10 RIGHT ANGLE GROUP
This up-and-coming commercial brokerage is taking its focus on continual service to new areas of lending
Not only is Right Angle Group one of the youngest brokerages in this list, it’s one of a new breed of explicitly commercial brokerages that are now spreading their wings. Set up four years ago by five commercial brokers, the brokerage has diversified this year – into residential lending.
The challenge Right Angle Group faced, explains director Guy Hewartson, is that “we probably weren’t very good at [residential lending]”. While they had experts in childcare, construction and medical finance, residential was still a blind spot. “We made the decision that we had to get someone in our business who knew what they were doing, which we did, and it has been hugely successful.”
This year is the first time the brokerage has appeared in MPA’s Top 10, and this success has been built on a clientele of self-employed clients, property investors and developers, and high-net-worth property owners, explains Hewartson. “Most of our deals are split into construction or term investment for commercial and investment properties,” he says. These clients come to the brokerage through a referral network of accountants, property professionals, valuers and lawyers, built up over the years.
Being commercial specialists means that Right Angle Group approaches client contact in a different way. It doesn’t depend on schedules or templates, which Hewartson believes are a “commoditised way of dealing with people”, more relevant to the residential space. Most of the brokerage’s clients are continually building businesses and thus are continually in contact. Right Angle Group sends out an e-newsletter detailing deals it has recently done so clients get a practical example of what’s happening in the market. It also runs information sessions in various formats, notes Hewartson.
When it comes to managing costs, Hewartson concentrates on keeping the brokers doing what they do best – negotiating and delivering solutions. To this end they have six support staff who manage admin and submission. “We like to think of them as our ‘professional naggers’,” Hewartson jokes. Their strategy is about getting the right people working on the right things, he adds. “It’s not a numbers game.”
Balancing broker and brand reputations is less of a challenge for Right Angle Group, given the level of trust between its directors, Hewartson explains. “We’ve all known each other for more than 10 years, whilst we’ve only been in business for four.” It’s all about having the right people on board, he concludes.
“The fundamental question at the moment is ‘why do people use brokers?’ … and the bottom line is the banks are rubbish! People want service, and if you don’t have people who can provide that service and solutions, you’ll fail with the business.”