Meet Gillian Palmer, director of Lending Made Simple. The approach her company takes with their clients is a little different from the crowd; they build long-term relationships and develop a consultative approach to really understand a client’s business. Then, based on their findings, they place those clients with the funder that best meets their needs.
Why do you choose to refer leads to us?
“Boost Capital consider applicants a lot of other funders won’t. For example, they will work with non-homeowners. They also take defaults into account, which many funders won’t consider.
“They recently helped us with a client who’d defaulted on his mortgage because his mother was very ill. He had a good business (turning over approximately £900,000), but after his mother passed away, he inherited her house. He couldn’t sell the house because there was a charge on it. So Boost Capital looked at the overall picture and said “Yes, your client defaulted, but only once and with good reason.” Apart from that default, his credit rating was very good.
“Our client used the funds to remove the charge on the property and was then able to sell it. That allowed him to repay the loan much earlier and release cash back into his business. Boost Capital proved they were willing to work with us and our client to achieve an outcome that benefited all parties.”
What’s it like working with Boost Capital?
“In addition to their willingness to understand people’s needs, they also have an automatic decision-making model for loans under £35,000. Since no underwriting is required, turnarounds are very quick. They’re very consistent in their decision-making. A lot of funders can be fickle and will change their direction on a regular basis. For example, if a funder has a bad experience with a client who’s a property developer, they will suddenly stop dealing with all property developers! Boost Capital don’t do that.
“They are great at keeping in contact with us but are never pushy. Our BDM calls about once a month and asks ‘How are things going? Is there anything we can do?’ She’s always happy to go back over the product and make sure we understand the specifics and update us on any changes. At Lending Made Simple, we really believe in building relationships, so a lender that works with the same ethos is something I really appreciate.”
What are your thoughts on the future of unsecured lending?
“The big banks are becoming more stringent, rejecting more applications and constantly changing direction. Unsecured lending has a bright future, in my opinion. As the banks reject more business, our enquiries increase. These days, the big banks are even refusing people they’ve previously approved!
“I have clients who run a family business, and they’ve dealt with the same High Street bank since 1992. They approached us for funding because the bank suddenly changed one of their lending policies and wouldn’t consider increasing their overdraft facility, even though they had good financials, etc. We were able to get them the funding they needed to take their business to the next level.”
Any tips for other brokers?
“The feedback I’ve received from funders is that a lot of brokers don’t open up the P&L or the balance sheet when they receive applications. They just gather up the documents and hand them over to the funder. I believe clients deserve a better level of service than that.
“We will not approach a funder until we have all the financial documentation, fully understand what the client wants to achieve, where they’ve had problems and why. A lender once told me that across the UK, only about 50% of broker deals get funded. Our conversion rate at Lending Made Simple is 80%.
“My advice is get to know your clients. Delve into the details. Ask them to explain what might lead to queries or concerns from the funder. Once all the background work is done and the application is complete, we send it over to the funder with a brief synopsis of the case. That way they don’t need to go back to the client for more information – and clients don’t face the risk of having it declined. This approach is a lot better than sending an application to a funder and ‘hoping for the best.'”
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