A lot can happen in 24 hours in the world of UK mortgages and this year has seen more than its fair share of confusion and upheaval. Rates rocketing, products added and withdrawn within the blink of an eye, and affordability worries for many borrowers coming off low-cost fixed rate mortgages. It’s all that brokers can do to just about stay abreast of the many changes, let alone manage their business and clients too. What has become clear in 2023 is just how crucial the broker-lender relationship is to achieving success for borrowers at a time when everything is in flux.
It wasn’t long ago that the majority of lending decisions were fairly straightforward. 14 or so years of low fixed rate loans meant that most borrowers met the standard lending criteria to secure a mortgage that was right for them. But, with affordability becoming more of a stretch in 2023, brokers are finding that fewer clients are meeting that criteria and so brokers are having to think beyond high street lenders to specialist lenders when it comes to finding a mortgage. In addition, the cost of living crisis has had an impact on some people being able to meet their current financial responsibilities. It’s easily done – all it takes is a missed credit card payment or a late mortgage instalment, and a client can find themselves facing a less than rosy credit score resulting in them falling outside of the usual standard lending criteria into the ‘adverse credit’ bracket.
In such situations, brokers are a vital lifeline, offering the borrower hope of a solution whilst presenting lenders with all the essentials they need to be able to assess the client accurately with the aim of securing a mortgage. A broker who takes on such a borrower, one that has been turned away by lenders due to financially tricky times, and who manages to negotiate a mortgage for them, will probably have gained a client for life.
Sounds simple? In reality, the key to success for such borrowers is a strong broker-lender relationship. A broker who has developed a long and trusted relationship with a lender can more effectively collaborate on terms and rates, working together to secure the most appropriate lending solution for their client. In addition, for lenders, a close rapport with brokers boosts the quality and quantity of incoming business. Ultimately, both parties want to secure the best outcome for everyone – the mortgage for the client, and the business (hopefully long-term) for the broker and lender.
Since the advent of COVID-19, the move to conduct relationships virtually has accelerated significantly, and the mortgage market is no exception. Advancements in mortgage technology have been a key facilitator in helping brokers and lenders to connect not just face to face (or on the phone) but now at the instant touch of a button.
System integration that streamlines communication between brokers and lenders, reduces errors, and speeds up the mortgage process has been beneficial to both parties. A broker-lender relationship that is underpinned by seamless technological integration, is crucial for the mortgage industry’s progression and client happiness.
System integration that streamlines communication between brokers and lenders, reduces errors, and speeds up the mortgage process has been beneficial to both parties
At Mortgage Brain, our intention has been to develop systems that connect brokers and lenders seamlessly for the benefit of the end client. Such integration has led to the smooth transference of data, reducing the need for manual input and rekeying of information, and lowering the potential for mistakes – a win-win for both brokers and lenders. The ultimate best practice will be to create a wholly unified cloud-based system with real-time data sharing, which is adopted by both parties, for product and criteria searches, applications and underwriting, enhancing data authenticity, CRM purposes, and completing the client’s mortgage approval speedily.
In our experience, a strong broker-lender relationship supported by technology provides borrowers with a more efficient and reliable service. Through mutually-adopted, integrated mortgage systems, brokers gain insights into the most up-to-date lending criteria and product information provided by lenders, allowing them to offer the best advice possible. And from the lender’s perspective, having access to precise and timely client data, input by brokers, is invaluable for better risk assessment and decision-making. Integration also reduces the time it takes to process loan applications, allowing brokers and lenders to serve a greater number of clients effectively. Enhanced client satisfaction, shorter processing times, and an energised mortgage market are the results of successful broker-lender relationships fortified by powerful technological infrastructure.
In short, a successful broker-relationship is one that puts client-focused outcomes at its heart, and this has never been more important than it is at this moment in time when greater numbers are struggling to find a mortgage that’s affordable and meets their needs. But, the metaphorical cherry on the top is the mortgage technology and system integration which underpins it all. It is a fundamental element in an industry where excellence in client service is the benchmark, particularly since the introduction of Consumer Duty regulations, and the capacity to adapt and innovate drives cohesion, efficiencies, and success.