In this thought piece, Michael Brown BDM for London, shares his thoughts on the broker mortgage advice process and why he feels reviewing this process will ensure you always keep your customers at the front of your mind.

I have just recently become a home owner and there was no greater word to hear than ‘completion’. That feeling you get when your solicitor rings you up to congratulate you is just magic. The house buying process is over and I tell you what a relief it was to hear those words. Buying a property can be stressful but doing it during a pandemic felt even more stressful and that is why I think the value of advice could be even more important. I started my journey back in February and my first port of call was to reach out to a qualified broker (I am quite lucky, I seem to know a few). Although I work in the industry, it was important for me to be able to gain that professional advice from someone who is detached from the emotion of the transaction. As a customer going through the broker’s advice process, it provided me with reassurance and ease during what was a very emotive time.

Which got me thinking, how often as an industry do individual brokers review their own advice processes? The world has been turned upside down over the last few months, which has forced many brokers to review their process and communication strategy to their customers. For many, it has become even more important with rapidly changing lending criteria and the reduction in mortgage products, especially at the higher LTV bracket. When you look at your current process, do you fully focus on securing the mortgage? Or perhaps there is a more holistic process in place? Has the impact of unemployment and security of the property been considered as part of that process? How about the suggested follow up and continuous contact throughout the life of the mortgage?

So why could it be important to review your advice process on a regular basis? Well, apart from the obvious obligatory updates for compliance/regulatory requirements that need to be built into the process, it could provide the opportunity to elevate your service by adding more value to the process. In a very competitive field, brokers who stand out to their customers at the beginning may be more likely to retain their clients’ custom in the future. If your process allows you to identify other client needs, it then provides a basis for additional offerings for the client. This could be typically for the likes of insurance cover or support with the conveyancing. Adaptability plays a part too, as you will need to cater for different types of customers i.e. First Time Buyers, Home Movers, Buy to Let clients, etc… A generic process may not be suitable for all types of clientele and I believe exploring those needs is crucial.

As a BDM, I understand the importance of my role in facilitating and supporting the journey you go through as a broker. It’s not just about winning your business, it’s about understanding that there is a customer to retain at the end of the transaction. Having personally gone through my own customer journey, I’m aware that the importance of the role we all play in the journey towards home-ownership can sometimes be overlooked. With the customer as the lead, we all play significant supporting roles - Brokers, Administrators, BDMs, and Underwriters.

Which leads me back to the beginning - completion and getting those keys in the hands for the first time. Let’s all think how we could make that happen for more customers! Right now, I am off to a well-known Swedish retailer to get some much-needed furniture!

Until next time.

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