Beth Fisher

Editor's letter: Get ready to be inspired

This time last year, we wouldn’t have even considered the possibility and subsequent challenges of a national lockdown — let alone three of them.

However, this latest one proves that, as time moves on, people adapt. In a feature B&C published in early January, the bridging industry responded optimistically to the current situation, with many announcing that they were returning to the protocols previously adopted and utilised so well during 2020, and maintaining the momentum that the property market experienced towards the end the year. Notwithstanding, the associated administrative disruption expected to further accentuate the bottleneck of applications in the run up to the stamp duty holiday deadline, in addition to lenders continuing to be cautious in their approaches — and rightly so — it’s more important than ever for brokers to grasp who and what is available to assist them with their cases. 

Consequently, tools like Knowledge Bank — which we crowned 2020’s best performing BDM — will continue to be increasingly useful for intermediaries as lending gaps swell and contract in accordance with risk appetite linked to the macro economy and environment. It is also arguably the best time for a bridging and commercial finance comparison site to arrive on the scene. Propp’s mission is to improve choice, costs and timescales for borrowers, while raising the bar for the benefit of brokers and lenders alike, in a bid to drive the market into a new age of transparency. I am interested to hear what you think of our conversation with its creators.

One sector that many brokers have been clambering to find funding solutions for is the semi-commercial space. We investigate why the demand for this asset class has risen, the confusion caused by the various affordability assessments, and which lenders are truly showing their support for these deals.

After a trying year, we look at the ways in which businesses can help rebuild our industry—starting with boosting the routes into it. We speak to graduates and trainees in our sector about what they are learning and enjoying, and how their input is helping to progress the companies they are in. We also discuss what is changing in our recruitment practices and how Covid-19 isn’t solely to blame for some of the greatest challenges in attracting and retaining talent.

There is plenty to inspire you in the latest issue of Bridging & Commercial Magazine (if you ever wondered what it’s like to kayak in the Arctic, for example) and our second annual Power List is the star. We were inundated with heartfelt nominations (one person who made the list had almost 20 different recommendations from his peers) and it was incredibly difficult to pick the final 40 (we were toying with the idea of a top 60, but why stop there? Why not 100?! We loved them all — and we only have so many column inches. Hours were spent reading, in awe of their achievements (big and small); they really made a difference to their colleagues and the wider industry during the toughest period most of us are ever likely to withstand. Each and every one of them went above and beyond during 2020 and will be integral to the market’s recovery and growth this year.

This is why I think there is so much optimism among us now. In the face of everything, we pull up our socks and venture on — nothing short of triumphant. 

Read the Jan/Feb issue of the Bridging & Commercial Magazine here.

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