"Confidence in the market has steadily been building over the last year and the latest election result has provided a level of stability."
We spoke to Elise Coole, chief operating officer of Keystone Property Finance, about how complex buy-to-let can be simplified for both intermediaries and their landlord clients and why we can expect to see a busy buy-to-let sector in 2020.
FR: You recently became chief operating officer at Keystone, what does your role involve and what does a typical day look like?
I am responsible for driving Keystone’s proposition, building external relationships, holding credit committee meetings and expanding the company’s specialist buy to let products and services.
I work closely with David Whittaker, our chief executive officer, and the senior management team to ensure the business and broker needs are met. Understanding all aspects of the business is key when it comes to ensuring the day-to-day runs smoothly, and it also helps me to identify the areas in which we can further enhance our offering.
FR: What are Keystone’s main aims or focuses in 2020? Do you have any exciting news or plans you can tell us about?
Keystone had a great year in 2019 - our team grew from 14 to 55 employees over the year, with appointments across the pre-offer, post-offer and sales divisions. Over 2020, we plan to build on that growth and continue to train our expert teams. Our goals are to ensure our brokers are receiving the latest industry knowledge, the traditional high street lenders are challenged, and complex buy-to-let mortgages are simplified for both intermediaries and their landlord clients.
FR: What trends do you expect to see within the buy-to-let market in 2020?
Confidence in the market has steadily been building over the last year and the latest election result has provided a level of stability. We believe brokers play a key part in helping landlords regain confidence, so we want to champion the work of brokers who help keep the BTL market moving and improving. Therefore, we can expect to see a busy BTL sector in 2020.
As the buy-to-let tax relief is set to end in 2021, we also expect to see a rise in specialist buy-to-lets through limited companies. More and more brokers and customers are seeing the benefits, such as improved tax efficiencies and planning, and we expect this to be a big trend in 2020.
FR: Financial Reporter recently held its second Women’s Recognition Awards, what changes would you still like to see in the industry and what advice would you give to someone starting out in financial services?
The financial services industry has changed positively since I first joined and its fantastic to see initiatives and awards which recognise diversity in the industry. I have always believed in hiring the best person for the job so ensuring the are more points of entry for young people starting out in their careers would be a great step in the right direction.
The best advice I have is to focus on yourself and build a support network around you. A successful career is the outcome of whatever you put into it and having connections that can help guide, inspire and keep you motivated is extremely important.
FR: If you could see one headline about the buy-to-let market in 2020, what would it be?
Following on from my market predictions I would expect and like to see more headlines surrounding the rise in limited company purchases, ‘BTL lenders see a further rise in limited company purchases’