Special Features

Letting a master broker take the strain when it comes to bridging

Donna Wells, Director, First 4 Bridging -
10th July 2017

As the summer begins in earnest – I’m sat here watching both the tarmac and the people outside slowly bake – our minds might begin to turn to holidays and the thought of that fortnight break with nothing to worry about but at what point you take that dip in the pool.

Sounds bliss, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, while there can be a slowdown in activity as people do jet off, it doesn’t mean that business goes completely on the back-burner. Plus, of course, there is often much to do before we can switch the computer off, head home, pack the cases, and make our journeys abroad or throughout the UK for a stay-cation.

Packing has always been one of those parts of going on holiday I can do without. The dilemma about what to take, what not to take, how you might fit it all in, seems like an utter chore when all you really want to do is get to your destination and start enjoying yourself. I’m definitely jealous of those who seem to have the packing skill sorted – not for them that airport humiliation of opening up the suitcases in the queue and attempting to decide what needs to be jettisoned in order to make the baggage allowance.

Packing too much is not just a problem for holiday-makers; indeed, in our bridging line of business we’re often left picking up the pieces from inexperienced advisers who have attempted to pack too much into a deal, only to find that the initial lender who appeared incredibly keen at the outset, are now less than enamoured about the situation now.

This can be a bigger problem in a bridging market which currently has a very large number of bridging lenders all competing for business. Add in the attempt at packing in the cheapest possible rates at the highest possible LTVs, with the need for the finance in double-quick time, plus a whole gamut of circumstances and needs which were not relayed at the start of the deal, and you are likely to be looking at problems. It’s perhaps not surprising that in recent weeks we have taken over deals where the lender pulled out at the last minute, or the rate was changed, resulting in the need for a complete re-think.

For advisers, the message has to be that this is not a simple market and, in that sense, it’s one where experience and relationships count. It also helps if you have the relationships, and the understanding of the propositions and lending appetites, to be able to pick the right lender first time, to match all the required elements to those lenders that are likely to be able to do the deal, rather than slowly working your way around a limited number of lenders.

In the great scheme of things, and with time precious, it would seem to make more sense to use a specialist master broker like ourselves who can ensure the deal goes to the right lender first time, who offers the right rate, and you’ll have the confidence that this will never be changed. There are a lot of variables in today’s bridging market and being aware of a lender’s appetite for certain deals is absolutely vital in order to get the deal both you and the client wants.

Let’s also hope, in these situations, for a greater degree of realism. Yes, top rates at higher LTVs, with the funds available in a few days is achievable, but not in all cases. It is however going to be much more achievable with a master broker immersed in this sector. Plus of course there’s no compromise to make in terms of the amount the adviser will earn from the deal – it will be exactly the same as if they’d gone direct but without having to do any of the work.

So, over the summer and beyond, make sure you pack appropriately in the bridging finance world and, to coin a phrase, let the master broker take the strain.

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