I am a mortgage and equity release adviser, operating under a directly authorised firm – J Finance; I’ve been in financial services for just over 10 years now and I specialise in later life lending.
Where are you based and where do you operate geographically?
The firm’s head office is in Berkshire, I operate mostly from home in Oxfordshire which means I can assist clients all over England and Wales.
What are the main issues impacting your local market?
It’s currently a rather buoyant market, which sounds like it should be a nice problem to have; but the biggest issue currently is properties being purchased fairly significantly over the lender’s valuers’ ideas of a sensible price which is causing a number of down-valuations!
What are the main opportunities for brokers in your area and nationally?
In the later life sector; we are seeing an aging population that will increase and with that comes the need to top up income to deal with the ever-increasing cost of living, clear interest-only mortgages, succession planning and inheritance tax planning, or even assisting family wanting to get on and up the property ladder.
What could lenders do to help further your business?
My biggest bugbear is underwriters or processors not picking up the phone to have a query resolved, so often we receive an email that then requires a written response that isn’t “assessed” for a number of days, it really would help efficiency and timescales.
I also feel some lenders put processors or administrators in the firing line between the underwriter and the adviser but don’t empower them with the knowledge or training to actually answer questions; further delaying applications ultimately.
What sets you apart from the competition?
A personal service, no client is a number or a transaction and many of my clients refer their friends and family which is testament to our work and service.
I also feel the service we offer our older clientele sets us apart, taking the time to listen and consider all options; siloed advice or advice from those not active in the later life lending sector is, in my opinion, dangerous for the consumer.
How should potential borrowers contact you?
I would love to hear from any potential clients or advisers that want to discuss later life lending options and can be contacted by email [email protected] or by phone 07823 346000.