Bond Approve’s first out of the industry blocks with the launch of a Bond Card last July has proven substantially effective in maintaining its business levels against the mortgage origination industry’s national drop off in new home loan business.
In fact, according to Bond Approve managing director John Roberts, the company’s level of home loan application business remains in line with that of the same time last year.
The Durban-headquartered company, according to Roberts in an interview this week, has also enjoyed national infrastructural growth with the opening of three new franchises – Pietermaritzburg on March 1 and Margate and Bloemfontein on April 1 - to now stand at 16 franchises/offices nationally and further benefited by the recruitment of top consultants from the larger originators, four of whom are signing new monthly business up to the value of R10m.
Apart from the card, which offers holder benefits such as no bond registration fee; cash back and referral business and discounts, Roberts says Bond Approve has directed its business model at the consumer, spearheaded by the launch of the Bond Card, rather than the real estate agencies, which has helped cushion it against the fall off in sales. He notes that some of the of the smaller originators with a high dependence on the real estate industry for new business are now linking up with the larger originators in the hope of better market exposure.
Although the number of Bond Approve’s homeloan rejections are slightly up on last year, Roberts says he is more concerned at the longer periods banks are now taking to give decisions, which are often seen as the fault of the originator by the applicant rather than then bank
A pleasing feature of the current market for Roberts is the market stirrings of property investors. Although still sporadic, he believes the longer the current conditions continue the more likely they are to emerge from their enforced hibernation and the hungrier they will be as good investment opportunities ripen.