It’s arguably never been more challenging for brokers to keep abreast of the lending landscape, but an intimate understanding of lending policies is at the heart of successful broking, writes Choice Aggregation Services CEO Stephen Moore.
At risk of sounding like a cliché, as the Greek philosopher Heraclitus proclaimed, ‘the only thing that is constant is change’. I’m sure you are all more than aware that the lending landscape remains a moveable feast.
As we edge towards the middle of another year, it’s fair to say it’s been another interesting six months. Dynamic market forces are continuing to drive a raft of changes to lenders’ policies.
The decision by several banks this month to limit their exposure to international residential investors is a prime example of how lenders are continually evolving their policies.
Such changes are not new; investor lending policy updates were a major development of 2015, as APRA moved to take a prudent approach and cool investor activity. Banks are also required to increase capital allocations to lending which could result in more changes.
Playing to our strengths
In such a complex, changing market, it’s not just brokers who face challenges. For your clients, who are juggling their busy jobs, and lives, keeping track of lending policies is nigh impossible. And, let’s face it, they’ve got better things to do!
This is where brokers can really make a difference to become the trusted source of knowledge to clients who may be feeling pretty confused or overwhelmed.
The ability to provide borrowers with guidance across multiple lenders’ policies and products is central to the broker proposition. And in this kind of market, your proposition has never been more valuable.
Throughout this series I’ve been looking at the different ways brokers can grow their businesses and refine their service proposition. Ensuring you deliver the highest quality advice (credit assistance) is a fundamental part of this. And quality advice needs to incorporate specialist knowledge - and a comprehensive understanding of lending policies.
So how can you master the market?
When you’re busy running a business and trying to chase leads or build new referral partners, maintaining a sound understanding of lenders’ policies can be tough. But it’s crucial not to let it slip. Customers really do value your expertise.
Keep abreast - Aggregators typically provide regular lending updates and lenders provide a vast array of resources for brokers, so these are always a great place to start. Set aside a chunk of time every week to read those lending updates and ensure you are familiar with any changes coming through.
Divide and conquer - If you work within a team, a great option can be to have different team members take responsibility for providing updates on certain lenders.
Talk to your peers - Gaining insights from peers can be especially useful. For example, at Choice, we host over 100 peer-to-peer sessions every year, where our brokers can learn from each other about which lenders provide the most competitive loans for certain borrowers or share their insights on the best way to get certain deals over the line. Our brokers find these sessions incredibly useful.
At Choice, we are working closely with our brokers to ensure they are adequately equipped to meet clients’ queries and demands in this complex environment. Our annual Lender Expo, taking place throughout June, will enable brokers to hear direct from lenders on their lending policies and processes as well as best practice guidance for meeting obligations and getting loans over the line.
While industry changes continue to bring challenges, at Choice we are committed to supporting our brokers to adapt to market changes and we are confident that the broker proposition has never been more compelling.
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