Can your data security stand the heat?

The current hotter weather gives us all the perfect excuse to chill out, relax with friends and family. However, there’s one thing that you can’t be relaxed about during the summer – or at any time: data security. If you let that slip, you put both your and your clients’ information at risk.

Be sensible

First on your checklist should be backing up your data, because if something goes wrong and you don’t have a copy, you risk losing it all. Backing up your computer regularly will ensure you always have contingency, should the unthinkable happen. There is a variety of ways to do this. Perhaps purchase a separate hard drive that you keep on another premises or back up to a cloud – whatever you do, make sure that you do something.

You should also ensure that you update any computer programmes you use regularly. Whenever prompted, make sure you agree to the latest update so that your computer and other devices are protected with the most recent anti-virus software.

Be vigilant

It’s also a must to regularly update your passwords and ensure that you use a combination of symbols, letters and numbers (we know it’s tedious, but it does help) to ensure that they are not easy to crack. The best passwords are in fact completely random, but a variety of useful password manager applications can help you manage them.

Also make sure that all your devices are stored safely. Whether in office premises or in your own home, make sure laptops and computers are not easy to spot from outside prying eyes – and also being vigilant if transporting your laptop from A to B. Being careful in the first instance will help to ensure their safety – and will also mean that you don’t have to fork out costly amounts or claim on your insurance for replacement devices.

Protect the information, not just the device

Recent history shows that even the strongest passwords can be hacked – and an awful lot of information stored on our gadgets and computers could be worth a lot to someone with dishonest intentions. So phone numbers, sensitive files, important emails and messages are best encrypted, whichever device you are using. Here are a few examples of the best encryption software you can use for laptops – and apps for mobile phones.

It’s also sensible to investigate being able to ‘wipe’ (delete) your data remotely if ever your device is lost or stolen.

Our end of the bargain

Security of data and security of systems work hand in hand. Whilst you need to do your bit, we also do ours. So we work with well-known specialist providers offering Managed Cloud Services to ensure that we have the latest security practices in place. There are regular security updates made to all our systems, ensuring they are safe from potential cyber threats. Plus all the data stored in our systems is backed up to ensure that we have a secure copy for whenever you may need it. Firewalls are in place too, preventing hackers from gaining access to any data, and with our specialist security partners, we also regularly test our systems to spot any potential vulnerabilities.

Together we’ll remain protected

As long as we work together, we can ensure that both your data and various devices remain safe and secure. So back up your data, keep your systems up-to-date and take good care of them and we’ll continue to manage things our end. Then you can relax this summer, and in fact, all year round, safe in the knowledge that your data and devices are secure.

Find a handy cyber-security leaflet on our website, and contact the support team if you have further queries on 0208 665 3200.

Your digital summer

Jetting off on an airplane to somewhere tropical this summer? Or, perhaps, you’re heading somewhere closer to home here in sunny England. Whatever your plans, many of you will want to make sure you’re still there for your customers, if they need you – even if that’s from a beach or whilst sunning yourself by a swimming pool!

Luckily, we’ve got you covered – not only with our products, but with some top digital tips, too.

Make sure your business is listed on UKMortgages

Summer is a popular time to move house so plenty of people will be in need of your professional help. If you are a Mortgage Brain sourcing user, you can list your business on UKMortgages, our free lead generation suite for brokers, and help local customers to find your firm’s details and get in touch.

All you need to do is to provide your details on our website and you’ll be good to go.

Source any time, any place…

MortgageBrain Anywhere is our online, whole of market sourcing system. It provides total flexibility, allowing you to source mortgages for your clients anytime, anywhere from any PC, tablet or laptop, you just need an internet connection. Products are updated automatically and there is no need to download anything.

You don’t even need to be on the same device each time you log in, either. MortgageBrain Anywhere is exactly that: anywhere! You can start a case on your computer at work, and continue it later on your iPad or tablet, which is helpful when you’re going away on holiday and don’t have access to your laptop or PC.

If you’re not yet a MortgageBrain Anywhere customer, you can get your hands on a 30-day free trial and see what you think.

Keep in step with your clients whilst away

It’s not just you who will be thinking about how you can tie up all the loose ends before going away. We can also help your clients get things in order so that they can enjoy more of their summer.

The Key Client Portal is part of our digital customer journey offering and was designed with a better customer experience in mind, to ensure efficient communication and information exchange between you and your client.

The main benefit of your clients using the Client Portal is its time-saving ability. The Portal’s Fact Find functionality enables your clients to input their own data – with 24-hour access so they can do it at a time most convenient to them. This means you can collect data on your clients without having to organise a meeting to gather this information – handy if either of you have a holiday booked during this time!

You can try the Key free for 30 days here if you don’t use it already, and we have plenty more benefits outlined for both you and your clients with regards to the Client Portal on our dedicated page.

Social media savvy?

You may be going on holiday, but your business doesn’t need to take a break! Social media is a fantastic – plus simple – way to generate potential leads and raise brand awareness even when you’re not in the office.

If you have a Facebook page, spend some time before you go away scheduling in posts. For those of you who use Twitter or LinkedIn, there are plenty of scheduling platforms around that you can use – take a look at Buffer, Hootsuite and Hubspot, amongst others.

During the summer months, it’s also preferable to share even more value-adding content such as light-hearted articles or tips that people will find interesting – anything that adds value to your followers. This is likely to gain you an engaged audience, which, if they’re in your target audience, means they may be more likely to consider your services because they have a great impression of you from social media.

In summary – enjoy your summer

So, that’s your digital summer in a nutshell! If you have any other tips about how you manage your business whilst you are away, or any other features of our systems that are helpful during the holiday season, make sure you share them by tweeting us!

Meet the team: Chris Brown

An integral member of the Mortgage Brain family, Chris has been part of our sales team for a good few years now. He spends his time meeting advisers, mortgage clubs and networks and is an avid Twitter user – you can follow him @chrisbrownmbl. We quizzed him on all things Mortgage Brain – as well as some added extras…

How long have you been working at Mortgage Brain?
Six whole years!

What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is different and ranges from travelling the length of the country for meetings with brokers and networks to carrying out webinars. It’s a complete mixed bag.

What’s your favourite part of your job?
The sheer variety of the role makes every day enjoyable!

What is your best Mortgage Brain memory?
There have been many memories, however, the signing up of a large network to use our software having beaten off the new entrants into the market has to be the highlight.

Why Mortgage Brain – what drew you to the company?
Technology will continue to lead the way for advisers and as Mortgage Brain has the pedigree and track record – why not join the best?

Tea or coffee?
I do enjoy my coffee, however, a nice cup of Earl Grey always goes down well.

You’re stranded on a desert island. Which co-worker would you like to have with you, and why?
Dionne Pullen as she always brings food to our meetings and no doubt would be prepared!

What’s your best party trick?
My wife would say my dancing – always good for a laugh.

Do you have any bad habits – especially ones that annoy the rest of the office?!
As I am rarely in the office, I am not there enough to annoy people!

What’s your best quality, and how does it help you at work?
Being Northern, it has to be my down to earth approach to life!

“Alexa… open UKMortgages.”

With Amazon Echo – and its friendly virtual assistant, Alexa – now a staple item in many homes across the UK, it seemed only appropriate to explore the latest Smart Speaker technology and what it could do and thus, the first UK Amazon Echo Mortgage Skill was born.

Developed to ultimately support consumers and drive business to our mortgage adviser customers, our UK Mortgage Skill is an industry-first. Now through a Smart Speaker device, consumers are able to search for a suitable mortgage and find mortgage advisers local to them to help them purchase their new property, simply by asking Alexa.

Ground-breaking mortgage sourcing

The new Skill combines our mortgage data and Amazon’s technology, allowing users to ask Alexa to find a mortgage that fits their needs.

Alexa will ask the user a few questions before searching through over 10,000 mortgage products and then will verbally provide details of the headline product – the mortgage product deemed most suitable based on their answers. Alexa will also send a summary of the most suitable Fixed, Variable and Tracker mortgage products to the user’s Alexa app.

Connecting consumers with advisers

Users can also ask Alexa to find them a local adviser. The Skill can either use the postcode registered to the user’s device – or an alternative one can be provided – to search through thousands of mortgage advisers to find businesses closest to them. All the mortgage advisers listed use Mortgage Brain sourcing software so they have access to all the mortgage products provided by Alexa during her mortgage product search.

Alexa will then provide the name and phone number of the user’s nearest adviser, and send a further list of up to ten local advisers directly through to their Alexa app.

How does it work?

There’s no need to register for the Skill to use it – simply say “Alexa, open UKMortgages,” and Alexa will then offer the option of searching for a mortgage or finding an adviser.

Users will need to provide the amount they wish to borrow, property price and whether they are a first-time buyer, moving home or remortgaging. Alexa will then search through a comprehensive list of whole of market mortgage products and 1,000s of mortgage advisers to find the best products and nearest companies.

Be in it to win

It comes at no additional cost to your licence fee to be listed as a mortgage adviser in the Mortgage Skill, but you do need to be a Mortgage Brain sourcing customer.

In order for your company details to be included, you need to provide your company’s name, address, phone number, email address and website (if applicable). You’ll also need to provide a short company description, which you can do easily on our website.

You can check for yourself that your business details are correct within the UKMortgages suite of products by asking Alexa on an Amazon Echo device to “open UKMortgages,” or on the website www.ukmortgages.uk.com or by downloading the UKMortgages app from either your Apple or Android play store.

So don’t miss any potential customer leads and be part of the UK’s first ever mortgage Skill. Your company listing will appear both on the UKMortgages app, website and Skill – hope to see yours soon!

If this sounds appealing but you are not a sourcing customer yet, you can start a free 30-day trial here.

Take a look at our full press release for more information on this exciting announcement, and make sure you tweet us @Mortgage_Brain when you or one of your customers have tried it out!

Get your red trainers on!

We’re just over half way through another month, and it’s been a busy one for us all. Our fantastic sales team have been up and down the country throughout March presenting the Key Client Portal across the UK at events and conferences.

Integrating with both Mortgage Brain Classic and Mortgage Brain Anywhere, the Key is the industry’s leading back-office system, and its Client Portal now has a Fact Find functionality, which has made it even more sought-after!

For those of you who’ve not been lucky enough to bump into one of our team to find out what the Key offers, we’ve popped it all into a blog for you to explore for yourself.

The benefits: they’re for both you and your customer

The modern customer experience is a highlight of the Key’s Client Portal. Not only does the Portal provide your customer with a modern and efficient experience in their dealings with you, but it means that you can offer this as one of the main benefits for them to choose you as their broker.

The ease at which you can keep your clients up to date with the process of their application is another main highlight, with the Client Portal offering 24-hour access to both you and your customers via desktop, laptop, smartphone and tablet.

Safe and secure

Security is a top priority for us, and we ensure that it can be for you as well. The Client Portal enables you to request, send, collate and receive information securely from and to your clients. It acts as a completely secure method of communication and data storage, so you can both ensure anything you share within the Client Portal is kept safe.

Client-focused Fact Find

Of the Key’s capabilities, it’s the digital Fact Find functionality that has received the most interest since its launch – and why it will be the main focus of this blog – so you can enhance your digital customer journey even further.

The Fact Find functionality is designed to enable clients to provide their information as and when it is convenient for them. This information is then automatically attached to their record within the Key. It means that you can collect hard facts before any initial meetings. This saves you time potentially taking up to 30 minutes of the mortgage process and means that potentially your client meeting can focus on advice, rather than spending much of it gathering this information.

You also have the ability to lock or unlock your clients’ access to the Fact Find so that you can control when they can update and access the data.

While the above aren’t the extent of the Key’s highlights, they’re the most notable ones that our customers have found most useful when using the Key and its Client Portal. You can discover plenty more on our dedicated section on our website, where you can also begin your 30-day free trial.

You can find out more about the Key Client Portal, and its online Fact Find, at events up and down the country. Our events page will keep you up to date with where you can find us, and we also share where we are on Twitter @Mortgage_Brain and LinkedIn.

Meet the team: Craig Kerrigan

As you’re reading our blog, you probably know plenty about our company, systems and what we offer. But how much do you know about the people behind Mortgage Brain? Our new series will allow you to meet our team – the people who bring our company to life and are the face of our Mortgage Brain.

You’ve met Lee Richardson, now we’d like to introduce you to Craig Kerrigan, one of our national account managers, who is a Mortgage Brain newbie, and an integral part of our team.

How long have you been working at Mortgage Brain?
Coming up to five months now, I’ve been here since early September 2017.

What does a typical day look like for you?
I guess that the old adage “there’s no such thing as a typical day” is relevant. 
Some days I’ll be out with our existing clients at their premises (wherever around the UK that may be) for account meetings, reviewing where we are currently and also where we’re going together in the future to support their business. Other days, I might be in one of our offices (Bromsgrove or Croydon) for meetings with our sales and/or support teams. I’m home-based officially, so there will also be maybe a couple of days per week for prospecting for new clients and required administration.

 What’s your favourite part of your job?
The client contact, as mentioned above, ensuring that Mortgage Brain and our customers are working 
in partnership to support their businesses and deliver a great service to them and their end customers.

What is your best Mortgage Brain memory?
Our adventures around the UK – from Newcastle to Belfast, to London to Worcester, to Newport – between September and November 2017. We delivered ten Mortgage Vision events to over 1,000 Advisers – 98.9% of whom would recommend them to a colleague and 95% rated the events as either excellent or very good.

It was fantastic to see so many Advisers attend to hear about the marketplace from the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI), and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from ourselves. Feedback was that Advisers and firms still required support with this, and that’s what we’re doing currently. Hard work to put on but fun and rewarding.

Why Mortgage Brain – what drew you to the company?
Upon talking to various people in and around both the industry and the company, their approach to 
 managing both their people and their customers as valuable individuals.

Tea or coffee?
I’m one of those strange and rare Brits that doesn’t drink either! Soup or hot lemon when it’s cold, but, 
generally, juice or water-based drinks (I’d include beer in that!)

You’re stranded on a desert island. Which co-worker would you like to have with you, and why?
Lee Richardson for his dancing skills – anything else I say is liable to be libellous!

What’s your best party trick?
Making myself disappear at midnight!

Do you have any bad habits – especially ones that annoy the rest of the office?!
I love an all-day breakfast sandwich – which I’ve been banned from eating at my desk!

What’s your best quality, and how does it help you at work?
Trying to put myself in the customer’s shoes, ensuring that we try and meet their needs and give them a great service whilst also ensuring that we still remember that we are in business.

A helping hand from ConveyancingBrain

Going the extra mile is in our nature. Whether it’s offering help with the various facets of our systems or providing training, our team are always on hand to ensure you can make the most of what we can offer.

ConveyancingBrain, our comparison conveyancing quotation and case tracking system, is no different. We have a dedicated team on board, always ready to provide support – on a completely one to one level.

Personal touch

Once you register with ConveyancingBrain, you’ll receive a call and we’ll answer any questions you may have. You can also access the most frequently asked questions in our help and support section on our website at any time.

Our on-going support then continues throughout your ConveyancingBrain journey. We understand that, for many of you, this may well be your first time offering a conveyancing service to your customer, so understandably there will be questions and nervousness from time to time. Hence why we always on hand whenever you may need it.

We also like to thank every new Adviser using ConveyancingBrain with a box of chocolates or bottle of wine when their first quote becomes the first instruction. Just our way of saying thank you to you for choosing and putting your trust in ConveyancingBrain. We don’t think that you will be disappointed.

Learning more

For the visual learners out there, we also offer a 1-2-1 system demonstration. This has helped plenty of advisers discover the best ways to recommend conveyancing to their clients, and how to use our system to its potential.

Our website also has links to a number of flyers; to help you sell conveyancing to your clients, brush up on your understanding of any terminology, or if you wish to understand the ins and outs of how the case tracking system works, we’ve got it covered.

Keeping in touch

Even if you’re well on your way with your ConveyancingBrain journey, we still like to check in once a month to see how you’re getting on. We make proactive calls to ensure that if you have any concerns or queries, we can put your mind at ease and guide you through.

You’ll also be added to our mailing list, so you’ll be the first to know about any updates to the system and any new features we’ve added in.

Making progress

The smooth progression of cases is in everyone’s best interests, and our case notes tracking system is the perfect way to ensure that everyone knows what is going on. Our case tracking guide runs through exactly where to find and use the case notes in the system, with screenshots to ensure that you’re looking in the right place.

Case tracking enables you and also us to stay up to date with the progress of all your cases, provides you with an audit trail, and provides a three-way communication between you, the solicitor and our team, so that each case moves as smoothly as possible towards completion.

Want to learn more about our service? We’re always more than happy to answer any of your ConveyancingBrain questions – whether you’re already signed up or you’re looking to join us. You can give us a call on our mobile-friendly number 0371 200 0655, or get in touch via social media on both Twitter and LinkedIn.

How much is a broker worth?

Do you think your neighbours, family and friends really understand what your job entails? In a Legal & General report, they found that more than half of UK consumers didn’t actually realise that a mortgage broker could offer greater product choice than banks or building societies – and about a third believed that brokers worked on behalf of a bank.

In fact, buyers have plenty of misconceptions when it comes to securing a mortgage and the role a broker plays in enabling them to find better deals and save money along the way.

Nearly half (48%) of homeowners and prospective buyers who did not use a broker chose not to do so because they felt their bank or building society offered them a good deal. But, as we know, as a broker, you are able to source mortgages from a much extensive pool, whereas a bank can only offer their own products.

The wider public seem unaware, however, with almost a fifth (19%) believing that brokers and banks have the same access to all mortgage products. In reality, brokers actually have plenty more options – up to eight times more than a bank or a building society. According to research, as of 30th October 2017, there were 3,721 products available direct to consumers, compared to a mammoth 29,886 available via a mortgage broker.

Not only is there a lack of knowledge about the differences between offerings of banks versus brokers, the research also discovered that one in seven respondents thought their bank or building society would be able to give them access to the same impartial advice as a mortgage broker.

The research from Legal & General highlights an education gap within the society, with a plethora of misconceptions surrounding the role of a mortgage broker and the true number of benefits they can provide to their clients. Mortgage brokers should be shouting about their ability to offer a more impartial, comprehensive service with far more financing choices when compared to a single lender. It is all about spreading the word and educating friends, family and neighbours, so that they can then spread their knowledge within their network and eventually to the wider public – all to mutual benefit.

So, next time you are asked what you do by your neighbour, a family member, a client, a friend or even someone you’ve just met, be sure not to hide your light under a bushel. Tell them what a mortgage broker does in fact do and therefore what you REALLY are worth.

2017: A year in review

Enhanced systems, superior industry-leading functionality, our biggest roadshow of Mortgage Vision events yet, plus our milestone 30th birthday party raising money for charity….. How do we begin to review just how great 2017 has been for you and us?

Let’s start with our systems.

You, our valued customer, are at the very epicentre of what we do. That’s why our focus throughout this year – and every year – has been on the enhancements we could make to our products, in order to ensure you are able to make the most of what’s on offer to you, and ensure the mortgage sourcing process is as streamlined and simple as possible.

We began in February with the Key as we launched our secure Client Portal, enabling you and your clients to communicate with each other within the Portal 24/7. It was a move that brought you and your customers closer than ever before, and has allowed increased levels of communications within a highly secure environment.

Our other big announcement this year was our integrated second charge sourcing, which is now available in both MortgageBrain Classic and MortgageBrain Anywhere. The system enhancements broke new ground in our industry, offering the ability to compare as many appropriate first and second charge product side-by-side as you wish.

Provided at no additional cost, the new functionality has since enabled our customers to use both MortgageBrain Classic and, more recently, MortgageBrain Anywhere, unlike any other sourcing systems available on the market.

We also celebrated turning the big 30…

Over 300 of our closest partners joined us in April to celebrate the 30th birthday of Mortgage Brain. Not only did the evening allow us to celebrate the last thirty years in business, but it also meant we were able to raise an incredible £100,000 for our chosen charities: Birmingham Christmas Shelter, Contact the Elderly, Young Dementia, MDS UK Patient Support Group, the Alzheimer’s Society, Shooting Star Children’s Hospice, Compassion International and Haiti Orphanage Project Espwa.

30th birthday

On a fantastic evening of celebration, our CEO, Mark Lofthouse, said: “Reaching our 30th birthday is a significant achievement, and as well as giving us the opportunity to celebrate, it was a perfect opportunity to say thank you to our business partners, friends, colleagues and associates.

“It was also the perfect opportunity to help raise much-needed funds for several great causes and I would like to thank everyone who has helped us raise over £100,000 for charity, which will make a huge difference to the people they help.”

And our Mortgage Vision events were our biggest yet.

We set a new attendance record at our Mortgage Vision roadshow this year, with a 22 per-cent increase an adviser attendance – a new record in our eight-year history of running the annual events.

Almost 1,100 advisers joined us at the free-to-attend events across the UK, learning about the impact of GDPR, the creation of a digital customer experience, and plenty more. The events also include round table sessions from leading industry organisations – a real pivotal part of what makes our events so vital for you to attend.

We didn’t stop there.

This year, we’ve also added to our team to support the company’s growth and product development, reached over 12,000 conveyancing quotes with ConveyancingBrain, seen the 2 million transaction mark reached by Mortgage Trading Exchange (MTE), and announced news about numerous lenders partnering with us.

What does 2018 hold?

For the industry as a whole, GDPR will be at the very top of the agenda, as we all work towards ensuring compliance with the new rules and regulations.

Our Mortgage Vision survey found that the majority of UK advisers are at risk of non-compliance with GDPR, with 81 per-cent of survey respondents still having no implementation of rules or regulations as of November. Our main aim going into 2018 will be educating advisers as much as possible on the importance of GDPR compliance, and ensuring everyone is as prepared as can be as soon as it comes into effect.

The digital advice journey will also take centre stage in the new year and become increasingly important, and we will also be stepping in to ensure you have all the tools you need at your disposal to maximise business opportunities and stay ahead of the game.

We’re also looking forward to even more product enhancements next year, with product investment being at the heart of what we have undertaken in 2017, and a continuing focus for us going forward.

Our biggest and best year yet? That’s up for debate, but we are certainly proud of 2017’s achievements, and we can’t wait to break more new ground and help you be an even more successful adviser next year!

Social Media for Advisers

Social media for advisers – where to start?

Research shows that £145Bn worth of mortgages were granted in 2016* but with new mortgage brokers setting up every week you need to be able to protect, and indeed grow, your own market share. You can gain instant access to 1000s of buyers using social media, but where do you start? Or how do you maximise your time online to the best effect? In this article, we explore how social media can give you that competitive edge.

Why use social media?

Being part of a social media community immediately opens up opportunities to expand your audience, communicate within the industry and engage with potential clients. It can help you:

  • Keep abreast of the latest news and developments in the mortgage market
  • Promote your business and communicate with potential clients
  • Network with fellow brokers and connect with Lenders
  • Link in with industry influencers who may open doors for you

As we mentioned in our previous blog, your website acts as your shop window. Social media goes further – it provides more channels and opportunities to promote your business, as well as directing readers to your own website. With each and every social media channel you can easily connect, engage and discuss with all those who are important to you. You can promote your business through your social profile(s) to help attract new clients. By posting engaging, relevant content and promoting your profiles to others, you can help boost your reputation and recognition amongst your target audience.

You can promote your business through your social profile(s) to help attract new clients. By posting engaging, relevant content and promoting your profiles to others, you can help boost your reputation and recognition amongst your target audience.

Social media platforms allow you to network with fellow brokers, start a conversation about a current topic and discuss more general, light-hearted subjects. Ultimately, social media gives you the possibility to grow a network of contacts you can connect and potentially work with in the future.

Using social media

Which platforms should you use?

From Facebook to Pinterest and YouTube, the myriad of channels can be overwhelming making it hard to know which one/s to focus on.  However, you don’t have to use them all. Don’t overstretch yourself and focus your efforts on perhaps just one platform to start with. This will ensure the quality of your messages remains of a high standard and you are able to post regularly.

TOP TIP: Do NOT attempt to use more than three channels when starting out on social media. Perhaps start with one and build from there.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a prime platform for brokers to find and network with like-minded peers. It is traditionally a professional network, where discussions tend to centre on industry-related subjects. This means that most of your connections are likely to be people you work with and other industry contacts you may know, for example, people you have met at events or conferences. You can also join groups about topics you’re interested in or to connect with like-minded people, such as the Mortgage Brain group or Mortgage Brokers UK.

You can create a personal profile as well as a company page for your business to post your own content and updates to promote your services.

Twitter

The main benefit of Twitter is that it is an open network. While LinkedIn and Facebook both have closed networks whereby you must connect with, ‘like’ or ‘follow’ someone in order for them to see your content, Twitter is open to everyone.

Unless your account is on a private setting, people can see your tweets and get involved in discussions, especially if you use hashtags. This is an excellent technique to increase brand awareness and to spread the word about your business.  Don’t use more than a couple of hashtags in any one tweet thought, otherwise it could look like spam.  Again, you can set up your profile to be personal – or create one for your business.

TOP TIP: Even though Twitter now enables you to write longer posts, it’s best to keep them short so as not to be too wordy. For example: Radical new proposals to cut out unfair abuses of leasehold have been announced by the government this week:  buff.ly/2uBapHo (132 characters)

Facebook

Your personal Facebook profile with party and children photos won’t get you far in the mortgage world, so for business promotion, it is a good idea to create a Facebook company page to act as the hub of your marketing on this channel.

Like many other social channels, Facebook allows you to schedule content to be posted directly onto your page and reach out to your target audience with the use of promoted posts. It is a tool primarily for businesses to use, and it can help you with lead generation.

TOP TIP: Ensure you set up the right sort of page for your business – Facebook guides you through the process and has a great help centre should you need it.

Business or pleasure?

If you have your own business and are looking to grow your client base, it’s best to first focus on creating company pages for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can share similar content across all three sites whilst ensuring you reach a variety of audiences since different people use different networks. This simple step ensures you are promoting your business, rather than your social activities.

TOP TIP: Check your organisation’s policy to ensure you stay within their guidelines (if applicable). It may include hints and tips to get you started.

If you work for a larger company and would like to expand your industry presence as an individual, you can start off with a Twitter account and a LinkedIn profile. You can get involved in discussions on Twitter and tweet from meetings or events to get involved in conversation with fellow brokers. Start building connections with colleagues on LinkedIn and explore any groups you can join to meet new people to network online with.

Use social media to your advantage

Using social media wisely can help grow your business and your network of trusted contacts and specialists. Show yourself to be an expert in your field and you are likely to earn the trust and respect of your audience. You should share interesting, unique content that adds value to your followers, reminding yourself that it’s quality, not quantity that counts. Dedicate sufficient time to build an audience on each network – and remember not to spread yourself too thin. Good luck!

*Source: Building Societies Association