Commercial brokers tipped for success in 2009

Commercial brokers tipped for success in 2009


Roger Morris from short term lender Affirmative Finance has looked back over this last year and given us his inside views on what to expect in 2009, talking us through why fraud is at the root of the financial crisis, how the first quarter will shape up, and what companies and intermediaries can do to succeed over the next few months: 

“What I would say about this year is that those in the business still genuinely aren’t aware of what caused the problems we’ve got today: the biggest single factor that caused the recession we’re currently facing was fraud.


“Lenders became lazy about the procedure and forgot about the applicant at the end of the application form. They freely issued remortgages and would dramatically inflate the purchase price of a property. The Government is only now beginning to realise that these banking institutions have been caught short by greed. People in charge of big companies were very naïve and made a lot of mistakes.


“In previous recessions, property prices didn’t drop so much, negative equity existed but not wholesale dramatic property drops, this is due to fraudulent business and that’s the reason why banks have written down so much money, which has never happened before in British banking.”


Talking of 2009, Mr Morris said: “I expect that the first quarter of 2009 is going to be quite horrendous. But once the first quarter is out of the way, I do think that there will be good signs coming through. What you’ll find next year is the return of the sensible landlords and investors, who will be buying portfolios of property both new and second hand.


“As for bridging, the outlook for the bridging sector is positive as long as companies plan for a new world during this financial storm. As much as you need a captain at the ship who will steer through troubles by being conservative and restricting lending, architects planning for the return of the market will need to use this time of negativity for positive thought. Those businesses that have the infrastructure, strategy and marketing already in place for when the market comes back will be at a huge advantage.


“The most important thing for lenders is not to become detached from the whole process: if you have property you want to lend on, go and see it and meet the client. Lenders like Affirmative Finance understand lending, we went to lend to borrowers. We work hard in building up the right relationship with intermediaries and in moving forward.”


Mr Morris went on to say: “In my opinion, the part of the financial service industry that has the most potential and that will be the most successful in 2009 will be the commercial sector.


“Although commercial property prices are expected to experience further falls, the sector hasn’t been hit by the endemic fraud that the residential market suffered.


“Since banks have virtually stopped paying procuration fees to commercial entities and Commercial First – which used to pay large amounts of income – has stepped out of the arena, what you’ll have left is a group of skilled industry experts who can go to the high street banks and present the deal in a way that the banks are happy with.


“Professional commercial brokers will be needed to present the deal in the right way for the banks to give funding and more than ever; commercial brokers will need to work with residential market brokers to ensure that these skills are being implemented in order to fully benefit from this sector.


“Banks are reticent to lend to commercial businesses because they don’t know how to pitch themselves. From a development point of view, that will be one of the most exciting parts of 2009 for me, focusing on working with commercial brokers. I think they will be the success story of 2009.”

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