"Broker relationships are fundamental to being a successful lender": Keith Campsie, TML

We spoke to Keith Campsie, business development manager at The Mortgage Lender, about the restructure of TML's sales team, how brokers can best support customers in their journey to home ownership, and opportunities in the specialist buy-to-let market in 2024.

Related topics:  In The Spotlight,  Mortgages
Rozi Jones | Editor, Barcadia Media Limited
17th May 2024
Keith Campsie TML
"Brokers have a massive role to play in educating their customers and managing their expectations by finding out what customers' priorities are."

FR: What does your role at The Mortgage Lender entail?

I’m a business development manager at TML, responsible for managing relationships with broker firms for the Central London area. A key part of that is understanding brokers and their business, which means delving into any challenges they may be facing and providing insight into how a lender like TML can support them in solving any issues and achieving the desired customer outcomes.

This can come in the form of new residential products and propositions we offer to address specific issues, like our recently launched large loan and interest-only proposition which is ideal for borrowers looking for a loan over £500,000 to have, or part, of their mortgage on interest-only, to suit their lifestyle and future plans. Similarly, our new 90% LTV and shared ownership purchase product launches are aimed at providing more options for customers with smaller deposits looking to get a footing on the property ladder. There is a lot of new stuff, which is great and certainly gives me even more to talk about when it comes to ways TML can be that lender of choice.

FR: TML has recently restructured its sales team, what does this mean for the business?

Primarily, the restructure means we have more people in the right places. We’re able to work more closely with our wider distribution partners and forge closer relationships with them. It also means, with the introduction of a portfolio key account manager role, that we have a specialist resource to further support brokers working with portfolio landlords. This enhances the customer and broker experience with TML, as well as further develops our proposition in this space.

FR: Why are broker relationships so crucial for lenders?

Broker relationships are fundamental to being a successful lender. It’s important that we listen to what our broker partners are saying, but also that we are clear and concise in our communications. Whether that’s the information I am giving as their BDM, all the way to ensuring we give adequate notice of rate changes. It’s vital that there is a customer focus on everything we do.

We want to be a lender that brokers associate not only with great criteria and a variety of options for them and their customers, but also one they can trust and rely on. The feedback I regularly receive is that there are no simple mortgage applications for brokers to place, so it’s key that they have a point of contact with specialist lenders that they can use as a sounding board to chat through the ‘wrinkle’ in their client's circumstances whether that’s property, income or even credit related.

FR: As the cost of living continues to rumble on, how can brokers and lenders best support end-customers in their journey to home ownership?

There’s no doubt that the cost of living has impacted borrowers’ pockets and affordability, which has meant that people have either delayed purchasing the property they want or have revised their plans based on what they think they can borrow.

Brokers have a massive role to play in educating their customers and managing their expectations by finding out what customers' priorities are. For example, for those who want to maximize what they can borrow, it’s imperative that brokers understand which lenders and what lending solutions there are to amplify the income being considered for affordability.

In turn, lenders like ourselves can then consider using all of the clients' variable income such as bonus, overtime, or commission payments. We can even support self-employed clients who are limited company directors by taking their share of the profit before corporation tax is deducted.

This may mean looking further afield with regards to which lenders are considered, but this could be the difference between the customer achieving what they want, and walking away.

FR: Where do you see the opportunity for specialist lenders this year?

The role of specialists in the market, and the perception of who is a specialist customer has definitely changed over recent years.

Affordability continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing the UK housing market, especially in the Central London area that I manage, and there will be an increasing need for affordability solutions that can’t be satisfied by traditional lenders. A prime example of this is the variety of ways self-employed customers are assessed, with a range of income combinations being considered. The same customers may get very different affordability results depending on where their broker places them, so for a lender like TML who will consider aspects like using net profit before tax, plus directors' salary for limited company directors, there is a real opportunity for us to support brokers in this market. The same applies to complex income, with more and more people having additional income and/or multiple income streams. It’s important that brokers understand which lenders can best support these types of customers.

When we consider increased stamp duty, less favourable tax rules for individuals, and a higher interest rate environment to what we have known for the past several years, it’s safe to say that the buy-to-let market has become more complex, and more reliant on specialist lenders like TML to provide solutions. We’ve already seen this in recent cases where landlords are looking to set up or expand their limited company buy-to-let investments, or are looking at higher-yielding properties like HMOs and MUBs or holiday lets. As a result, I think this is an area where specialist lending will likely see its footprint increase, and I look forward to helping more and more brokers support their customers in these markets.

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