Brokers must keep their eye on the ball

Recent market turbulence has left everyone in a spin. The mortgage industry is wondering when things will calm down and is desperately hoping for stability to return.

Such is the market’s volatility that brokers are being forced to spend many hours every day trying to keep on top of lenders’ product and criteria changes.

There’s a constant battle to keep borrowers abreast of lenders’ movements so that they won’t miss out on the deals that are best for their needs and circumstances.

These are interesting times for lenders and brokers and in the prevailing market conditions there has to be more effective communication between them.

Lenders are struggling to manage the level of business they attract because consumer demand remains strong but liquidity has collapsed.

Even when lenders have the appetite to lend they still run into problems because they lack the capacity to service the demand they face.

This is sharply illustrated by First Direct closing its doors to new business as its market-leading offering led to a tidal wave of enquiries swamping the lender.

It will be interesting to see how parent firm HSBC copes with the interest in its Rate Matcher offer, which was recently extended to all borrowers. Lenders have been forced into a constant round of product withdrawals and repricing to manage demand and protect their competitive positions.

As a result brokers have to be light on their feet to stay on top of the shifting market. They also must try to understand the reasons behind lenders’ actions rather than sulking about being left out of the loop.

The recent open letter from some large mortgage distributors was a much needed reminder that now is the time for the industry to pull together. Good communications between brokers and lenders are vital in normal economic conditions and doubly so now.

These channels need to be kept open in an effort to stay on top of product changes and manage processing as effectively as possible to meet consumer demand.

Brokers offer an efficient distribution model and this has led to growth in the sector. Unfortunately volume is no longer the name of the game so life is not as straightforward as it once was.

Now’s the time for brokers to prove their worth in a constantly changing market that average consumers have little or no hope of keeping up with. This is what they must concentrate on. There’s little point in brokers pointing the finger at lenders in a paranoid fashion.