There are plenty of great lenders operating in our industry, so to win against such tough competition was a real honour.
Following our award success, and the subsequent feedback from our broker partners, we have been reflecting on what we believe constitutes service excellence and how we set out to deliver it.
At Ortus our overall goal is simple – to make the whole process as smooth and straightforward as possible for brokers and borrowers.
We have a small experienced team and a flat structure, so brokers can be confident that they are dealing with people empowered to make decisions.
We do our best to get back to brokers on the same day, and by phone not email allowing the broker an opportunity to talk new enquiries through with us. This ensures we fully understand the nuances of the case, so we can make an informed decision.
Our AIP, which we do our best to issue within 24 hours of receiving an enquiry, isn’t a quote, illustration or term sheet but a credit-backed firm response we commit to. What you get in the AIP is what you get at drawdown unless there is a major change in circumstances. Alternatively, if it is a no, it’s a quick no with a sensible explanation as to why. In some instances, there are deals we could run with, but where other lenders have a skill set better suited to the case. We’d rather say no and keep our dignity, rather than make a hash of it later and damage crucial relationships.
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When we do make a commitment we stick to it, and it’s this consistency of approach that our brokers tell us they really appreciate. Yes’s that become no’s, and moving goalposts are the biggest bugbears for brokers and borrowers, so we do our best to ensure these things don’t happen.
Once a client agrees to proceed we recognise the importance of moving quickly, so the first step is to instruct legals and valuation. Yes, we need an application form, but this can follow later. For various reasons the legal process seems to be getting more protracted, so our view is to get this moving as early as possible.
Underwriting requests are sensible and kept to a minimum. Again, due to our flat structure, you won’t get a second set of requests sometimes experienced with a lender when your file is reviewed further up the chain of command. Indeed, transparency is vitally important to us and there are no ‘hidden nasties’ in our loan agreements. Our model is to grow our business by treating borrowers and brokers fairly and openly.
Ultimately, in our experience, service excellence all comes down to relationships. It can be easy to get bogged down in the detail of the loan but it’s important to remember that in every deal there are hard-earned broker and client relations at stake and to always act respectfully and ethically.
This culture of respect and professionalism is ingrained in our ethos and is something we will strive to continually deliver as our business grows.