The Housing Market this Spring

Tue 22nd May 2018

The Housing Market this Spring

The traditional home-buying season is now underway, and market commentary is suggesting that first-time buyers are more evident this year. We hope you are being kept busy.

When clients approach you for a mortgage, we know that you have many lenders to choose from, and with many of your clients, you probably won’t be short of options. Certainly, compared to pre-credit crunch days, the market is better-served by lenders who are often more professional in their approach and who offer a broader range of options which recognise the complex needs of the general population.  Against this backdrop, what makes the Furness the right lender for you to use?

First and foremost, we hope you will work with us due to our ‘can-do’ approach to decision-making. We have a real appetite to lend, and we have worked hard to ensure that this is understood and applied throughout the business. You might well be saying ‘they would say that’, so let us explain how we demonstrate this.

Firstly, we have field-based BDMs who have been in the industry for decades and understand the problems that brokers encounter, and who have a friendly and approachable style. They have close working relationships with many brokers and are always keen to work with new ones. Our BDMs are real experts, with solid knowledge and a creative approach to finding solutions.

We also have our telephone-based intermediary sales team ‘Furness for Intermediaries’, based at head office. Our staff are far more than simply a call centre; they are skilled and talented individuals who will be able to really assist with your enquiry and will take personal ownership. They exhibit friendliness and passion for service in equal measure.

Secondly, we have an underwriting team which can handle complexity, and which is trained to deal with far more than simply vanilla underwriting. The Furness product range is diverse and caters for a broad range of scenarios, and our underwriters can underwrite right across this range.

Our product team is tasked with seeking out and developing areas of lending which are under-served by our competitors. Did you know that our holiday let product allows personal usage? Or that we have an innovative short-term lending product? Or that we allow top-slicing of income on those buy to lets which won’t work on a strict Income Coverage Ratio assessment basis? Or that we lend to 95% LTV in Scotland. We do all of this and more, and we are always eager to talk to intermediaries about new opportunities. Do you have a need for which you can’t source? Talk to us.

It isn’t all about lending into under-served niches though. We have a broad spread of options which includes fixed rates, discounted rates and trackers, and within this we have several products with interest rates which start with a 1. These rates are not a marketing gimmick to suck you in and then re-price. If we agree specific pricing on a particular case then unless something material changes relating to the applicant, we won’t change it.

We have undertaken significant work in the last year on our service offering. The difficulty with any manual assessment process is that it is hard to obtain the time-efficiencies that a purely credit-scored approach to lending will obtain. We are determined though to be amongst the best of those who take a human approach, and we are making great inroads. If you haven’t used us recently, we reckon you’ll be surprised by what you find.

The Furness is a building society. For many customers, this will perhaps be a point of confusion, or they may think it doesn’t much matter. However, in the same way that most brokers like to deal with lenders with a human face, where they can get a named individual to help them and take ownership, our customers like to get the same benefit. A Furness customer will always be assured of a personal welcome, and as we do not generate mortgages to sell on, they can be sure that once they are with us, they will stay with us for as long as they wish to do so.

Whoever you use this spring, we hope that it will be a successful time for you. We would love to talk with you though about what we can do. We believe we have something special and would like to demonstrate why we believe this. Next time you have a case which fits our offering, why not give us a try?

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