It’s impossible to know what might happen in the result of a no deal Brexit – nobody knows. But even if the market is adversely affected, there will opportunities for businesses.
I started Arnold & Baldwin in 2007, less than a year before the Lehman Brothers crisis, and so we didn’t have long as a start-up business before the market descended into chaos. Lenders stopped lending and people stopped buying property, but this presented an opportunity. Whereas we might have otherwise been caught up in day-to-day activity, the environment forced us to take a step back and try to open up new opportunities. Whereas other businesses focussed internally, we focussed our efforts externally, on developing new relationships and identifying new clients. In doing this, we started conversations with people we would never have met before and it’s these relationships that have formed the foundations for the success of the business.
So, my advice to brokers in particular would be to use this time of potential adversity to build relationships that will bear you in good stead for the future. Think, for example about partnering with a surveyor who you trust and want to work with. A referral relationship with a surveyor could provide you with additional income for passing on client leads and may generate leads for your business.
On top of this, partnering with a surveyor could also improve your conversions by ensuring that inaccurate valuations do not stand the way of your cases proceeding. At Arnold & Baldwin, for example, I might receive a call from a broker who is considering an application to a particular lender on a property in a high-rise block to ask whether it’s the sort of property they would be happy lending on. And we are open to establishing more of these strong working relationships with brokers so that we can have open lines of communication throughout the process.
So, whatever happens, look for the opportunity to develop new relationships that can strengthen your business and build stronger foundations for the future.