Top Ten Tips for fast-track completion

Top Ten Tips for fast-track completion

Alan Cleary of Precise Mortgages gives us the secrets to a quick deal.

 Alan Cleary of Precise Mortgages gives us the secrets to a quick deal...

Tip 1: Pick a lender with an appetite to lend

You will have all heard about the problems lenders have been facing over the last few years in raising money to fund their lending activities and no doubt you have been on the receiving end of some the symptoms of dealing with lenders that have a restricted appetite to lend money.

There has been a significant tightening of lending criteria not just in the mainstream markets but also in Bridging and Short Term Lending (STL) which no doubt will have had an effect on you and your customers.  Have you experienced lenders who take in an application, spend weeks underwriting it only to tell you at the last possible minute that it is being declined?  Have you had a mortgage offer retracted?  These are just a few of the problems you may have experienced, which are caused by an extreme lack of funding in the markets.

The problems in Greece and now Spain and Italy are also likely to take their toll albeit temporary, but the chances are we are in for regular shocks to the Global Economy over the next few years.  Therefore, it is important when you are considering which lender to use for your next STL deal that you have some confidence in their ability to fund the loans in the first place.

Precise Mortgages has a secure funding line in place that gives us access to significant levels of capital to use for our lending activities and we have a genuine appetite to lend money in the STL market.  After all, what the market needs is lenders not pretenders.

Tip 2: Treating customers and brokers fairly

There has been and will be much debate about how regulation will affect the Short Term Lending market and a regular response I have seen from some lenders and brokers is that the Bridging market is not regulated. That is not the case, all lending markets are regulated in some way, whether that be via the FSA, the OFT or by Common Law.

My view is quite simple in that the vast majority of regulation is just simply good practice with an over-arching principle to protect consumers from unscrupulous money lenders; therefore from my point of view as to whether short term lending is or isn’t regulated is that it is a moot point. Since joining this market I have observed a number of practices that are not customer friendly and to be frank some of the practices are totally unjustifiable. For example where a customer defaults on a loan the lender should only charge fees and interest that are in line with the additional cost to them, there is no justification to charge these customers punitive charges and interest.

You only have to look at the multi-million pound fines levied to a number of lenders for this exact reason. Also, putting regulation to one side you and I know that it is not right to nail a customer who has just defaulted on their loan with a 5% arrangement fee and a 3% loading on their interest rate just so they can get a one or two month extension; this is an actual case that I have seen in the last two weeks. So when you are next choosing a lender for your short term or bridging loans think about giving Precise Mortgage a try, we will always treat customers and brokers fairly not just because we are an FSA regulated lender but because we want to.

Tip 3: Want a good deal?

That’s a daft question, of course you want a good deal; not just a good deal for yourself but for your customer as well. Precise Mortgages rates are quite frankly the best in the market so from a customer perspective if you use us your customer will be onto a winner. Also our proc fees are market leading so you will be onto a winner too, if you are getting a better deal from another lender please let me know as I am confident that I can match anything from other bridging lenders.

A good deal is not just about price there is also the quality of the service to think about and again I am confident that we are well placed here as well. Our free phone number 0800 116 4385 gets you straight through to a person who can give you a decision in just a few minutes and in most cases an offer within a few hours so why not give us a try, you won’t regret it.

Tip 4: Service, Service, Service

When I speak to brokers invariably they tell me that service is critical and if a lender wants to do volume business the service has to be great.

We have invested a lot of effort into making the service as slick as possible so that both the broker and the customer has a good experience.

Being able to speak to a decision maker is also high on brokers' requirement lists so we have a dedicated help desk manned with experienced underwriters who can give decisions in minutes and issue offers in a few hours.  I understand that the longer it takes to process a deal the more chance there is that it will fall over so it is in all our interests for us to be as efficient as possible.

In addition, our website has everything you will need to do a Short Term Loan or a Bridging deal with Precise Mortgages including a detailed explanation as to how you can submit business, what our rates are, what our general criteria is plus a whole lot of other useful information. So if good service is something that is important to you, rest assured that it is also important to us and we will do whatever is in our power to make the process as pleasant as is possible.

Tip 5: Ask the Experts

If Bridging or short term development finance is not something you do very regularly then it can seem complex and daunting and may even encourage some intermediaries to walk away from a deal.  Some deals look so complicated that it is a difficult job even to figure out how to structure the deal let alone which lender will do it, what with cross collateralisation, comfort charges, open and closed bridges, retained interest etc the jargon can be a cause of confusion in itself.

However, help is at hand.  Firstly, you can call a lender such as Precise Mortgages; we have a dedicated underwriting team who do nothing but look after bridging and short term loans and they are right on the end of the phone.  If you ring our free phone number 0800 116 4385 and select short term lending you will get straight through to an underwriter and they will be able to give you a verbal decision as to whether we can accept the deal or not in just a few minutes; if the deal is accepted they will be able to issue you with a written Approval in Principle the same day and if you wish to proceed all you need do is complete an application form and once we have collected the valuation fees we can commence processing.
Our underwriters have a wealth of experience so they will be able to advise you on how to structure the deal and how to achieve the best rate for your customer and indeed they will answer any another questions you may have.  Precise Mortgages also has a preferred panel of packagers and if you prefer you can contact any one of these to discuss your case and they will be more than happy to help you.  The packagers are some of the most experienced people in the industry and what they don’t know about bridging and short term lending probably is not worth knowing.  In some case you can simply refer the customer to the packager and they will do all the leg work in exchange for a split of the proc fee.  Bridging and short term loans are in growth mode at the moment and the potential earnings are well worth the effort so I would encourage you if you haven’t already done so to take a look at this market and all it has to offer.
Tip 6: Remember Who Your Customer Is

I always remember who my customers are and that they have a choice, so Precise Mortgages is continually striving to improve its proposition, not only in pricing but just as crucially in service. We are about to announce a new Short Term Lending Premier Panel of packagers with whom we are working with to build a long term relationship that benefits everybody in the supply chain. The members of the Premier Panel will have improved access to our key decision makers so that together we can give a better service to brokers and in turn brokers can give a better service to their customers. Turnaround times on decisions, offers and completions will be significantly improved and because all members of the Premier Panel are experts at Bridging and Short Term Lending they really can make a difference to any broker that wants some help processing a case. Not only will they help process cases more efficiently they are at hand to offer advice on how best to structure deals and will improve the chances of a successful outcome. We will be announcing the Premier Panel in the next couple of weeks and will have full details as to how to contact them on our website.

Tip 7: Competition is Good

I have heard lots of noise that the Bridging market is over-supplied by lenders and that it is unsustainable but I think it is a little premature to making that call right now.  Prior to the crash in 2007 I have this market sized at over £2bn compared to less than £1bn in 2011 so the time to call the market unsustainable was 2006.  I think the Bridging and Short Term Lending markets will be a growth story for the next 3-5 years as we see expansion in the Private Rental Sector.  Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t got a crystal ball and I am as likely to be wrong as the next man but I think the noise about unsustainable and over-supplied is being peddled by some of the existing lenders who do not like new entrants because it upsets the apple cart.  My view is that from a brokers perspective competition amongst lenders is good as it will force all lenders to up their game on service, drive down cost to the consumer and potentially push up fees to the intermediary.  Precise Mortgages has already made significant improvements to its service proposition and we hope to continue to innovate both on products and our service proposition.

Tip 8: The Borrower’s Solicitor is Key

Precise Mortgages is committed to turning around deals as fast as possible and we have made some significant changes in our processes to make sure that this is the case.  But in many cases our effort to release the funds quickly is impeded by the borrower’s own solicitor who in a lot of cases is well behind the curve.  This leads to the frustration of all parties concerned and makes an otherwise excellent transaction painful.  In order to increase the speed of completion brokers could make sure that they are chasing the customer’s solicitors on a regular basis or if appropriate recommend a solicitor who is well versed on Bridging and Short Term Lending.  This may seem like a small point but the choice of the borrower’s solicitor can be as crucial as the choice of the lender.
Tip 9: Use Precise Mortgages’ Premier Panel

Today we officially launch our Premier Panel of Short Term lending packagers where we have started a relationship with a select few of the industry’s best packagers.  Together we will be delivering an enhanced level of service to any broker who chooses Precise Mortgages and uses one of the packagers on our Premier Panel.  Their details will be published on our website and we hope that you will notice the difference straight away.  On top of an enhanced service operation they will have access to additional product options as well as being able to put together bespoke products for specific deals.  So if you have any questions or are unsure where or how to best place a Short Term deal give them a try and experience just how good the service is.

Tip 10: All Aboard
Precise Mortgages is doing a national series of road shows up and down the country starting in November.  The purpose of the road shows is to help brokers understand our Short Term Lending products but more importantly to discuss ideas as to how to increase business volumes by ceasing the great opportunity that exists in the Bridging and Short Term Lending markets.  There is plenty of evidence to suggest that this is one of the few lending markets experiencing any growth at the moment so it makes absolute sense to have a plan as to how you can maximise the opportunities.  Our road shows are to be held on a 1966 Red London Bus and it will commence its long journey from Glasgow and will visit Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester, Solihull, Cardiff and finally to London.  I and Roger Morris will do short presentations to start the conversation and brokers will leave the road shows with a flash USB drive holding a series of presentations on how to use our products to make the most of Short Term Lending.  We do hope you will join us, further details can be found at

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