When it comes to submitting applications to lenders, a slow turnaround time is the main pet peeve of mortgage brokers.
During the first lockdown, when the market had to adapt to remote working, brokers faced new challenges. Subsequently, the stamp duty exemption led to a dramatic increase in demand as borrowers hoped to take advantage of the tax savings and brokers were busier than ever.
These challenges have led lenders to report a decline in the quality of applications due to additional logistical and time pressures on advisors.
We have a page on our website that contains top tips for faster processing
With buying a home often being referred to as one of the most stressful things to attempt in life, the last thing a broker wants is unnecessary processing delays or back and forth with the client. with repeated questions and forms to fill out.
Mortgage strategy asked some of the nation’s top intermediary lenders what advisors could do to better bundle applications together for faster turnaround.
“At the height of the pandemic – when brokers had more apps to manage than in a long time, as well as the challenges of working remotely – we saw an increasing number of advisors naturally struggling with apps to get all the necessary information,” said Phil Rickards, director of BM Solutions.
“It had a knock-on effect on job application deadlines.”
Rickards adds that things have since improved, but he stresses the importance of getting the app upfront.
Having a good relationship with your BDM is extremely important
“Inaccurate applications can cause delays, so it’s important brokers take full advantage of the support offered by lenders.”
Accord Mortgages Managing Director Jeremy Duncombe explains why it’s crucial to confirm even the most obvious details before submitting an application, such as the client’s name and address.
“It’s pretty basic – but you’ll fall at the first hurdle if it’s incorrect. Make sure your customer’s name and address are up to date. Otherwise, delays can occur,” says Duncombe.
“There are lots of things brokers can do to make sure cases go as smoothly as possible, but, as each lender may have slightly different requirements, it’s always worth checking to see if they have any specific advice on packing a case. We have a page on our website, for example, that has top tips for faster processing. »
It’s in no one’s interest to have a lot of back and forth between us
Duncombe adds: “Small things like uploading all the documents at once so our underwriters have everything at once can help, as can making sure all assessment fees are paid. This can easily be overlooked, but making sure it’s done helps get the ball rolling.
“The best deal is packaged benefits everyone – saving brokers, customers, and lenders time while building relationships all around.” »
While not providing enough information can slow down the application process, so can including too much, according to Ben Williams, corporate account manager for Coventry for Intermediaries.
“Providing unnecessary documentation can really slow things down because once a lender has received something, they have to review it, so being sure about what you need is crucial,” he says.
And, like in an exam, brokers should make sure they “read the question correctly” and complete all required fields correctly, adds Williams.
Uploading all documents at once can help
He continues: “It may seem obvious, but brokers should ensure that the application form is fully completed and use the notes sections for additional information that they think will be useful. By giving the lender the ability to provide their best service, brokers can provide excellent service to their clients. »
Chris Pearson, Head of Intermediate Mortgages at HSBC, stresses the importance of a business development manager (BDM) in speeding up application processing times.
“It’s not in anyone’s interest to have a lot of back and forth between us, the broker and the applicant, which can add days or weeks to an application,” says Pearson.
“Navigating the range of lender packaging requirements in the market is a tricky task, especially as most lenders are evolving their post-pandemic policies to ensure customers are treated fairly and can afford the mortgage.”
It is important that brokers take full advantage of the support offered by lenders
Pearson continues, “Having a good relationship with your BDM is extremely important as they can quickly identify what is needed for those unusual or bizarre cases. Getting to know the client is essential, and investing time in going through, for example, bank statements, can help establish a clear financial picture and ask additional questions that can be answered before submitting supporting documentation.
“The broker knows the customer better than anyone else in the journey, so an additional narrative on the application will help the underwriter get closer to the specific circumstances and prevent additional questions from being asked.”