The importance of rates and technology: previewing 2022 with Sales Director Leanne Smith
As the sales director for our internal BDM team, Leanne Smith’s team has been well placed to observe the market for the past 12 months, seeing the trends and challenges and then seeing how LendInvest can best respond.
Here Leanne looks back on the last 12 months and looks ahead to what’s next for the team in 2022.
What were the market challenges for you and your team?
Across bridging and Buy-to-Let this year was defined by ever-shifting rates as lenders looked to offer brokers the best deal possible for their clients.
We have remained competitive throughout, continuing to offer brokers the market-leading products they expect across bridging, development and BTL, but also being a proactive lender who understands and supports broker needs.
We have continued to implement technology across all products to increase enquiries and applications while supporting our team to run more efficiently through to completion.
What were the successes?
Our broker portals have been filled with new tech on both the application end and the back end for our ops team, to ensure quick enquiry turn arounds, instant terms and then a fast deal once the paperless application progresses.
We’ve also continued to expand our reach in the market. Our new refurbishment finance product offers the high-LTV finance we found the market was crying out for, on top of our new products which encourage energy-efficiency. This also helps fill out our product suite, meaning borrowers can stay with us throughout the lifetime of their product with cheaper fees when transitioning.
What is the thing you are most proud of?
The increased adoption of our bridging portal shows a real appetite for technology-enabled lending and that we are meeting what our brokers have come to expect.
We’re seeing more enquiries and apps through the portal, while our Buy-to-Let product has continued to grow year-on-year, with record volumes coming through towards the end of the year.
Looking ahead to 2022 –
What do you expect the market to look like in 2022?
Despite not going into a full lockdown since early 2020, Covid will continue to loom large over the market as brokers, borrowers and homeowners continue to adapt.
Around that though, much of the landscape will continue on the needs and trends of this year. Energy efficiency and green products will be on the top of the agenda for developers, bridging investors and landlords with EPC ratings needing to be a C in all new tenancies by 2025, and in all tenancies by 2028.
We will continue to operate in this space by incentivising landlords to invest in green properties and supporting developers and refurbishment investors to continue upgrading their properties.
A potential slow down in the selling market will lead to developers or bridging investors retaining stock for Buy-to-Let investments and continue to put more emphasis on bridge-to-let and refurbishment products, where we’ll continue to support keeping the costs down throughout transitions.
Opportunities in Central London should begin to grow again for both residential and commercial needs, although the rental landscape is still changing.
Supporting young professionals and FTB next year will be key such as HMOs with good amenities and affordable first homes.
What might the challenges be?
If the rate race continues, the emphasis will be on all lenders to continue offering the best for their clients, and then finding ways to distinguish themselves with service in the market.
Lenders have to be flexible around any potential supply chain problems, and the impact of high volumes on legal and valuers and ensure they have the capacity to deal with it.
What’s one thing you hope to achieve?
To continue expanding our place in the market with new products launching early in the year, and making accessing all of our products much easier through technology and growing out the portal.