Smartmove Professional's Darren Little talks to The Adviser about specialist lending products and the importance of product education
Q: Have you always used specialist lenders?
No. Over the last 12 months, we have worked a bit more with specialist lenders like Pepper, and it is now starting to bring some dividends for us.
Q: Why didn’t you use them before?
It’s really been driven by customer needs. If a customer has a need, then as brokers, we need to find the best possible solutions for them. Certainly, having awareness and education about specialist lending products has helped us, over the past year in particular, really meet customers’ needs.
Q: Are you seeing an increased demand for specialist products?
With the huge advances in specialty products, they are starting to cater to a lot more people. That is probably the appealing thing about the likes of Pepper - their product range is very diverse, so they are going to meet more people’s needs.
Probably in the traditional sense of what we need a specialist lender for, that market may not be growing. But I think specialist lenders are getting a wider appetite.
Q: Is it a short-term solution?
More often than not. Clients may go into these products for a period of time while they tidy up their credit.
Q: What feedback have you received from clients?
For us, it’s about which product is going to meet the customer’s needs. By putting them with a specialist lender and meeting their objectives, that is the desired outcome.
In a lot of instances, you are not going to be able to place that business with a major bank. When we’re focusing on the customer’s needs and achieving that, that does come together very well.
The clients we have put with Pepper over the last year have been very satisfied.
Q: Are you actively looking for specialist customers?
No, but we are looking for clients. And those clients that require a specialist solution have had their needs met and are very happy.
Q: How important is education, both for your brokers and clients?
That has absolutely been the big thing for us this year. We have worked very hard with Pepper on our education of this style of product.
A lot of brokers will say they don’t get these types of clients. Well, you may not get them, but clients are going to come to you with needs you can’t meet.
That is where we have found specialist lenders to be a big help.
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