Bridging lender SoMo, recently rebranded from The BridgeCrowd, has reported a 30% uptick in its client base, in part due to the popularity of its valuation-only product.

This product has been part of SoMo’s wheelhouse for almost a decade, but over the years the lender has reported an interesting shift in its key demographics.

Historically pigeonholed as being a resource for the adverse credit crowd, Jamie Jolly, managing director of SoMo, says more and more vanilla and high net worth (HNW) borrowers are discovering the benefits.

Jolly said: “We launched valuation-only products assuming that it would allow us to capture business from within the from the adverse space.

“It did at first, but we’ve noticed that naturally, over time, we’ve received more vanilla type business, where the credit profile was perfect, it fitted low rates, the assets that were being offered by way of collaterals were fine, the customer’s profile is excellent for income, affordability, etc.”

Instead, customers have seen the benefit of streamlined processes, fewer hurdles to jump through, and, importantly, speedy access to finance.

To make this work for borrowers, while also maintaining safe and secure lending for itself, SoMo puts in a lot of the legwork behind the scenes, according to Jolly, in order to understand the viability of the deal, and keep a finger on the pulse of the market.

Jolly explained that rather than saying ‘yes’ to deals sight unseen, these are carefully considered decisions.

He added: “There’s plenty of applications for valuation-only where, if we can’t get comfortable behind the scenes that we can get our money back and we can redeem that bridge, we’ll say ‘no’. It’s as simple as that – it’s hard to put a number on it, but we probably say ‘no’ more than we say ‘yes’.

“We can’t put our business at risk. We’ve got to make good decisions, based on sound information and a sound understanding of the market, not just what goes on within our four walls.”

Read the full interview about valuation-only products and their place in the changing market of 2022, including case studies, in the March issue of Bridging Introducer.