About this guide
Read time

3 minutes

Date Published

November 17, 2022

Originally published on The Intermediary.

The specialist lending market has taken on a growing importance over the last few years. Where once areas of property finance like bridging loans and development finance were seen as something of a niche area, today far more brokers are more open-minded towards handling these cases.

In some cases brokers are handling the advice themselves, while in others this diversification has meant partnering with specialist experts.

But it has not just been the increased demand from borrowers that has led to this growth in broker activity. The sector as a whole has made specialist finance more accessible to advisers, with technology playing a central role.

Pushing the market forward

Most people would likely accept that the property finance market has been a little slow in adopting technology. While other areas of finance have recognised the ways that technology can take on some of the heavy lifting, and lead to a more efficient way of working, that hasn’t been the case within the mortgage market as a whole.

Thankfully, however, that is changing. The pandemic has certainly opened some eyes to how the smart adoption of technology can improve not only the way that they work, but also mean that they provide a better experience for their clients.

There is no better example of this than sourcing specialist products. This is a process that can take an awful lot of time, going through the pricing and criteria of individual lenders to establish the options open to your clients, unless you make use of a quality sourcing solution.

When we first set up the Provide Finance platform to address this challenge and, as with any leading technology, over time we have evolved and enhanced the system. Based on our discussions with brokers, we’ve built a platform that delivers exactly what they need from a sourcing system.

As a result, we now have a platform that allows brokers to communicate with their clients and lenders essentially under a single virtual roof, managing multiple clients through one dashboard, making their lives far easier.

It’s a good demonstration of how technology can develop into something that delivers more tangible benefits to users, based on their individual needs. If it’s well built, based on feedback from users, technology can help everyone involved in the specialist sector deliver a smoother experience.

Retaining the personal touch

However, there’s no question that technology works at its best when it is complemented by the human touch, the ability to speak to an actual expert in the field to eliminate any questions or issues that arise.

When it comes to specialist finance, all cases are unique in some way. All brokers will have their own stories around cases which faced additional hurdles because of some element of complexity around them, perhaps because there was something out of the ordinary about the property itself or the circumstances of the borrower.

And it’s those cases where a personal level of support can make all the difference. That’s why we have built a team with expertise across the specialist sector who can provide invaluable assistance in helping brokers to identify the perfect option for the client. Our support team is fully immersed in the specialist market, ensuring that they are fully up to date on all of the latest industry updates and changes to lending criteria.

I have no doubt that in the years ahead we will see more technology launched for those operating in the specialist sector, designed to help brokers and borrowers alike identify the best financing options.

Yet what is clear from our experience is that it’s those who can support that technology with the human touch, who can combine first-class technology with personal support who will stand out from the crowd and win the backing of brokers.

Technology alone will never be the answer.

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