Is this the bus to Positive Street?

By Bridging Loan Directory -

Industry expert, Lea Karasavvas, shares his thoughts and opinion in the “Secret Diary of a Mortgage Broker”.

Is this the bus to Positive Street?

I woke up this morning feeling very uninspired, a little down and struggling to find the motivation I needed to get up and get on with things. After a week that involved true tragedy, one that the nation as a whole will struggle to find an answer to (Gary Speed RIP), I was somewhat perturbed by News At Ten’s attempt to throw the entire UK into a new depression with stat after stat about economic doom and gloom, unemployment rising, and recession being what we can look forward to in 2012. With all this going on, getting to Swiss Cottage for Precise Mortgages Bus Tour was low on my priorities. However, having made the commitment, I turned up out of respect for the organisers.

I was glad I did.

Those of you reading this not in the industry may not even know who Precise Mortgages are, but they are a heavily backed mortgage lender that lends to the mortgage intermediary only. Many have asked why I am such an advocate of them as a lender as they will be the first to admit that right now I give very little business to them. The reason being that at present, my client profile does not fit with their current business model. However I have every confidence that this will change next year as they go from strength to strength. The reason I sing their praises so much is that they are doing all they can to help the mortgage broker and the intermediary market. At a time when unity is really important in the economy, Precise Mortgages are supporting us to try and explain the importance of a broker and the independence we can provide to the public when they need it most. They are challenging the issues of dual pricing and asking banks some very awkward questions.

For that alone, I am thankful to them. However the Precise Mortgages Bus Tour gave us a little more. The innovative idea of driving a Route Master bus all over the UK giving seminars and presentations on how we can grow our business, and how we can make a better living for ourselves was something that has to be applauded. I see no other lender out there reaching out a hand of support as much as Precise Mortgages are doing now. 80% of their seminar had nothing to do with Precise Mortgages offering to us, just ways in which we can help ourselves and our clients.

After discovering that mulled wine tastes just as nice at 1020am as it does at 1020pm, the seminar began with the Mortgage Industries very own stand up comedian Roger Morris taking the floor.Roger has one of those “Leslie Neilsen” faces from Naked Gun. By that I mean that you look at Roger and you laugh simply at the expectation of what “funny” he will come up with next. He didn’t disappoint. As always he had me laughing, which was an achievement in itself given the “downer” I had been on. But as well as making me chuckle, Roger had true gems of ideas for business generation. Innovative ideas that 13 years in the industry I had never even thought of. Every negative, Roger had a positive for and the positivity that it instilled in me was welcome. There is a reason why Roger is Head of Sales.

My only disappointment was the lack of numbers. The list of confirmed attendees was long. The list of no shows was also. Here we had a lender looking to assist and help us in the current climate, go that extra mile to give support to us as an “Intermediary Only” lender, and help us they did. But the support for them was not what it deserved. For those that missed it, I can only say it was their loss. But their loss will be my gain, as I am armed with ideas that can now help my clients and also help me.

It is refreshing in such a negative week to find that there are some out there full of positivity. Full of eagerness and motivation to go from strength to strength. Over the last 18 months many in the mortgage industry have simply fallen on their swords and accepted defeat. But as I have often bleated on about, if we unite in this industry, with lenders, with surveyors and even with the competition, we will soon find ourselves in a more positive position, and we will find a way out of the economic crisis we find ourselves in. I have found that many in this industry “think” they have nothing left to learn. The role of a broker is changing and as brokers we are always on a steep learning curve, even when we think we have nothing left to learn. The truth is, whatever your profession, whatever your position within a company, you will ALWAYS be learning and the day you think you have nothing left to learn, is the day you should retire because you have become too arrogant to grow any further.

Thanks for cheering me up Precise.

Thanks for the innovation and most importantly…

…thanks for the mulled wine.

Now, where is that Yellow Pages.

Lea