"As far as they are concerned it is all about transparency, choice and communication. Fortunately, these are features which we have built our proposition around."
The response from the intermediary community to our return to the market has been overwhelming. In this time we’ve spoken to many brokers who have a great affinity with the brand from bygone days, those who recognise the brand but were not around to use it previously and also those who are relatively new to the industry who were unfamiliar with our history.
All these brokers have individual experiences of the past and present mortgage market and from dealing with a host of lenders over differing time periods. However, the message has largely been the same when it comes to their current wants and needs from any lender, new or established. As far as they are concerned it is all about transparency, choice and communication. Fortunately, these are features which we have built our proposition around.
For example, when it comes to transparency, we don’t add any margin on valuation fees. Meaning the true cost is always passed onto the borrower.
We have also partnered with Lender Exchange, so that landlords and brokers have choice when it comes to the conveyancers they wish to use and are not limited to a select panel, many of whom may charge higher fees than average.
From a communication perspective, our BDMs are vastly experienced, not only across specialist buy-to-let lending. The significant investment made in developing our technology platform highlights that we are a lender looking to the future and one which remains committed to an intermediary market which has coped well over the past year. And where confidence levels continue to grow.
Q1 research from IMLA showed that advisers’ confidence in the mortgage industry has recovered to levels not seen since before the start of the pandemic, with 96% of intermediaries now reported to be confident about its future. The report also recorded a 14% increase in the average annual number of cases handled by intermediaries between Q4 2020 (78) and Q1 2021 (89). This quarter, the business mix (the proportion of cases relating to different mortgage types) remained stable. Two thirds (66%) of cases handled by advisers were for residential mortgages, a further 28% related to buy-to-let customers, and 6% were specialist. However, the average number of DIPs processed by advisers increased from 25 to 28 between the final three months of 2020 and Q1 2021. The conversion rate from DIP to completion also increased quarter-on-quarter to 43% in Q1 21 compared to 34% in Q4 20.
These represent some encouraging figures and with almost a third of advisers’ business coming from the buy-to-let sector, this also denotes its mounting importance and how vital these three words - transparency, choice and communication will continue to be for the intermediary market going forward.