"A large swathe of our business is first-time buyers and it’s still an active market. I think borrowers just need to adjust their expectations as to what they can afford."
FR: Tell us a little about your role at Mansfield Building Society.
My role at Mansfield Building Society is intermediary sales manager. Day-to-day, I look after both the BDM and broker support team as well as managing our key relationships with mortgage clubs, networks and packagers.
FR: What types of business are you seeing at the moment?
We are currently seeing real interest in our Versatility range which covers more quirky circumstances such as applicants purchasing unusual property, have complex income streams or historic adverse credit.
At Mansfield Building Society, we offer a broad proposition which spans first-time buyers, next-time buyers, remortgages, those looking for later life lending, self-builders as well as those seeking specialist buy-to-let solutions.
FR: Why should a broker consider working with a regional mutual building society to place cases for their clients?
It is often easy to overlook smaller lenders, who perhaps the public aren’t as familiar with when the market is so chaotic. Lenders like Mansfield Building Society offer a fantastic common-sense approach to lending, we don’t credit score and we proactively look for ways to provide the appropriate service for the clients.
FR: What can regional mutual building societies offer that specialist lenders can’t?
As a lender that underwrites cases individually, we take the time to understand each customer and the details of their application. One of our strengths therefore lies in the approach to manual underwriting and layering of risk. Whilst some specialist lenders may have criteria, they are famous for, such as adverse credit. Our ability to overlay that complication with others, such as interest only with downsizing or clients with complex income structures enables us to strategically capitalise on our strengths.
FR: What do you think will be notable areas of market growth in the next 12 months?
I anticipate a growing trend in specialist lending that will extend beyond the upcoming year. I believe in coming decade; it will emerge as the prevailing norm.
Borrowers’ circumstances are growing ever more complex. The cost of living has hit a lot of people very hard. As a result of that we are likely to see people missing payments, taking on second or even third jobs to maximise income as well as people looking to take their mortgage into retirement.
FR: Do you have any tips for brokers to help them navigate the next few months?
My advice would be to keep in touch with your clients as much as possible and keep understanding their needs. A large swathe of our business is first-time buyers and it’s still an active market. I think borrowers just need to adjust their expectations as to what they can afford.
My final tip would be to get to know lenders' BDMs and sales teams, they’ll work with you to get cases over line and are your best support when it comes to quirky criteria.