Historically speaking, it’s fair to say that specialist distributors didn’t have the easiest of times in the post-credit crunch era. However, like any good, professional service provider, we have evolved and upped our game to meet the changing needs of the modern mortgage market.
The re-emergence of specialist lending has played a major role within this rise back to prominence. This has led to increased demand from the intermediary market, with many brokers looking to bolster their offerings across many niche sectors. And the first port of call in this journey has been building relationships with specialist distributors.
What are the benefits of working with specialist distributors?
The key for us has always revolved around the ability to understand exactly what a variety of lenders are looking for and how best to present often complicated borrowing scenarios to them. Specialist distributors act as a sourcing system in their own right but also have a full understanding of individual lending criteria to ensure that even the most complex cases can find the right solutions. And packaging cases in the right way means improved acceptance percentages by lenders, more DIPs being approved and higher conversion rates to offer.
The aim of all specialist distributors is to align themselves with lenders who provide a set of competitively priced, well-serviced, responsible financial solutions which can benefit an array of borrowing scenarios, address challenges across the lending spectrum and support the needs of intermediary partners/introducers.
Over the years we have forged close relationships with a variety of specialist lenders across many niche areas. And a strong lending panel sits at the heart of our business. Panels, partnerships and strategic alliances are integral in building any successful business, whether this be a lender, specialist distributor or intermediary firm and they will remain so for the foreseeable future.
Building a comprehensive lending panel is an ongoing task as new entrants will always emerge. However, before they are added to any panel, specialist distributors have to ensure that these lenders demonstrate the highest service standards, competitive product ranges, flexible criteria and are backed by robust funding lines
Every lender has their own specific product and criteria traits. And with lenders constantly changing their propositions, this highlights the importance of an effective engagement/communications process and strong relationships across all areas of the business. Relationships which need to be constantly revisited to ensure they remain beneficial to all parties in this chain.
It’s also a fact that many lenders are looking to only deal directly with specialist distributors to ensure cases are packaged in the right way, and correctly fit their criteria. From the other direction, we – as an industry – need to find ways to better educate and support intermediary partners/introducers in identifying the circumstances, property types and clientele which might benefit from a range of specialist lending scenarios. Not to mention ensuring that they choose the correct specialist route for their clients and their business.
So, in summary – a good specialist distributor should tick these boxes:
- Offer a forensic understanding of the specialist markets, providing access to special rates, products, dedicated case managers and in-house underwriters
- Not directly contact clients during or after the case in question, unless specifically instructed to by the introducer
- Pick up the work burden by taking over the processing of the case to free up more time for advisers to focus on their core business
- Add real value to any broker, in terms of being an outlet to generate additional business and help establish stronger client retention
If you are considering working with a specialist distributor, or already working with one, then these tick boxes should all be completed before referring your business to them. By undertaking sufficient due diligence, you will ensure that your clients have access to the right advice and a range of alternative lending solutions which will help safeguard your relationship with them, and secure future business.
Steve Swyny, Head of Sales at F4B