United front benefits customers

Brokers and lenders are working more closely together and this increased knowledge of each other’s businesses is leading to faster decisions that help hard-pressed borrowers

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Gary Bailey, Director, Blemain Group

The broker-lender relationship has always been robust in terms of both parties recognising that one cannot work effectively without the expertise of the other but now, more than ever, the relationship is stronger and at the forefront of decision-making.

The marketplace has seen a shift over the last year and as a result, the relationship between brokers and lenders is more important than ever.

Both parties have begun to take advantage of each other’s skills and knowledge of the industry for the benefit of their clients.

This enhanced, united approach is positive for the industry as a whole and will be of significant benefit to customers in the future.

The growing appreciation of what each partner needs has already resulted in improved decisions, helping brokers to access the most appropriate product for their clients.

This is the situation that working together hoped to achieve, with its aim that the relationships in which lenders and intermediaries are engaged deliver good customer outcomes.

Before the credit crunch, the sheer number of intermediaries and lenders operating in the market meant more choice in terms of business relationships.

Through the recession however, a number of players have exited the market and for those that remain, this has highlighted the importance of working together as a team and the need to understand each other’s businesses better.

Now, lenders that are either returning to the market or entering it for the first time need to spend time building their partnerships with brokers and educating them as to what their products and requirements are.

It is clear that greater knowledge and understanding results in faster decisions being made, which are even more appealing to brokers and borrowers, especially considering high street lenders have restricted their criteria and are taking longer to provide the funding needed, if they can do so at all.

In many cases, depending on which lender is involved, the difference can be next-day decisions. A longer wait can be the factor between sealing a deal and losing a property.

In a lending environment that continues to prove tough for borrowers, a good relationship with clear lines of communication between lenders and brokers can be central to securing the funds for borrowers when they need it – something that should be at the heart of everything we do.

Now that the challenging times in our industry are stabilising, the key to a stronger market will be continuing to support each other in any way possible and focussing on the needs of customers.