Mortgage Strategy feature on networks

ended 18. April 2022

A journalist at Mortgage Strategy is writing a piece on networks and wants to get some views from smaller brokers about what you look for when selecting a network, what you like/don't like about them, what value you get out of them, are whether they are all pretty much the same? 


2 responses from the Newspage community

When setting up my own firm I spoke to a large number of networks. Ultimately I wanted a firm that had a high degree of support for specialist commercial finance namely bridging & commercial. The list that specialised in this was unusually small. I spent hours on rapport building calls that turned out to be pointless as they had no support for bridging for example - they wanted traditional residential mortgage brokers. Eventually I settled on two, one of them being Connect for Intermediaries. I eventually settled on Connect as ultimately they were slightly cheaper in terms of onboarding and training costs and ultimately took a far lower share of my procuration fees (due to a tiered system based on billing). They also provided an extensive list of panel lenders but MOST importantly, the ability to go off panel and sign direct agreements with their approval. Given the fact that I go "off panel" for most transactions they have been very supportive (a lot are now on panel as a result) and allowed me to work efficiently within the network taking into account my own nuanced process alongside their compliance requirements.
Understand that being an AR symbiotic; it should be a relationship of equals with both sides benefiting. Cost is obviously a consideration however, look beyond the fees and determine if you are getting value for your money. Often, the larger corporate networks are designed for the lowest common denominator and can be risk adverse, meaning you end up with a restricted environment. This may be great for a generalist firm whose clients are mainly “average” and will be covered by main stream lending or even newly formed businesses that need the structure and guidance that larger networks provide. Look at the other firms in the network and assess if they reflect your business or the one that you aspire to build – you are who you run with. Speak with lender BDM’s they are exposed to many networks and they can be a good source of information around a networks reputation, which will impact on your business. Read your contract and pay attention to data sharing roles, termination clauses and make sure you are clear in your and your Networks rights and obligations. Moving network can be painful and expensive so chose wisely.