Paraplanner responds to mortgage broker demand

Paraplanner responds to mortgage broker demand

Busy brokers looking to cope with demand have been the driver for paraplanning firm Svensoni launching a mortgage arm.

Richard Angliss, director at Svensoni Mortgage Services, explained that a meeting with network Intrinsic last autumn revealed a request for such a service, with software provider Home Buyer Systems responding by entering a joint venture with Svensoni.

“It was a demand driven decision, as the MMR thematic review was not good for networks, with the FCA requesting better compliance coverage,” he explained.

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Since launch in February, it has signed up more than 60 firms to the online service, which gives brokers a case submission and tracking system and optional client portal, which can get clients from fact find to application, although many choose to select portions of that offering.

Mr Angliss said he was looking to sign up roughly 10 firms a week, with a new office having been established in Swansea dedicated to this branch of the business, with new paraplanners being added all the time.

He also stated comments made recently by Association of Mortgage Intermediaries chief executive Robert Sinclair backed the need for brokers to get help if they wanted to grow.

Mr Sinclair told FTAdviser that as the mortgage market continues to recover, many firms are finding their existing advisers are being stretched towards capacity.

“Where recruiting and training new advisers is both expensive and time consuming, the option of introducing paraplanners or administrative support looks attractive and providing the right support to enable good advisers to spend more time with the customers has to be the answer.

“Trained support staff who can ease the administrative burden and manage the lender application has to be progress,” he added.

Mr Sinclair estimated there are currently 12,000 full-time mortgage brokers and a further 4,000 IFAs writing mortgages occasionally, down from around 30,000 brokers in 2007.

Dale Jannels, managing director at All Types of Mortgages, stated he has experienced the exodus of mortgage advisers and demand for replacements first hand over the last few years.

“It’s easier to train up than employ quality professionals locally as many left the industry in the down turn. On the upside, we have a lot of youngsters joining the industry as a result.”

John Coffield, head of Paradigm Mortgage Services, said advisers are most effective when dealing with clients and providing advice.

“Therefore, putting in a paraplanner-type arrangement within the business could pay dividends, especially over the longer-term. Cutting down on the administration and paperwork time can free the adviser up to concentrate on developing their core advice offering and seek opportunities to expand in any number of areas,” he stated.

“That said, especially for smaller firms, making that first step towards this can be difficult. Indeed, if you’re a one-man-band you’re probably used to doing everything in your business and this can be a hard habit to break.”