As lenders become more risk adverse and speculation of house price crashes circulate, this can heighten uncertainty among clients, especially for those who were ready to purchase or remortgage and now feel unable to.
So this week, Mortgage Solutions asked: In what ways are you adding a more personable touch to your advice, especially for clients who may lack confidence in the current housing market or lending levels?
It’s no secret that lockdown has had a profound impact on the UK property market but there is now a sense of positivity emanating from industry media outlets that the UK housing market is back on its feet – and they’re correct.
As a result, we are providing our clients with a personal, bespoke service to ensure they are confident and in control at every stage of their property financing journey.
Each client has a dedicated expert adviser to hold their hand throughout the process in order to secure the best rates and products as the market landscape is changing daily.
Giving the client the correct advice and providing them with a number of options to ensure they have full transparency and clarity regarding the mortgage process.
Many lenders are now providing brilliant rates and returning to – and in some cases, bettering – mortgage products as the market has begun to bounce back; it can be very difficult for buyers to navigate the noise in the quickly evolving market, and so our expert advisers do the hard work for them by researching the opportunities available and presenting them with products which they may have otherwise overlooked.
We also to keep our clients abreast of the latest developments within the market.
Also, we’ve seen how the initial trepidation clients felt during lockdown to invest in property convert to enthusiasm as our enquiries have grown considerable since the changes in stamp duty last month.
This is particularly true of foreign nationals – most notably in the Middle East and the Far East – as well as first–time buyers and property investors who are keen to take advantage of the tax cuts and historically low interest rates.
For us, a personable service means really listening to our customers and putting ourselves in their shoes.
We recognise that people don’t necessarily want a mortgage, it’s the home they’re focused on. Part of what makes getting a mortgage so stressful is that really, it’s a means to a very important end – it’s about a person’s future life plans.
Our approach to giving advice has always been that there are no silly questions, which I think in this challenging market is particularly needed.
Right now, we’re really focused on empowering our clients with information.
We’re regularly updating customers around the impact Covid-19 has had on lending timeframes and the withdrawal of certain products or rates, so that we can help them make informed decisions.
For Habito users who aren’t yet in direct advice conversations with us, we’ve created a help centre on our website with all the latest information from the government on viewing homes safely and stamp duty cuts.
We’ve also developed tools such as the mortgage holiday calculator which has proven to be popular with homeowners wanting to get confidence over how much taking a repayment break could cost them.
We’ve also continued to do events, virtually hosting 60-80 landlords each month with special guests to talk through the changes that have been happening in the buy-to-let industry.
Finally, we have our new home-buying service that we launched this year – Habito Plus. This is exactly for customers who want help with more than just the mortgage as it also brings a buyer’s conveyancing needs and surveys under one roof.
In the current climate, there’s lots to consider if you’re buying or selling a home.
It’s certainly positive that we’ve seen an increase in mortgage demand in the two months following the market reopening with a 182 per cent increase in first-time buyer applications and a 176 per cent increase in next time buyer applications.
However, with limited mortgage products on the market, stricter lending criteria, higher interest rates, down valuations and an increase in house prices, navigating the uncertain and ever-changing market can be challenging.
During these particularly uncertain times, our advisers are spending more time advising their customers, providing up-to-date practical advice and options available to them.
We’ve built technology at Trussle which helps us to cut down on the administrative tasks and source mortgage products faster, enabling us to spend more time providing our customers with tailored advice to their personal circumstances.
Customers can chat with their qualified mortgage adviser online via email or live chat, or on the phone at a time that suits them.
We’ve also recently introduced a protection team who are offering customers a free protection insurance review, comparing deals from a number of providers and recommending the right amount of cover for each customer’s needs.
Most recently we’ve published a mortgage guide for furloughed workers, detailing which lenders have tightened their criteria and how.
For those who are looking for additional information, our website is full of helpful guides, tips and tools.