Competition for your clients is increasing.
Nearly half of all product transfers done in 2018 was done on a non-advised basis. As the FCA highlighted in their Mortgage Market Study Interim Report, a significant minority of consumers (30%) purchase a mortgage despite there being an alternative mortgage that was “unambiguously cheaper than their chosen product”.
As brokers, we understand the value of the advice we give to the clients when we see their feedback and the positive outcomes on a daily basis. However, we need to adapt our behaviours to convey this value to our clients. Expectations around the services we offer and how we communicate with clients is ever-changing and we need to ensure that we keep up with these changes.
The current environment means more clients are taking five year fixed rates – nearly half of all fixed rates taken in 2018 were five years or more. Clients are more likely to require advice on options they may not have considered previously such as porting, further advances and second charge loans, as well as the other important decision brokers are often called upon to help with such as weighing up the financial and emotional costs of moving versus home improvements; if and how they should consolidate debts. These areas are increasingly likely to be the time where brokers are able to demonstrate the lifetime value of their advice over the alternatives.
One of the most neglected aspects of a brokers role is managing the client journey from the point of completion through to the end of the initial product period. There is a huge opportunity to improve this journey with regular, targeted communication that reminds the client that their broker is still available to them and their best source of knowledge.
Adding value to the product transfer process
Lenders are focusing more on client retention and improving the ease with which you can switch products. Whilst a broker may not be able to offer the same level ease of clients as a product transfer, they can add demonstrable value by conducting a market search to ensure the client is really getting the best product for their needs.
Whilst product transfers often pay a lower proc fee, they provide brokers with the opportunity to keep that client informed and active in their client bank. When a client cuts out the broker on a product transfer, the likelihood of that client returning in the future drops off a cliff. You lose the relevant information about their new mortgage and can’t communicate as effectively with them when their new product ends.
Whilst no two clients are the same, having a client-focused, robust, compliant processes will ensure that clients received a smooth, consistent journey in every interaction.
We know that brokers improve their client’s experiences and feelings towards their mortgage. We need to remind our clients of the value that we add over the lifetime of their mortgage and the benefit of regular conversations with their broker.
Hemel is an industry expert with over 9 years working as an adviser within two of the UK’s foremost mortgage broking firms. He is focused on helping the mortgage industry engage and communicate with clients to ensure that they receive the best advice.