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Internet Insite

One area that brokers must not neglect as they prepare themselves for regulation is their website. It will not be enough just to update their regulatory status, brokers must go through the whole of their website with a fine toothed comb to make sure there&#39s nothing that oversteps the mark. For example, many broker websites talk about being &#39independent&#39 and yet offer &#39free advice&#39. Under the new rules you can&#39t call yourself independent unless you offer clients the option of paying a fee so text must be rewritten accordingly. Oh, and I&#39m in Bolton this week.

If you want to recommend a particular broker website for me to review, e-mail the website address to me at

Advanced Mortgage Solutions

There&#39s nothing on the homepage here to encourage site visitors to go any further, and if they do all they&#39ll find is generic information for a small number of borrower and product types. OK, I realise the company was initially set up to support accountants and solicitors but on the &#39about us&#39 page (which needs proofreading) it says it is now able to offer its facilities via the internet. Pity then that it doesn&#39t promote any benefits of using the company or make enough of its contact points – or indeed use the power of the internet to provide any interactivity. And navigation is poor with a navibar only on the homepage (despite what it says elsewhere) so you have to keep on going backwards to go forwards.

Choice Mortgage Services

Things are a little better here. Part of the proposition on the homepage is about &#39problem&#39 mortgages – we all know what that means but when mortgage prospects are searching the internet they use &#39bad credit&#39 more than any other search words. It&#39s always better to use the words the public uses – shows you&#39re speaking the same language. Site navigation is good with the menu always on screen and the contact number well promoted. Each of the borrower types in the menu brings up a page with a few introductory lines and then an enquiry form. But web users generally look for more detailed information and the benefits of filling in the enquiry form need teeing up better for the site to increase its effectiveness as a lead generator.

Money & Mortgages

Money & Mortgages, a Sesame appointed representative, has a new site and asked for it to be reviewed. And, yes, overall the site has a good bit going for it. First off, I like its strapline – &#39your personal mortgage shopper&#39 creates uniqueness out of a service that, when it comes down to it, is not unique so brownie points for that. And the design looks clean in its blue and white livery, if a trifle bland. But the information is on the basic side – four steps to buying a new home? If only that were true – and I&#39m not impressed by a jargon buster that &#39should not be relied upon&#39. Contact details could be bolder and the site cries out for testimonials and a calculator or two.


Preferred updates range

Preferred Mortgages is relaunching its core range, with changes including a cut in rates by up to 0.35% and an increase in discounts by up to 0.50%. Other enhancements include a one-year discount extended until January 1 2006 on all products and a two-year discount extended until January 1 2007 on near-prime. It is also […]

Intermediaries face inducements dilemma

Problems will arise when lenders are forced to decide what is meant by an inducement come regulation. This could put a stop to hefty bonuses. One source tells Mortgage Strategy that cash bonuses of £200-£300 are being offered by some lenders to brokers for each case that is passed. Ray Boulger, technical manager at Charcol, […]

Knowing the market is key to buy-to-let success

The findings say key requirements include a hard-headed business assessment of the local housing market, an intimate understanding of the requirements of tenants and thorough research into the amenities of an area.  Location is key for astute buy-to-let landlords.  Nearly three-quarters of buy-to-let properties are within 20 miles of the landlord&#39s own home as this […]

Frustrated first-time buyers turn to overseas market

The percentage of loans for house purchase accounting for first-time buyers has fallen dramatically in the last five years. In 2003, only 29% of loans for house purchase represented first-time buyers, compared to 47% in 1999. The inflated UK housing market has given rise to an emerging trend with the entrance of first-time buyers in […]


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