Tom Savil

If advisers are not constantly expanding their knowledge, they are instantly at a disadvantage

2020 has been a rollercoaster for all businesses and, for brokers, it has been vital to adapt to the changing environment and stay on top of the bridging and commercial market.

p>Lender appetite abruptly changed as a result of the pandemic and navigating the market has been a challenge for everyone. Knowledge sharing and communication has been central to this, with the timing and speed of information being an important factor for keeping everyone up to date. As a broker, understanding and monitoring these changes has been crucial so that we can correctly advise our clients on suitable funding options, whatever their circumstances. 

Looking forward, there is a sense of optimism and a positive outlook, especially with the roll out of the vaccine which has already bolstered confidence and certainty in the market. We have seen more opportunistic lenders entering the market from Europe and the US towards the end of 2020, and we expect to see that continue this year. 

Lenders able to provide unique funding parameters will suit certain types of developers and investors looking to think outside the box, whether that be through higher leverage or lending on a preferred asset type. Repositioning of retail assets may start to become more desirable for investors due to relaxed PD rights, and lenders may bring specific lending products to that market to suit these changes. This is just an example, but the broking market is becoming more and more competitive, so if advisers are not constantly expanding their knowledge on the market, they are instantly at a disadvantage when it comes to giving their clients the best possible financial advice.

Good advisers know what to look for when structuring deals. They can add value to both the client and lender by understanding every aspect of a deal and knowing which lenders are best suited to that particular client. They add that additional layer of protection and underwriting even before approaching a lender and will sometimes advise the client to restructure the deal prior so that they only approach the lenders that are suitable, saving time for all parties involved. 

Remaining impartial at all times is a key part of the value financial advisers are able to offer clients, always seeking the best deal available within the whole lending market. From the lenders’ perspective, advisers should aim to build rapport so that when it is time to discuss lending options, they knows the proposition is an opportunity worth their time and that the broker is able to competently relay any requirements back to the client.

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