We at The Loan Consultants want to thank both our old and new affiliates for helping make 2016 a very successful year. It is this unique partnership with our affiliates and our funding sources that allows us to stay ahead of the information curve, and in turn, help provide your clients with the optimal finance product for their specific situation. As we begin our 34th year in the broker training field, we wanted to highlight a couple of trends we see going on in the lending industry that provide both new challenges as well as new opportunities.
2016 was a year of change in how loans are underwritten. We saw more and more of our lenders launch online platforms that allow brokers to quickly upload the appropriate documents, which created faster approval and funding times. Lenders are expected to continue increasing their online presence in small business financing throughout 2017. We saw this same trend occur in the residential mortgage industry beginning about 10 years ago. This resulted in a more streamlined mortgage process while maintaining the mutually beneficial relationship between Mortgage Brokers and Mortgage Lenders. However, this “online” relationship should not necessarily extend to your borrowers unless it is their preferred form of communication. Many business borrowers still prefer a more consultative, “high touch” type of relationship with their financiers and this is where our Business Finance Consultants can really shine. Most business owners will only know when they need money but not what type of financing fits their current situation, nor are they aware of the terms and conditions attached to these products. This is where the expertise of the BFC can come into play as you help your client navigate the extensive financing options available. The greater the number of options, the greater the need for expert guidance.
2017 will also be a good time to solidify your client and referral relationships. Make it your new year’s resolution to become more involved with your client’s future plans and goals. Taking a proactive approach to understanding their business will help you to anticipate future financing needs, such as an equipment lease expiring this year or plans to expand operations. This will allow you to develop a strong rapport with your customer so they immediately think of you when there is a finance need. With you around there is no need for them to go “shopping” for help.
With a more open and aggressive lending environment funding sources are going to be much more broker focused in 2017. Expect to see more of them offering training and information videos, marketing materials and online pricing engines geared toward educating brokers about their products. We strongly encourage you to take full advantage of these opportunities in the coming year. In keeping with this trend The Loan Consultants will continue to schedule live web training exclusively for our BFC’s with featured lenders and finance service providers. If you have a specific area or product you want to explore gives us a call and talk to one of our support personnel. We will see what we can do about adding it to the schedule so, together we can make 2017 another banner year.