Rookie lenders must build on good start

Formula One rookie Lewis Hamilton has climb-ed the podium after each of his seven Grand Prix starts. The last two times have seen him collecting the winner\'s trophy, which is fitting for one of the most exciting drivers to have entered the sport in recent years.

Hamilton has driving ability in spades and his car has proved to be the best on the track, so the question now is whether he can deliver this level of performance every week and realise the potential that everyone is so excited about.

Similarly, in the mortgage market there are a number of rookie lenders that have shaken up some of the more established players on the grid, particularly in the niche and specialist sectors.

But the question is the same. Can they de-liver consistently? Brokers need to be able to trust lenders’ service propositions and if they lose confidence in what they have to offer, market research shows how difficult it is to win it back.

The recent Listening to Intermediaries 2007 survey by market data specialist BDRC highlighted the need for products and service to walk hand in hand if lenders are going to attract brokers’ business.

But perhaps more interestingly, it also pointed out that lenders offering poor service will be avoided by brokers. This is the challenge facing the new kids on the block. They have to show they can deliver their products efficiently, even when volumes go through the roof.

It is only when sales begin to take off that brokers will see how well the entrants operate and whether their processes are watertight.

Releasing best buy products is a great way to attract attention, but if lenders can’t pick up the phone, send out decisions, get funds released and deal with queries in an efficient and timely fashion, brokers are left chasing their tails and cli-ents are let down.

We have invested huge amounts of time and resources to make sure the service we offer all-ows brokers to do business where and when they want. We’ve already put in place a framework to deal with the growing volumes we’re generating, rather than try to build one as things develop.

In such a competitive market, new lenders have to commit everything they have to their future. If they don’t, a few good performances at the start of their careers will soon be forgotten as they slip down the grid to fight it out with the back markers.