Funding and technology: the foundations of building a great product

There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future of buy-to-let.

Funding and technology: the foundations of building a great product

Ian Boden (pictured) sales director, LendInvest

Disrupting the traditional mortgage process has always been our goal at LendInvest.

From the way you apply for a loan, to case management to how that loan is funded, we believe the experience can be better at every stage of that journey.

Introducing technology where it makes sense

It goes without saying that this is something we have given real focus to on the buy-to-let side.

Ranging from initiatives such as partnering with Onfido to allow borrowers to verify their identity online quickly, introducing a fully online broker portal where the buy-to-let loans are managed and integrating Open Banking into our process to ensure security and speed remains a priority during the application process.

It’s no secret that speed is of the essence for our property investors, and that goes for those looking for a buy-to-let deal just as much as those hunting for a bridging loan.

As an industry we need to keep searching out new ways where technology can be implemented alongside experienced staff to help that process get faster.

The last couple of years have seen a succession of innovations that have helped on that front, but we cannot afford to stand still.

Show me the money

The way our loans are funded is crucial to the offering we provide.

We’ve long focused on building a diverse funding base, having seen the troubles other lenders experience if they rely on a single source of funds.

Moving into buy-to-let allowed us to build on that strategy, diversifying that funding base further, building new relationships with global institutions such as Citi and National Australia Bank.

This strategy also allows us to continuously tailor our product for our borrowers, and pursue cheaper funding, evidenced by our debut securitisation this year.

We completed our first such deal of £259m of buy-to-let loans, an achievement LendInvest’s head of credit, Roy Armitage hails as “unprecedented in [his] career”.

There has been so much talk about the troubles of the buy-to-let sector, brought about by a succession of tax and regulatory changes.

But as we have seen from our discussions both with borrowers and institutional investors, there is a clear desire to back bricks and mortar.

It’s now up to lenders across the industry to keep engaging with brokers and their clients, to work harder at understanding exactly what they need and to develop products that are tailored to them.

As our debut years in the market show, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future of buy-to-let.

It’s up to lenders to raise their game and continue to innovate if they want to continue to prosper.