure you the case is within lending policy, or save you and your client wasted time.