Media Frenzy

Last week went by in a media frenzy as the headlines were dominated by
mortgage related stories. To be honest I enjoyed my trips to the BBC and
the visit by ITN as well as speaking to many of the national press
journalistic elite.

It is interesting to see their take on it and it does hit home how all
these issues are viewed by the everyday public. It is easy to get
detached and self-centered when in the middle of the industry, but we
have to remember that whilst many brokers will be fighting for their
lives, we are here to serve the public.

Amongst all these media interviews there was one question thrown at me
on BBC Five Live that I wish I could have answered differently. A direct
one about the state of our business in these times and how brokers must
be floundering.

Yes times are difficult for us all. We have to work much harder and much
smarter to survive. However, in confusing times professional brokers are
needed more than ever. If we are struggling to make sense of everything,
and just sitting around moaning about how unfair things are and blaming
lenders for everything we are missing the point and panicking the public
even more.

We must remember lenders are only reacting to a set of conditions and we
must support them. Likewise the media. If we do not interact in a
positive way with the media then how can they report exactly what is
actually going on. The good journalists are not just scaremongering and
are eager to understand what exactly is happening at ground level.

My favourite quote last week was that it was like the market had gone
back 15 years to when I first started in the industry; fewer lenders,
fewer products and tougher underwriting. A time when brokers really were
brokers, who worked to negotiate the best terms on each deal rather than
cherry-picking and simply following the latest crazily low rate on
offer. When a proper fee was charged for professional advice and a full
financial review was also done as standard.

Charles Darwin once said, “It is not the strongest of the species that
survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to
change”.

When you look at this as an outsider then a return to those days of yore
may not be a bad thing. The whole credit crunch was caused by
irresponsible lending across the pond, so perhaps going back to basics
for lender, brokers and the whole mortgage industry is not such a bad
thing.

Change is upon us, it is up to you if you sit back and moan or stand up
and embrace it.