Newsletter September 2015

Intermediary Market Share Hits New Record

Mortgage advisor market share has now risen to its highest level ever recorded, with advisors introducing 69% of all new home loans by value in the first two quarters of 2015, with 47,600 completions in quarter one, rising to 51,500 in quarter two.According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), latest figures show the advisor share of the market has spiked by over 7% in the past year, previously 61.9% in the second quarter of 2014. It is widely believed the share of the market will continue to grow and will exceed 75% by the end of 2016.

The challenges faced by many to get a mortgage and the barriers they face, coupled with the time consuming process of seeing a bank advisor, has only strengthened the recent surge in advisor dominance. Many now feel it is vital to get the right level of advice and believe the advisor market can provide just that, securing the best mortgage deal.

Mortgage Lending Reaches Highest Peak Since Financial Crisis

There is no doubt the mortgage market appears to be in good state of health, revealing the largest monthly gross lending figure of £22bn since the financial crisis took hold. This clearly demonstrates high street lenders have adjusted to the rigorous affordability rules over the past 18 months.However, as the mortgage market continues to grow, the notion of “responsible lending” will continue to tighten its grip on the industry, suggesting any surge in activity is unlikely to go unchecked. To add to this, the ever looming rise in interest rates, rising house prices and the implementation of further legislation, such as the Mortgage Credit Directive could be a potential barrier to long term recovery.

With this being said, home movers and first time buyers alike still have cause for optimism with low interest rates and market leading deals in abundance, so if you are looking for a new mortgage deal or looking to simply jump onto the property ladder, now could not be a better time.

Company News

As way of a big thank you and appreciation for everyone’s dedication and hard work over the first two quarters, First Mortgage held a company day out at Edinburgh Zoo which took place on Sunday 30th August.We were fortunate enough the sun had his hat on for the big day, which was held at the Mansion house. Families were invited, which made it a great chance for all of us to meet and socialise with our colleagues!

As well as pre-paid entry to the zoo, there was a BBQ, free bar (which went down well!), lawn games and of course passes to see the infamous pandas!

Meet the Regional Sales Manager

In this month’s edition, we caught up with Kevin Gardiner, our Regional Sales Manager for Glasgow and Falkirk. He took time from his busy schedule to tell us about everything ranging from his typical day to his first celebrity crush. Read on to find out more!
Tell us about your job and what’s involved on a typical day?

My role as Regional Sales Manager for Glasgow and Falkirk is really trying to get all the advisers and sales support to become the best they can be in their roles, whilst providing them with a comfortable and happy environment that they enjoy working in, which in turn will hopefully enhance compliant sales and profitability for FM.

In Glasgow and Falkirk I’m fortunate enough to work alongside some of the best (if not the best lol) mortgage advisers and sales support in the company, so I would say the very first thing I do (after a morning Starbucks/Costa Latte’) is to go round them all and share some banter to ensure they are all in a good place ready for the day ahead and if not, address any issues they might have there and then, if at all possible.

Typically from there, it’s working closely with the advisers and sales support to help fine tune individual and branch performance, through coaching, motivating, training and mentoring and then everybody’s favourite, observations.

What previous roles and experiences led you to your present position?

I actually started in October 2010 with FM as a Mortgage and Protection Adviser in Glasgow when there was only me and another adviser called David Henry working out of High Street at that time, before becoming Regional Sales Manager for Glasgow and Falkirk in February this year. Previous to that I worked with Lifetime Planning Ltd for 6 years as a Telephone New Build Adviser and prior to that I worked for Standard Life and Standard Life Bank as a Financial Planning Consultant and Team Coach respectively, for a combined period of 5 years.

What do you like most about this company?

The ethos of always doing right by the client and then the people, there are some characters working in FM which makes the job even more enjoyable!

What do you consider the key challenges for the mortgage industry this year?

Obviously the anticipation of whether Help to Buy funding will continue in Scotland in future years will have a significant bearing on mortgage volume and the building of new build developments nationwide. Fingers crossed, but even if it doesn’t happen, history tells me that builders will always come up with other ways of selling properties like their own shared equity schemes that they used to do years ago. That said, I think the mortgage industry has never been better.

Who’s been your greatest hero?

I could name a few over the years, I admired Dougie Arnott, who was a small striker for Motherwell FC years ago and then they signed the best player to grace the Motherwell jersey in Davie Cooper. In more recent times I admire Liam Gallagher, his stage presence, voice and style is second to none in my opinion.

Having said all that though, my heroes will always be my dad and late mum.

What’s on your desk?

At present, my laptop, pad, pen, calculator, mobile and a Pepsi Max with ice, oh and “Communion” by Years and Years playing in the background – you can’t beat “Shine”

If you could, what advice would you give your younger self?

You have no idea how hard this is been to keep it clean, but I’ve opted for “better to regret something you did do than something you didn’t”

What did want to be when you were a child?

A footballer for Motherwell, I nearly made it too as I got a trial for the club when Tommy McLean was in charge, but sadly I was told I wasn’t tall enough 🙁

What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve been given?

To trust James Hutchinson. I once told him I was embarrassed going to the toilet in the Glasgow Branch as we used to share it with another company at the time. The employees of that company sat close to the toilet and as you passed they would just look at you and never speak. After telling James it did my head in, a week later I received a large nappy from Tena for Men. James should have kept it because he was wetting himself when it arrived for me!

Who was your first celebrity crush?

The pop singer, Kim Wilde, now that was a sexy bit of kit!!

And finally, who is your current mortgage with?

Halifax of course!

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