Times are changing, and the buy-to-let landscape is becoming increasingly difficult to negotiate.
On one hand, successful BTL investors are reaping the windfall of record-high monthly rents, coupled with long-term capital gains. On the other hand, the withdrawal of countless tax incentives and the growing costs of running a BTL business are driving many established landlords out of the market entirely.
Just as some are racing frantically to buy up as many rental properties as they can to generate generous rent yields, others are liquidating their entire portfolios.
With changes to the BTL landscape come changes to the priorities of landlords and investors when working with mortgage brokers. Independent brokers continue to play an important role in pairing BTL investors with affordable loans and mortgages and overseeing their transitions when remortgaging.
Through consultations with countless landlords, the priorities of BTL property buyers when dealing with brokers in the current climate have become clear. The prominent examples are as follows:
- Paying close attention to long-term interest rates
One of the many lessons learned over the past couple of years is that certainty is a redundant concept. Irrespective of how safe and stable your financial position may appear, you have no idea what is around the corner. This is why a growing number of BTL investors have been setting their sights on longer-term 7-year and 10-year fixed-rate mortgages as a way to at least modestly manage long-term uncertainty.
Brokers are therefore being expected to focus more heavily on long-term interest rates than ever before, as opposed to short-term introductory deals.
- Strong focus on speed and simplicity
Sidestepping the usual complexities and complications is also a top priority for investors in today’s fast-paced market. Reliability and speed of service are fundamental expectations for BTL landlords and investors who want to know that their deals will be done and their transactions completed before any further market fluctuations. In such dynamic times, there simply isn’t room for the kinds of loan applications and property transactions that can take as long as three months to process.
Particularly where competition for high-demand properties is concerned, landlords expect the kind of broker support that puts them right at the front of the queue.
- Independent advice and expertise
The role of the specialist broker is no longer to simply compare the market for the best deals and negotiate the lowest possible rates on BTL products. Instead, it is to act as a trusted advisor and a fully independent intermediary, able to help BTL landlords and investors make all the right decisions in the first place.
And of course, all such advice and input are expected to be offered free of charge to the client.
- Honest and transparent communication
BTL investors and landlords (along with most private and commercial customers in general) now expect nothing but complete honesty and transparency from their brokers. Clear and consistent communication holds the key to good business-client relationships, but it continues to be overlooked by many mainstream providers. Serving as fully independent intermediaries, brokers are trusted to be as brutally honest as needed to ensure their client’s best interests are upheld. No false promises and no overestimating of their own capabilities; 100% honesty and openness from start to finish.
Only then can the client trust the broker to guide them through some of the most important purchase and investment decisions they will ever make.