Several years ago, I wrote an article in Mortgage Strategy questioning the value of packagers. In recent months I have had reason to revise my opinions.
While there is always a route for brokers to come directly to lenders, good packagers certainly add value both to brokers and their clients – and particularly to brokers who do not deal with bridging every day.
The number of bridging lenders has grown exponentially over the past few years. While there is a core loan offering that the majority of bridging lenders offer, many cover different niches which are hard to identify if you are not dealing in the bridging market every day.
It is easier to search the market than it once was. There are now systems in place such as Knowledge Bank which help brokers to make an informed choice in terms of criteria, but there is so much more that a broker needs to know. This you can only get from the experience of working in the bridging market every day alongside brokers and lenders.
These are the things that are hard to measure or record on any form of technology. Things such as, which lenders have excellent service and which will work with borrowers throughout the loan if necessary? Then what about transparent fees and processes, and ultimately, what happens if a borrower needs an extension of time or additional funds?
These are the elements that good bridging packagers truly understand as they are dealing with different lenders every day. They have that experience and knowledge to guide a broker through the different options – or even do all the work for them if that is the broker’s preference.
Packagers can be particularly helpful if you have a more challenging case that doesn’t fit the parameters of a standard bridging lender. Maybe it is an unusual property type or a loan combining the titles of different properties under one loan.
Rates are only one element of a loan – albeit the most visible one. But really, they are just the tip of the iceberg. Service, transparency, speed and flexibility are crucial, while dealing with a lender that really is specialist can be a godsend.
One final piece of the jigsaw is dealing with a lender who has the right funding lines in place to be here for the long term. It is this background research that organisations such as packagers can do to provide brokers with the added assurance they need to make sure their clients are getting the right deal with the right lender.