Do your own research – and beat the sourcing system
Gemma Harle is managing director of TenetLime
It is fair to say that lenders have recently become a lot more creative, with a trickle of innovative new products brought to market – and they are to be commended for that.
But sadly, such progressive steps are very often negated by their conspicuous absence on the major sourcing systems, which play a vital role for both brokers and consumers.
As an industry, we are heavily reliant on them, but in too many cases they are not up to the task. Features which distinguish certain lenders from others, such as stamp duty concessions or those who work on affordability rather than income multipliers, are often not factored-in.
Suffice to say, the main providers of sourcing systems need to get their act together. As it stands, they are not wholly fit for purpose.
That means that the brokers who rely on them, shouldn’t be doing so. At present, they’re an incomplete resource, as the filtering causes certain products to be excluded.
Paradoxically however, the value people place on them is completely disproportionate. Indeed, some brokers will not recommend a product if a sourcing system does not list it.
Such nervousness completely devalues the important role a broker performs and plays right into the hands of comparison sites.
Brokers need to remember that sourcing systems are just another tool. They should not be over-reliant, or allow themselves to lose business in such a casual manner.
The overall market is becoming distinctly more niched and an increasing number of products cannot be systemised, which means good brokers have to continually refresh their market intelligence.
Regular research and analysis will enable brokers to document the reasons why certain selections are not available at the top of the system and justify their recommendation – as they may well have distinct advantages over those which are.
Attention to such detail need not be arduous. Read up, maintain your CPD and liaise with lenders. Doing so will enable you to add value and increase revenue and profitability.
At the same time, the main sourcing systems need to be more supportive of innovation and keep pace with industry demands and developments.