Mark Dyason (pictured) is managing director of Thistle Finance
As we work our way through the final quarter of 2017, many of you will start looking ahead to a new year and the opportunities it will hopefully bring.
It’s always as the nights draw in that you start thinking about what you can do next year to improve your product offering, business and bottom line. In short, where is the wind blowing?
For me, the wind is blowing in multiple directions right now, but that’s no bad thing. As I see it, current market and economic conditions offer an unrivalled opportunity for brokers.
With interest rates expected to start rising either next month or early 2018, the role of brokers in helping to arrange term mortgages will become even more important.
For the first time in a decade, borrowers are staring down the barrel of an interest rate cycle that is set to move against them and brokers will be key in helping them manage that.
The fact that 21 lenders have increased their rates since mid-September alone, according to Moneyfacts, gives an idea of where we are headed — and an insight into how important brokers will be.
But while demand for broker expertise on term mortgages will soar as rates edge up, it’s already surging on the specialist lending side. And looking ahead there’s no sign of a let-up.
It’s no exaggeration to say that specialist lending — from bridging and commercial loans to development finance and second charges — has come into its own in recent years, lifted by the rising tide (and ever-improving image) of alternative finance.
Not only have rates and fees come down across the board, making these products more viable for your clients, but transparency, standards and service levels have all gone up — making them considerably more palatable.
Second charges in particular are receiving more interest from brokers as their clients are less likely to want to jeopardise the extremely low rates they’re on if they need a cash injection.
It’s another laboured pun, I know, but we’re arguably seeing the second major dawn within the seconds market.
Against this backdrop, providing your clients with access to specialist finance solutions is not only a huge value-add for them but a differentiator for your business, too. You’ve got everything covered.
Oh, and as well as offering an end-to-end proposition, you’ll also see your income go north — and that, as we all know, is never a bad thing.