Editor's update:Dressing up a bridge

Editor's update:Dressing up a bridge


With less than one week until the Bridging & Commercial Awards 2011, there is an air of panic in the office. The venue, the trophies, and all of the performers are in place and the judging panel have now made their final decisions and selected the recipients for the 13 prestigious awards. All in all, the day is set to be a resounding success. There is though, one outstanding preparation which is giving the females in our office a constant headache: the dreaded dress!

Trying to find an outfit for a black tie event is never an easy feat, but in this instance, the task has been made more difficult than ever by the recent opening of the summer sales.

In principle, three weeks of reduced couture and half price stilettos sounds fantastic. In reality though, the dresses we saw advertised online are sold out, there is only one size left in each item, and all five floors of Selfridges are filled to the brim with mad shoppers, frustrated salesmen and disorganised rails of last season’s unwanted clothes.

It’s at times like this that I would gladly spend a little more to have the perfect LBD (little black dress) delivered, according to my own specifications, to my desk.

Over the past few months, the niche world of bridging finance is looking increasingly like the opening day of the sales on Bond Street.

As more and more lenders emerge, (often from the seeds of a packager it would seem), there is no doubt that the bridging finance arena is a competitive market to belong to. As a result, the rates are getting lower and we are being bombarded by promises of speed, affordability and accessibility.

A growing number of lenders really are doing their utmost to sell bridging as a cut price means of easy finance, utilisable by just about any borrower. The truth of the matter though is that bridging finance, by definition, can never be ‘cheap’. It is, essentially, a ‘black tie’ product, designed to offer maximum impact for a short period of time.

And as with all black tie investments, most of us are prepared to pay more for a sleek product and a quality service. Or at least this is the feedback I received from brokers whilst I attempted to shortlist the ‘best bridging product’ for our upcoming awards.

Almost all of the brokers, packagers and property developers that I spoke to noted that their preferred product was one that offered flexibility, speed and quality, backed by a professional team. Whilst rates were a factor, most suggested that they were more likely to return to a lender with a higher rate and a better service than one with a headline rate and little substance.

So with six days remaining until our big awards, the rush to find the perfect dress continues. But despite the decreasing time frame available to me, I am determined not to give up on my pursuit of a reasonably priced product that suits my needs and is delivered with a professional service. I also hope that over the coming months we will begin to see more than just a few lenders giving brokers what they really want: a product that does that does what it says on the tin, and offers a professional service and a reasonable rate as standard.


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