Beth Fisher

What has our industry learnt?

Firstly, I am so proud to announce that, while we have only been in print for 16 months, Bridging & Commercial has been shortlisted by the Property Press Awards 2020 for Property Trade Magazine of the Year.

Congratulations to the team that works so hard on each issue—we are over the moon, and have our fingers crossed for the win.

We have now been working in lockdown conditions for more than two months, and it’s been nothing short of inspiring to see a sector (and an entire country) adapt so well. It’s also been refreshing to see the professionals who make up our market—which is known to be fast-paced and stressful, to say the least—enjoy a better work-life balance.

The time spent commuting has been shifted to family and friends and new-found hobbies. For example, the two hours (and sometimes more) I would normally spend on London buses and tubes each day, I now spend watching movies and cooking with my family, discovering new yoga postures, and gardening. Even my mum is shocked at that last one, considering the only plant I have ever managed to keep alive is a rarely-needs-watering succulent. After spending more time and money on greenhouses and compost than I have done on anything else this month, I now have six different types of chili peppers, potted vegetables (mainly beginning with C, and all at varying stages of ‘success’), and a rare geranium I can’t pronounce the name of. I am appreciating the simpler things much more, and learning to fully switch off in my personal time—something I will continue to do after all of this is over. And, while the property sector was recently given the green light to reopen, and wider activity is starting to pick up again, I hope that you all do, too.

Beth Fisher
Gardening, but make it fashion.

Among all the changes to working and personal lives, it has been extremely heart-warming to see the specialist finance industry pull together in a charitable way. To recognise your endeavours, we have highlighted some of the amazing initiatives in this issue’s Limelight.

Flick to page 80 to see the amazing ways our industry has raised money for a variety of causes during the pandemic

While it is challenging to decide what to investigate and discuss in a bi-monthly magazine (due to things changing on a daily basis), we believe we have covered most questions that you will be asking now and into the future. On p.28, we reveal the lessons learned by business leaders during the Covid-19 pandemic, and what the landscape of the bridging market is predicted to look like later this year and beyond. Has our sector recalibrated for the better, or will we see the same unsustainable practices emerge in months to come? 

We have also interviewed those that have been able to continue lending and supporting brokers throughout all of this, identifying exactly what underpinned their malleability, including a catch up with MT Finance’s sales team, how Masthaven’s bridging broker portal attracted a flurry of brokers during the crisis, and why the wait-and-see approach in these uncertain times has created space for legacy-free lenders. We also looked at why a stronger focus on company culture and a new working world order is not on the horizon, but already here. 

If you are struggling to stack things up for your clients from a leverage perspective, we delved into the use of mezzanine finance as a tool during and after the outbreak, how interest charging models may (or may not) change as a result of these unparalleled times, and why you should be heading to virtual property auctions to build up your business pipelines.

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Find out how virtual property auctions could build your business pipelines on p.48 

With valuers and construction workers now back to work, and non-essential shops now opening their doors again, we are likely to see increased momentum. However, following social distancing guidelines and discussing, planning for, and respecting each other’s capabilities, ahead of time, will be vital throughout what is expected to be a series of phased stages during the rest of this year. To quote one broker in our cover story, “the market takes the elevator down, but the steps back up”—we should be looking to take the sustainable route.

Read the full issue of the magazine, here.

Subscribe, for free, to receive the next hard-copy issue, in August, here.

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