The Interview… Sonny Gosai, senior sales development manager, Norton Broker Services

Sonny Gosai, senior sales development manager at Norton Broker Services speaks to The Intermediary about what the specialist sector can do to ensure maximum opportunities are available for brokers.

First of all, tell us a little bit about Norton Broker Services, plus your background and role with Norton?

Norton Broker Services offers a range of bridging, commercial, unsecured and second charge mortgages to the intermediary market and I am the senior sales development manager. 

I started out as an underwriter in the second charge market over 20 years ago and enhanced my skillset to cover specialist lending as a whole and assisted in creating new master brokers within the specialist arena. 

I joined Norton in 2019 to work with Norton Broker Services to create a new department to further provide specialist solutions for our ever-growing intermediary referral partners.

What areas do you believe currently provide the most opportunities for brokers and why?

It would definitely have to be the bridging finance sector as it allows property transactions to be made with speed and efficiency.  Bridging loans are good for investors to purchase non mortgageable properties, finance renovations or carry out major property development plans by helping to bridge the gap until longer term finance can be secured. 

The market has experienced a surge in popularity and growth over the last few years and bridging loans are now also becoming increasingly popular with consumers in the residential market to help with issues such as broken chains.

What more can be done to help brokers write more bridging, commercial and development finance business and what do you say to brokers who have never written such business but would like to start?

There is definitely a need for more education on bridging, commercial and development finance within the sector for brokers, and companies like Norton and its peers need to keep banging the drum and illustrating the opportunities that the market offers.

This sector of the mortgage market is bursting with potential and bridging loans in particular are no longer considered a niche product and are increasingly being viewed as a versatile and effective financial tool for those looking for a short-term cash injection.  

As an industry, we need to be more proactive in communicating this as well as improving the way in which we educate the broker community on the opportunities available. 

As you mentioned earlier, Norton’s background is more in the secured loans space which it is still very strong in. What are you seeing in this sector at present and any tips again for brokers seeking to write more or do it for the first time?

The main purpose of second charge mortgages has always been for debt consolidation and home improvements, and these two market drivers have never seen any slowdown.  

With the current increase in interest rates month on month, and consumers desperate not to lose their fixed rate deals, taking out a second charge mortgage to release capital for the above reasons would be a good move, as remortgaging may not be an attractive prospect at the moment.  

You wrote recently about the lack of bridging loan calculators that are available and how this may be restricting the growth and/or adoption of bridging loans by some brokers. What do lenders need to do to make this happen and how will it benefit all involved? 

I understand that it may not be possible for every lender to provide bridging loan calculators as some lenders offer bespoke rates and others provide quirky deals which require specific and tailored pricing.  

But given the growth in the market, there are now more vanilla type cases which could be turned around more quickly by us brokers if access to bridging loan calculators were more readily available. I am sure with more lenders embracing technology and the other technological developments in the market, we will see more of these calculators in the not too distant future.

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