When choosing a bridging lender, brokers look for speed of response, transparency, flexibility and certainty of completion
Figures from the Association of Short Term Lenders show that demand for bridging loans soared in the last quarter of 2016, finishing the year at £2.88bn.
As volumes look set to rise again this year, low rates and fees are only part of the mix for brokers looking for bridging loans. When considering which lender to use, they tend to look for speed of response, transparency, flexibility and certainty that the transaction will be completed.
Showing consistency and being able to deliver on promises made to brokers and their clients is vital. It is also important to remember that, for privately funded bridging firms, every loan enquiry received goes directly to a decision maker. This enables them to give a decision in principle within hours of the initial enquiry, and reassures the broker that they will not let down their clients.
Specialist providers of loans that use 100 per cent private funds and do not have any outside investor influence pride themselves on their flexibility; they are not bound by conditions and restrictions that affect other bridging companies. This means they can decide on their lending criteria and which loans to facilitate.
Due to rising inflation and the lingering economic uncertainty, bridging lenders must be completely transparent and clear about the way they do deals.
This also helps build trust and long-standing relationships with clients while ensuring a high level of service.
Maintaining credibility and good client relationships is vital for brokers. With this in mind, lenders must be particularly careful in ensuring everything adds up, and should be honest when, realistically, deals are not going to complete. As we have seen, conditions can quickly change.
So, as well as offering brokers a clear, speedy and flexible service tailored to a borrower’s financial requirements, providing that level of certainty is crucial.
Jonathan Sealey is chief executive of Hope Capital