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Fees glorious fees

Yesterday I spent most of the day at the Royal Bank of Scotland Roadshow in London where among the speakers were Grenville Turner, group chief executive of Countrywide and Phil Spencer of Location, Location,
Location fame.

There were some very interesting points raised and one morsel that
caught my attention was the line “it is the housing market that leads us
into recession, and it is the housing market that will lead us out”.

It was good to hear from Grenville, always an interesting speaker, his
views on fees in this market which I wholeheartedly agree with.

It is essential in this market that we all charge to reflect what our
services are worth. There is no sense in all of us battering fees down
in a desperate scramble for business as it does us all a disservice. It
undermines our level of professionalism, our qualifications, and the
value we actually add to the client.

Grenville stated that in the UK fees are always criticised, but actually
when looked at from a world-wide perspective people in the UK actually
pay the lowest fees.

In this market, good advice makes a difference and can save the
client even more than it may have in the easy times when everyone is
trying to lend at ridiculous rates.

It was also mooted that some lenders may be looking at products that do
not pay a proc fee. If a broker is not used to charging a
professional fee, it is harder to change, and thus harder to make a
decent living so the temptation – to the more unscrupulous
broker – is to avoid recommending these products which may be more
beneficial to a client.

Being able to charge a fee helps to keep brokers truly independent.

It was also refreshing to hear that Countrywide themselves have begun to
see some green shoots, especially in that over the last seven weeks
transactions have not decreased.

While I still believe house prices may have a little more to go in their fall, I think we may be close to the equilibrium point. Once this is reached, and confidence returns to the market, I agree that the housing market itself will begin to drag us back out again – albeit slowly and surely.


A fine time for us to go our own way

When faced with a problem our government has never been dynamic or renowned as a provider of innovative solutions. And while the grey men at Westminster dither over how best to solve the liquidity crisis strangling the market, the rest of us are wondering whether what they come up with will be too little, too late.

BM to offer exclusive packager range

Nigel Payne, managing director of BM Solutions is set to reclaim his title as “friend to the packager,” by boosting proc fees and launching an exclusive product range for packagers. Some packagers feared morphing The Mortgage Business brand into the BM one would spell the end for packager friendly products. Products such as TMB’s House […]

Name Shame

Last week The Sun tracked down Freddie Mackie – nicknamed Freddie Mac – in Glasgow and Fannie May – a vowel short of Fannie Mae – amid the dreaming spires of Cambridge.


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