A third of brokers say they have placed at least a quarter of their clients with specialist lenders over the last 12 months.
The study from Bluestone Mortgages also found that of those, one in four referred up to half of their clients.
And around one in ten brokers quizzed placed more than half of their clients with lenders in the specialist sector.
Specialists have become particularly important for clients who work for themselves, with half of brokers stating that the typical employment status of a specialist client was self-employed.
The most popular reason for pointing a client towards a specialist lender was falling outside of lending criteria employed by mainstream lenders, cited by 53 per cent of respondents.
Other key factors included irregular or multiple income streams or the client having black marks on their credit history, all receiving 43 per cent or 42 per cent of broker responses.
Engage more customers
Steve Seal, director of sales and marketing at Bluestone Mortgages, said it was positive to see that brokers were open to placing clients in the specialist sector.
He continued: “While brokers are taking action to help those who may otherwise be unable to secure high street lending, there are still some who remain cautious of specialist lending, as they don’t want to deal with complex customers or unfamiliar lenders.
“However, this is actually a great opportunity for brokers to engage with a growing pool of customers who have unique circumstances which can’t always be addressed by mainstream lending.”