We caught up with Darren Pescod, MD of The Mortgage Broker
1. Why did you set up The Mortgage Broker?
I set up The Mortgage Broker after having been in the finance industry for most of my life. I started work as a teenager at the Prudential, collecting premiums on the door, then moved into the stock markets from 1995 – 2001. I then joined my family’s IFA business and in 2002, I decided that I wanted to go out on my own and concentrate on mortgages. My biggest driver was that I had always wanted to start, run and grow my own business, believing that with exceptional customer service (which was something I had experienced whilst living in South Africa and what I felt was missing in the UK) would make the difference in growing a successful business.
2. What does The Mortgage Broker offer IFAs and landlords/investors?
We offer expert advice in the minefield of the BTL market, with expert knowledge on the various investment choices a landlord may have eg an HMO / multi let / student let or standard investment purchase and growing of a portfolio. With the lender knowledge and relationships we have, we can be confident that we can find the best value lender for the investor, as there are many quirky bits of criteria that a landlord may miss. Within all of this advice, we also offer our award winning customer service meaning the investor (and IFA) are kept up to speed with the process of their application (now everyone says they do this, but we have 1,000’s of customer tstimonials to back up service up) and with just one complaint in over 10,000 mortgages completed. The last complaint being in 2005, so we have a 99.9% customer satisfaction record – unheard of in customer services.
For IFA’s – We also pay them a referral commission, so they get something rather than letting their client go to a competitor, with the risk that this brings of losing the client to another IFA and therefore potentially losing all the business the IFA has written in the past.
3. What makes The Mortgage Broker different from competitors?
(a) Knowledge – we meet with lenders on a weekly basis at our head office, where the advisers spend quality time going over the niches that each lender has. It is these niches and criteria differences between lenders that allows us to offer solutions to the majority of clients, where they may have been let down by a previous broker or their own bank / building society. (b) Customer service (as mentioned above) 1,000’s of testimonials and a 99% customer service record. When clients deal with us, they speak to two people only, their mortgage adviser and their dedicated administrator. Clients have direct contact to the two people dedicated to looking after them and their application.
4. What do you see as the major challenges for the property market in 2017?
The buy-to-let market will be tough again with the increase in stamp duty and the increased rental calculations that lenders are using. This market is likely to decrease significantly for these reasons. The residential market will stay at similar levels to the past year, due to the interest rates remaining low. A levelling of house prices, or a marginal decrease in house prices would be welcome.
5. What do you love and hate about the property market?
Love helping people, love receiving client testimonials to show we are doing the job the way it should be done, love providing solutions to people who have been let down, as this provides job satisfaction. Hate the historic cyclical nature of property prices, as it is a future concern for the business effecting everything that we do.