In this first edition of the podcast, Specialist Lending Solutions editor Owain Thomas spoke with Octopus Real Estate head of residential D’mitri Zaprzala and Sirius Property Finance managing director Nicholas Christofi.
The pair agreed that with mainstream banks having to retrench their offerings in the current environment, the specialist sector could prove successful, but they added crucial caveats.
“This is exactly the type of market where the specialist lending sector can thrive,” Zaprzala said.
“The specialist lending sector, because it can be more nimble it can move towards areas that need fulfilling, I think the opportunity will be huge.
“There will be pressures on all of us but this is the time for us to thrive rather than to shelter away.”
He added: “This time, more than in a normal world, the need for good advice is absolutely paramount because I think trying to navigate your way through specialist, high street and now government backed sectors is a minefield.
“Good quality advisers are the ones who will thrive.”
Christofi agreed, adding: “The most important thing as an adviser is we’ve got a responsibility to our borrowers and lenders to make sure that they are given the right advice at the moment and it doesn’t become transactional.
“Brokers historically in certain sectors have been guilty of being transactional. For example with bridging – in this particular market, without an exit strategy you are setting yourself up for a big fall.
“We have got a big responsibility as advisers and as lenders to be able to scrutinise how a borrower is going to repay and how a lender is going to get their money back.”
There was also a hint that Octopus was considering a return to the buy-to-let market.
And the pair highlighted an appreciation for the community spirt that had evolved during the pandemic with lenders and advisers coming together to support each other during the tough times.