New research carried out by United Trust Bank has found that ‘flexibility’ (25%) and ‘lender fees and charges’ (25%) are the attributes most brokers consider most important when sourcing development finance. ‘Speed’ was chosen by the fewest number of brokers (7%).
The UTB survey also found that nearly two thirds (62%) of brokers are usually given complete autonomy by their clients in their choice of lender.
Nearly three quarters (73%) of brokers working in the development finance sector meet the majority of their new clients through referrals. 37 per cent of brokers met most of their new clients through referrals from architects, accountants, estate agents and other professionals whilst 36 per cent of brokers said new clients were generally referred to them by existing clients.
Noel Meredith, Director at United Trust Bank commenting on the survey’s findings said;
“Lender flexibility is paramount in development finance when perfect proposals are rare and builds don’t always go to plan. Brokers should of course have a close eye on the costs for their clients and it’s an important factor when choosing a lender. However comparisons of fees and charges should take into account the possibilities of delays in the build or the sales period. Decisions made purely on taking the most optimistic view of a project’s progress can come unstuck.
“At United Trust Bank we also feel that the capability of the lender in terms of expertise, knowledge and the ability to guide and advise the developer beyond just aspects of the financing can be an extremely useful addition to the usual lender service.
“The importance of referrals to brokers mirrors our own experience with borrowers. Also, new customers referred to us from previous borrowers and professional contacts tend to be better prospects than those coming to us through other means.”