by Jason James, Corporate Account Manager
Since the start of the year , many lenders have had to keep adjusting their products as Bank of England Interest Rate rises have put pressure on the costs of capital.
Despite the impact these necessary product adjustments may have caused, the demand for Buy-to-Let mortgages has remained constant.
Indeed in recent weeks more and more brokers have been reaching out to us for Buy-to-Let deals because the ambition of the landlord to maintain and or to grow their Buy-to-Let portfolio, along with the need for quality housing, remains.
Remember as well, 2022 was always going to be a big year for remortgage business and that is continuing even if new acquisitions slow.
In this climate, here is why brokers will be looking to service first this winter.
Brokers paying less attention to rate
As rate changes have become an increasingly regular part of the Buy-to-Let space, brokers and clients have moved away from solely securing the headline rates and are looking to lenders who can assist with criteria and service delivery. .
Where they are looking at rate, it is in the longer-term 7- and 10-year fixes being considered in order to manage long-term uncertainty. Or with greener incentives offering better value for properties with higher EPC ratings.
Overall though, we’re finding less of our conversations are about the cost of the deal and more about a lenders’ ability to get the deal done, be it through criteria or – crucially – a reliable service.
Staying on top of service
Many established lenders have been temporarily withdrawing from the market over the past few months, some with the aim to protect their service levels while others manage the changes in the cost of funding, and that can leave brokers and their ambitious landlords wary about where to go for their next deals.
This has put a premium on reliability and speed of service as brokers want to know that their client deals can be done, especially before any further market fluctuations, and the lender will see it through.
Throughout the summer we both continued lending and invested in growing our underwriting resource, spent time and effort in reducing and maintaining our Buy-to-Let SLAs at a 1-day turnaround for our key metrics.
Expertise will become more important
Our approach has always been to connect brokers with the right expert, at the right stage of their deal and empower them with the best behind the scenes technology to make the deal smooth.
We recognised earlier this year that we wanted to expand this function to continue reliably delivering deals at the right pace. Investing in underwriters and case managers – both in their training and in recruiting more – means brokers always have someone they can talk to about the progress of their deal.
Many brokers and landlords aren’t necessarily looking at headline rate but are becoming increasingly focussed on consistency, reliability and acting quickly in order to manage their clients’ portfolio. In the current environment, making everything slicker is increasingly important.
Giving brokers the tools to do this is important. Whether that is technology throughout the process that they can use to speed things up, simply having someone available to discuss enquiries, or having greater choice at the legal stage.
Our recent partnership with Smoove gives brokers and their clients more choice, in more places across the country to help speed up and simplify their legal process and requirements.