Just recently we were listed in the Smart Money Mortgage Lender Benchmark survey for H2 last year and ranked against our peers for net promoter score, ease of determining maximum loan amount, ease of determining product eligibility, relationship managers and communication.
While it was good news to be ranked third in our listing of specialist lenders, there was clearly some work to do, most notably - ‘Speed to process apps through to offer’.
A chance to evolve
Admittedly, given everything that lenders have been working through in terms of staff working from home and the resource it took to deal with customer requests for mortgage payment deferrals, it’s clear this wasn’t an issue that was unique to us. As the benchmark itself pointed out, speed to offer scores across all lenders dropped by 4.9%, the biggest drop the survey had seen since it was first introduced.
However, what would be unique to us, was the way we responded to this, in order to improve the experience for advisers and their clients.
Enhancements across departments
The process began for us back in the Autumn last year. We streamlined the documents we request and made changes to the stage at which underwriters get involved.
We opened up a ‘Project last task’ because many cases were just waiting for one ‘Last task’ to be completed before we could move them on to offer.
That resulted in us being able to double our daily offer rate throughout October and November, to give those clients a much better chance of completing before the stamp duty deadline.
This overall focus has also meant a significant increase in staff, in order to move cases through our process, but also in anticipation of the heightened requirements to complete cases in March and what we have in our pipeline for the future.
So we’ve added seven new experienced underwriters in January, and over the past few months, a number of new underwriting assistants, processing team members and completions staff have joined. Since September the new business team has grown by 45%.
Plus, we’ve now added five new sales staff, internal BDMs and some of our existing internal BDMs have moved on to become regional account managers. Again, it’s about understanding the needs of the advisers who use us and maintaining the strongest standards.
There is no doubt that the last six months in particular have been challenging, but they’ve also been rewarding. The measures we’ve been able to put in place will last beyond this period and will be improved, continuously. This is a conversation which does not stop and it’s vital we never stop reacting to the feedback we get. So thank you.
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