From Trevor YouensI was interested to read Alan Dring’s article in last week’s Mortgage Strategy (December 12) extolling the virtues of not sticking our heads in the sand with regard to how Home Information Packs are going to impact on our business. It is all too easy to dismiss HIPs as just another government initiative, which will go the same way as self-invested personal pensions. But to sideline HIPs in this way would be folly. This is especially true for any broker largely dependent on the prime residential purchase market to secure mortgage business. Dring makes the point elsewhere that anyone completing on a purchase now should be advised that when they come to sell, it is likely they will be required to provide a HIP prior to marketing their property. How many of us are advising our clients to talk to us at this time rather than relying on the advice of the estate agent they use? You will note that I refer to clients as if I were still advising. Anyone who knows me will be aware that I recently left a successful mortgage brokerage firm to join a pack provider, but after 20 years in this business, I still view myself as working in the intermediary market. Brokers need to get to grips with the opportunity being presented to us to further secure relationships with our clients and provide them with a service that gives real added value to our proposition. There is also the argument that if we fail to make the most of this opportunity, we could see clients taken from us as other channels in the property transaction process aggressively market their HIP propositions with the intention of securing mortgage lending. The results of your survey in the HIP supplement (December 5) show that the broker community is either unaware or just not bothered about the impact of HIPs. My advice is to heed the final words of Kevin Paterson in the same publication: “If you are a broker, don’t think this does not affect you. It does. And more than you imagine.” On a lighter note, a few questions to ‘Ask Alan’:
- If teflon is non-stick, how do they get it to stick to a frying pan?
- If olive oil comes from squeezing olives, how do they make baby oil?
- If all the world’s a stage, where is the audience sitting?
- If people from Poland are Poles, why aren’t people from Holland Holes?
- If a word in a dictionary was spelt incorrectly, how would we know?