The art of conversation is a much-needed skill in an uncertain market
Ashley Pearson, National BDM at The Loughborough for Intermediaries
In an ever-changing marketplace, the need for clear, strong and timely lines of communication has never been more crucial.
Fluctuations in the global money markets combined with 12 consecutive interest rates hikes and rising levels of inflation have created an environment of uncertainty over recent months. This led to volatility in terms of product changes and repricing throughout the mortgage market which has since translated into a new, and somewhat unfamiliar for many, higher interest rate environment. And this is an environment where additional affordability constraints mean that securing a mortgage may not be as easy for some borrowers as it may have been in the past.
Thankfully, we’re now operating in a far more stable economic climate but this period does demonstrate how tough it can be for advisers to stay on top of things in a market which is in a constant state of flux. This is where good old-fashioned values such as strong relationships, face-to-face contact and the art of conversation can really come into their own as the broker-lender relationships play an even more prominent role.
As a smaller specialist lender who individually underwrites each and every application we receive, we’ve always valued the ability to speak directly to brokers when and where we can. Maintaining this regular contact helps us to overcome any barriers they may be encountering when trying to place business – whether this is from a product, criteria, underwriting or service perspective. Or any combination of these factors. It also helps shape our proposition moving forward to deliver suitable product solutions to address clients ever-shifting demands as we, like many specialist lenders, have the appetite, capability and flexibility to implement change relatively quickly.
This level of personal contact also helps to build trust between the lender and the broker as it creates a sense of reliability and understanding that there’s someone on the end of the phone who can deal with any queries quickly and effectively when questions need to be raised. This matters more now than ever given the increasingly complex times we’re all facing.
Being able to have these frank, open and engaging conversations is vital. It lets us dig a little deeper, bounce around ideas and find ways to improve their experience. Even putting us in a position to offer an alternative solution that the broker may not have previously considered or indeed for another case that may have been sitting on their desk for a while. An experience that might otherwise be lost without these kinds of direct communications.
Here, at The Loughborough, we pride ourselves on the fact that our team of experienced BDMs have solid and longstanding relationships with brokers that have been built up over many years of working in the industry. Many of our BDMs and the support team are also former brokers who are CeMAP qualified, so they understand the market fully and know how to navigate the tougher times.
Conversation remains an integral part of this process and retaining this important art form can help us all navigate the many challenges that will continue to emerge for a variety of borrowers and allow us to develop and deliver the right solutions going forward.