This week’s dilemna

My business is getting more requests about providing finance for international properties but I don\'t have any expertise in this area and I am turning away a significant number of prospective clients. I\'m getting the impression that I\'m missing out on boosting my earning potential but I can\'t afford to bring an international expert into the business or take time out to learn about this sector. I want to diversify and increase revenue but don\'t know my options. How do I bridge the gap between my business as it is now and where it could be?

The initial fears brokers have is that the international sector has a different set of rules. Although this can be true as different currencies and unusual country-specific charges could lead to misunderstandings, the main premise of arranging the finance is the same.

Many brokers enter the market by using high street lenders in the UK for their initial deals. Although this can work well, these products are linked to UK base rates which may not offer the best deal. We would look at a range of lenders, international and UK-based, and find the best deals.

With everything kept transparent, brokers would also be aware of any pitfalls or issues in particular countries giving them the background information needed to make an informed decision. For example, customers currently with a Florida mortgage from a US bank may see a hefty jump when their fixed rates end and go from around 6% to 8% so here the broker could offer a strong remortgage solution.

Locations such as Spain and France are the simplest for brokers as the range of lenders for them is vast, but even countries such as Dubai and Florida have lending solutions so these deals don’t have to be turned away either.

Brokers can enter into the international sector with the help of an international specialist. They will get the opportunity to test the waters and can develop in this market in their own right or continue a permanent relationship with an international partner.