Give your business a boost this festive season

While you may think that now is the time to start winding down for Christmas, your business won’t thank you for it if you do. As tempting as it may be to check out for Christmas, there’s still plenty of work to be done, and also a myriad of possible leads that you can acquire with very little work.

Even when you’re not sitting in your office this Christmas, or in front ofyour computer screen, you can still be effective in generating leads. And no, it’s not magic – here are some tips to guide you through a festive period ofproductivity, even when you’re in front of the fire with a mince pie in hand –you’ve just got to put in some work before you can put your feet up!

Make tweaks to your homepage

Put yourself in the shoes of someone who has just landed on your website and ask yourself: is it clear what I do, is it clear what I can offer them, andhave I made it easy for them to get in touch with me?

If the answer is no to any of these, you may want to look at tweaking your home page and making it look more like a landing page. The best way to do this is by limiting the number of options people have when they first visit your homepage – make the call to actions clear, simple and easy to carry out. Don’t distract them with tons of options, which may mean they navigate awayfrom the homepage and, ultimately, away from your site entirely.

Populate your homepage with the top keywords for your intended audience, and don’t use too much jargon here – you want to pull them in, not put them off.

Take advantage of easy-to-use plug-ins, like the ones we offer, and position yourself as a credible and modern professional adviser. Our plug-ins ask only basic questions, which means visitors are more likely to fill in the form – an easy way to generate leads without having to have an initial conversation! Plus you’ll receive those leads encrypted (so no security issues) and if you use The Key, our compliance and CRM system, they’ll go directly into the system, so no rekeying.

Make use of automation

Chatbots, also known as Live Chat, are the next big thing and there are so many reasons as to why; the main one being that it means you can automateprocesses and prompt conversations. Chatbots are there to automatically engagewith any messages you receive, again, meaning you don’t have to actually bethere in person all the time.

Add a chatbot or live chat to your website – you can even customise the message on each page of your website so that you can get people to ask specific questions based on what they’re seeing on that page – there will be a reason as to why they navigated there in the first place.

The chatbot can then gather the initial information from the customer, which can then be passed over to you or one of your team to provide the most adequate support. It also saves you from having conversations with people who may not be looking for exactly what you offer.

With 56% of people admitting they’d rather message than talk over the phone to a business [Sprout Social] the functionality enables you tointeract with customers how they want to without spending too much time ormoney yourself.

Set up advertising

If you’re happy to spend money on advertising, this is another great way to get leads without having to go out yourself to get them. There are plenty of different types of ads, but we’re particularly focusing here on social media advertising. You’ll need to know:

  • What platform your target audience is on?
  • Which products you could potentially sell to them?
  • What they’re interested in?
  • How you can address them to turn them into paying customers?

There are different types of ads depending on what your goal is and how far along the sales funnel the people you’re targeting are. You will want torun a mixture of brand awareness, consideration, and conversion ads– these can be set up to run even when you’re not in the office.

UKMortgages

Another super-easy option is to include your business details on UKMortgages – our lead generation suite which is free to all our sourcing customers. Consisting of a consumer-facing mortgage calculator &adviser search app, a website and an Amazon Echo Skill, it provides a fantastic way for local customers to get in touch with your business, anytime, anywhere.  Make sure that your details are on for all to find, by completing the relevant information on our website.

A little time and effort now = long term gains

As you can see, you don’t have to be putting in backbreaking effort every single day to increase your leads. You’ll have to spend a bit of time setting processes up and putting the wheels in motion initially. But, if done correctly, these processes can then run efficiently with little tweaking needed. This all means more time for you to spend with your family this festive season, and you can’t say no to that!

Wishing you a wonderful festive period and many hours with your feet up in front of the fire with a mince pie in hand.

Product investment – it is not important, it is critical.

Staying ahead of the game in our market relies on listening to our customers, coming up with innovative ideas to accommodate their changing needs and different ways of thinking. Product investment is therefore crucial to our business’s evolution and offering high-end solutions.

Speaking to Introducer Today this month, our CEO Mark Lofthouse gave his thoughts on how we have retained as an industry and thought leader by ensuring that product investment remains at the top of our agenda each year:

“The technology market,” he notes, “is a particularly competitive market and the longevity and survival of many tech companies is down, quite simply, to their approach to product investment and development. Apple is the world’s largest tech company and regularly features in lists of the top ten companies in the world of any description.

“There’s one very good reason for that – it keeps bringing out new products that people want to buy. The first iPhone, the product on which the company was established, was launched ten years ago and since then they have continued to launch a range of new, innovative iPhones and along the way supported by the launch of new ‘connected’ products and devices like the iPad and Apple Watch. If Apple had lost its way and was still trying to sell the original ‘ten-year-old’ iPhone, I can pretty much guarantee that, as a company, it’d be rotten to the core by now! Blackberry and Nokia prove that point!”

While the mortgage technology market may not run on such a global scale like Apple, Mark notes that the principles remain the same:

“Any company in its sector which doesn’t listen to its customers and adapt to a changing market can’t possibly survive in the long run.

“Let me start close to home for a minute. Mortgage Brain recently celebrated its 30th birthday and we’re still as relevant now as we were 30 years ago. This is because we continually listen to our customers, invest in new products and people, and develop new and associated technology products and services to bring to the market. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be here. Simple as that.”

As the use of technology constantly evolves, you need to ensure you can keep up with it. As Mark points out, having the resources to be able to ensure your vision and ideas become a reality – is crucial.

Mark continues: “It’s why we invest over 40% of our expenditure each year into product research and development. It’s through product development and investment in the mortgage technology market that saw the launch of the mortgage industry’s first ever sourcing system. The ability to complete and submit AIPs and Full Applications digitally and receive a lending decision in under a minute. The launch in 2012 of the industry’s first mobile App that promoted advisers to consumers and brought in new business leads.”

This kind of investment allowed us to bring the industry’s first ever iPad-based sourcing system to the table as well as the development of multi-device, online and offline, fully integrated first and second charge sourcing solutions. It was also through this same investment and development that meant mortgage advisers were able to break into new markets such as conveyancing and second charge mortgage sourcing.

But how did all these developments come about? Mark has an answer for that: “Continuous investment in people, products and services – if done properly – is much more than just bringing new products to the market for the sake of it. Done properly, product development and investment allows companies to help and support advisers through the constant regulatory and market changes.

“Interactive websites with mortgage search and selection capabilities are here and now, together with digital client portals, which enable consumers to complete online Fact Finds, and securely send and receive information and documentation – all of which is way ahead of what the large aggregators have to offer.”

So, what’s next for both the mortgage market and for us as a company?

Mark thinks that anything is possible: “Looking ahead five or more years the biggest changes will be in the way we interact with computers with voice commands taking over from keyboards, and if we go all out Sci-Fi, there’ll be holograms and human-like robots!

“Who knows where it will end? The mortgage tech industry may not work on Apple’s global scale, but it’s still investing millions in R&D to keep advisers ahead of the game in an ever-changing market. Continuous investment, therefore, isn’t important, it’s critical.”

You can read the full piece on our website here.

Four reasons to attend industry events

You turn your computer on. You log onto social media and see the latest conference hashtag, or see an email drop into your inbox about the next industry event. Tempted to go? You should be.

Industry events offer incredible benefits, such as increasing your knowledge to service your customers better, understanding forthcoming regulatory changes and requirements, developing networking skills and meeting up with industry representatives from different services.  We’ve rounded up our top reasons as to why you should attend events below:

  1. Knowledge gains

In our latest social media poll, 67% of you said that the part you value most about events is expanding your knowledge. From key speakers to the latest industry news, events are vital for increasing your understanding outside of what you learn during working hours.

Our Mortgage Vision events this year cover topics such as creating a digital journey for your customers, the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, Buy to Let activity 12 months on, the Competition Review, GDPR – new data protection legislation, the return of the First Time Buyer and much more.

You can only learn so much from reading books and published articles – you can learn far more from actually going out and meeting Lenders and product providers first-hand. There are always opportunities to ask questions, discuss relevant topics including the current and future of your industry with other delegates too.

  1. Plenty of opportunities to network

Events offer a fantastic way for you to meet your peers, discuss the latest industry news with likeminded individuals and compare how you are finding ‘business’.

Comparing notes about forthcoming legislation, discussing the latest technology advancements and going over changes to mortgage products with those who are working in the same market as you, can often be very enlightening.

Not only that, but networking can help evolve your interpersonal skills. If you’re new to the networking scene, events can provide a great way of getting used to introducing yourself to others and gain confidence in potentially seeking out people to talk to.

  1. Everything you need, all in one place

It can often take time to locate all the resources you need to see the latest news, understand the next lot of legislation changes and discover new and existing technology advancements that can help you be the best broker possible. Luckily for you, events can provide a place where you learn all this and more – in one place, and often in just one day.

Events allow you to learn the topics that are influencing the market from the key-note speakers, as well as taking part in workshops or individual roundtable sessions that will offer you the change to interact more closely with your peers and ask the important, burning questions from the presenters.

  1. And they may be CPD accredited!

A really key pull for many brokers is that the majority of industry events will enable you to gain all-important CPD hours. Conferences and event may have been accredited to provide structured CPD to those that attend. This means that the events will provide directed ‘study,’ and will have clear and precise learning objectives in place for the delegates.

Mortgage Brokers need to complete a minimum of 35 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) each year, of which 21 hours should be structured. So in our industry, it is important to ensure that you are improving your knowledge and gain continuing professional development hours each year and events are the perfect place to do so.

Need a few more benefits?

  • Many events, like Mortgage Vision, are free to attend!
  • They’re informative and allow you to meet new people
  • You can motivate yourself simply by being in an educational environment
  • You will impress your customers by being up to the minute with the very latest news and views

The real trick to events is to go with clear objectives and plan your day to get the most of your time. Whatever your reason for going, we would love to hear it. Tweet us with the hashtag #MVision17 and let us know your top motive for attending events.

Conveyancing and technology: how the two go hand in hand

The conveyancing market is booming. Proactivity levels have soared by 69% in the past four years, according to data released in July by Search Acumen, even with 11 per cent less conveyancers currently in the market. It’s becoming ever more imperative that those of us still working in the industry can cope with a heavier workload, and continue to make it a success.

As the amount of technology on offer increases, its use in different sectors grows at the same time. Technology in the conveyancing industry has improved as of late, with the rise in technology overall playing its part in enabling conveyancers to not only keep on top of their cases, but to ensure they are completed efficiently and to a high standard.

Conveyancers are, on average, now completing an extra case per week, and technology can be thanked for having a large part in this success. It can be said to be helping improve efficiency, enhancing due diligence and streamlining the processes that must be completed in the conveyancing process. But do you know everything that’s on offer to you to ensure your conveyancing career is a successful one? 

Technology and communication

Communication is incredibly important if you want the conveyancing process to run as smoothly as possible. ConveyancingBrain’s Case Tracking Guide provides an overview of the perfect method of three-way communication, between you, your client and the chosen Solicitor. The ConveyancingBrain team is also able to join in the conversation to move things along, so it can be a four-way conversation if need be.

One of the beauties of the messaging element of the case tracking is that you can also choose whether all parties or just some can see each message. On occasion it may be prudent to simply converse directly with the Solicitor without the need for the Client to view that message, thereby giving you greater control of the communication.

The Purchase Progress log on the case tracking system also shows what stage the case is currently at and helps provide confidence and information as to what activity the Solicitor is undertaking.

With all communication in one place and made simple, you can keep up with your growing workload whilst not compromising on service. The guide explains how to track your cases efficiently, with the system allowing everyone to see case updates 24/7 and alerting all parties when there is an update, request or advance in the case.

Regular updates

The brilliant thing about technology is that it means processes are now instant, and updates more frequent. ConveyancingBrain are committed to making regular updates to the system to make things easier to use and processes more simple to follow, giving you the tools you need to obtain a quote quick and easily, instruct a solicitor and complete a case.

tracking

Automated emails and text messages (if chosen) are sent whenever a Solicitor adds a note to the Case Notes section of any ongoing cases, saving plenty of time as it means you don’t even have to log in to check your messages.

Technology also makes it easier to take on customer feedback and implement any changes to make the user journey a better and smoother one.

One change ConveyancingBrain made recently was making it possible for you to choose whether to disclose the Solicitor’s name on the quote you provide to your client. Technology allows you to choose from different options to make everyone’s conveyancing experience better.

Opportunity for more

With technology comes the ability to offer more for your customers, with the advantages for online offerings ever increasing. Downloadable guides are a handy ConveyancingBrain offering that you can use to offer additional support to your clients.

Whether it’s sharing the 10 Steps to Conveyancing with your client to help them understand the process, information to sell conveyancing to clients, or guides to help you to make the most of the system, there are plenty of free information available to ensure both you and your clients are well equipped to understand the conveyancing process.

Technology is all about making things easier

When it comes to your job, the more streamlined processes are and the easier a system is, the more likely you are to succeed. Coping with an increasing workload sounds difficult, but when you use systems at your disposal, life is made much easier.

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

Could the mortgage market undergo Uber-ification?

No one has yet invented the mortgage industry silver bullet; the idea that could transform the industry as we know it. But as our CEO Mark Lofthouse explains, it may be somewhere on the horizon, and we must be prepared for it.

Want a taxi? Not a problem.

Go onto the street and hail one, or book one over the phone. Simple and straightforward. It’s always been done that way, always will be. But in 2011, two men launched the Uber app, which allowed anyone with a smartphone to make a trip request and have the cab closest to them make the pick-up. Five years on and Bloomberg estimated the company’s revenues to be around $5.5 billion dollars.

Airbnb is another strong example of how an idea can come out of nowhere and change an industry forever. No matter how inconceivable an idea, we must remember that the possibility exists that someone, somewhere could come up with it at any time.

uber

But why can it happen?

One of the reasons is that no one ‘owns’ the taxi space. In the same way that no one ‘owns’ the mortgage space. As radical as it sounds, anyone is free to come in and be a ‘disruptor’, and if people like the idea then it could change the rules and irrevocably alter the way mortgages are sold!

The mortgage industry is rarely at the front of the queue for innovation. Apps, for example, were well established in other sectors before arriving in the mortgage market. ‘Robo advice’, however you interpret it, is commonplace in areas such as car and home insurance and it’s now in its early stages for mortgages.

So what’s the chance that our industry will be altered?

No one has yet come up with an idea that could transform our industry, and the idea that someone could may not seem all that attractive. But we shouldn’t close our minds to them or discount the idea that someone, somewhere, could be working on something radical.

Although, we do have to ask ourselves: what would it be? Would it allow consumers to have mortgages that are tailor made? Mortgages that automatically change whenever a new and more desirable product appears? Maybe even a completely new way of buying a house that makes mortgages redundant at a stroke?

They are ideas which may not seem feasible, but in 2017 and beyond they could well become reality.

Ideas don’t always make you an overnight success

It is worth noting that Techcrunch.com reports that Uber’s losses are expected to hit $3 billion in 2017, Airbnb has had it run ins with authority, and there will always be plenty of people willing and able to piggy back on the success of early adopters. But the tantalising possibility remains.

So what can the industry do about it?

It’s hard to fight against something that doesn’t exist and that no one knows anything about, so the best defence is to make the industry as future proof as possible. This means moving with the tech times and offering as high a level of professionalism as possible. As the technology and service improves, so the window for uber-ification is reduced.

In the meantime, keep watching the skies.

The best sourcing gets even better

We’re always looking at different ways we can enhance our offering to you, and we’re excited to be launching second charge sourcing functionality in our systems very soon.

It will be a new chapter in mortgage sourcing, as our whole of market first charge online and offline sourcing systems will now include second charge products. You will be able to compare first and second charge products side by side, so it will be much easier to advise and offer your clients alternative lending products

One system for everything
Back in January 2016 we launched LoansBrain, our free second charge loan sourcing website, allowing advisers to source and refer to a Master Broker or simply advise on second charge products to their customers.

The choice of products direct from lenders or Master Brokers are now wider than ever before, so with the inclusion of second charge products in our mainstream first charge sourcing systems, you know have the option to source both first and second charge loans all in one place.

Innovative and advanced sourcing
The new functionality will offer you the ability to compare a remortgage with a current mortgage, plus a second charge loan to assess which suits your client best.

Over 200 search criteria in our sourcing systems will help you find the products that best match your client’s requirements and display them side by side, so you can easily compare and decide which would be most suitable. This comparison function, combined with the ability to run and save different scenarios for each client, now means that the second charge loan sourcing capabilities within our systems are second to none.

The new second charge sourcing option will be available to you to select from the main sourcing screen, as well as when sourcing a re-mortgage. The control is completely with you, and that’s what’s so exciting about it.

Watch this space
We will be rolling out the enhancements to our MortgageBrain Classic system users from mid-April onwards and MortgageBrain Anywhere users will receive the update in early June.

We’re incredibly excited to be bringing you yet another quality solution to help you expand your business opportunities as an Adviser.

Mortgage Brain’s Christmas Wishes

With only days left to go before Christmas comes around, our CEO Mark Lofthouse outlines his industry-focused present wish list for this year.

Wish 1: Superfast broadband – especially in the UK
In the fast broadband league, the UK sit at a disappointing 19th place, according to an article published in ISP Review in June this year. South Korea lead the way, with broadband a whole 15bps faster than us here in the UK. Mark notes: “We are supposed to be one of the richest nations in the world, with one of the most advanced economies, and yet our broadband speeds are lacking. Governments keep talking about how poor the speeds are, it’s time something was done about it.”

Wish 2: Instant rule changes
Wouldn’t it be amazing that if, whenever a new set of rule was brought in, they were actually put in place instantly? Those of a certain age will remember Samantha Stevens in Bewitched, all she had to do was twitch her nose and voilà! A change would occur instantly. It would be a simpler world if rules were implemented immediately and effortlessly.

Wish 3: Honest and straightforward Advisers
A problem with the financial services industry as a whole for this third wish, following Ipsos Mori’s Veracity Index 2016, outlined the level of trust the public has in each profession and bankers finished sixth bottom. I know that mortgage advisers aren’t bankers, but the financial services industry as a whole still has an image problem. My wish is that in 2017 the FCA doesn’t have to fine a single company. A simple wish, but one which would help the industry massively.

Wish 4: Advisers taking advantage of new markets
Although the mortgage industry is buoyant at present, it won’t always be this way. At some point, the mainstream mortgage market could slow down again… it’s important to diversify now, deliver a broader service to your clients and keep competition at bay.

The protection, second charge, conveyancing and general insurance markets are a number of areas that advisers should be talking to their clients about. There are opportunities out there so don’t wait until your bread and butter work has dried up to go looking for them and deliver a more complete service now.

Wish 5: Everyone taking a step back and calming down
A straightforward request for this Christmas, whatever side of the debate you’re on, our post-Brexit world has been an uncertain one, and the imminent arrival of President Trump hasn’t done much to calm things either. That’s why my final wish is that 2017 be a calmer year, with no more major financial or political upheavals. Is that too much to ask?

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone here at Mortgage Brain. Let’s hope 2017 will be able to grant Mark his wishes.

Online Chat

The latter half of this year saw us enhance our customer support when we officially launched our online chat service for advisers.

Online chat provides a quick, free-of-charge way to talk to one of our Customer Services team, who are on hand to answer questions almost instantly. It means advisers have an extra way in which to contact us for support, which may on occasion suit them better than calling our existing customer services phone line.
Since its launch in June, our online chat system has helped over 1,480 advisers, and the numbers using the service appear to be increasing each month.

What does online chat offer?
Our online chat facility enables advisers to contact us for free via our website with any questions they may have, or for any assistance they require.

Our friendly Customer Services team help with a myriad of queries, from help with forgotten log in details, sales enquires, and any questions advisers might have with regards to all of our Mortgage Brain systems.

When is the service available?

Online chat is available during our normal Customer Services working hours, and from 10.00am on a Wednesday morning to allow for training.

When you visit our website, after a few seconds the online chat box will pop up at the bottom of your screen. Or you can initiate a chat yourself, by clicking on the top of the box with the ‘Can we help?’ button, appearing in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.

Advisers are able to email themselves a transcript of their chat, ensuring that they have all details they need on file should they require similar assistance in the future.

Why did we decide to offer this service?
In a world where everything is instant, we want to ensure that we provide a service which is in keeping with the fast-paced environment we operate within.

The online chat facility is yet another way in which our customers can get in touch with us. It both complements and enhances our traditional helpline, and the online support in terms of guides and videos already available via our website.

Mark Lofthouse, our CEO, states: “The new online chat facility is part of Mortgage Brain’s proactive commitment to supporting advisers and providing excellent customer service.”

“I’m delighted that those who have already used the service have found it useful and continue to use it as an alternative to the traditional telephone service when it suits them better.”

To use our online chat service, please visit our website www.mortgage-brain.co.uk and let us help you!

Mark Lofthouse on the Importance of Client Retention

Last month, our CEO Mark Lofthouse had an excellent opinion piece published online. The column covered the importance of client retention, a significant area vital to mortgage brokers.

We’ve broken down the top points from Mark’s column so you can easily digest the important information that he covers.

Don’t ‘just sell mortgages’
Any adviser who just ‘sells mortgages’ isn’t doing their job as well as they could. Mark explains that a role of a mortgage adviser extends far beyond simply advising and selling mortgages.
They must value each customer as an individual, and treat him or her as such. He says: “It is critical that the needs of the customer are met and the review and advice process should look at the customer’s overall needs and not just their mortgages.”

This will in turn increase your income.
Mark goes on to say that, if you acknowledge the individual needs of each customer, you are more likely to receive a lifetime of recurring business. On the reverse, you may be missing out on a great sum of income because you’re not paying due care and attention to your customers.

Provide a broader service.
Following on, Mark advises that, although we don’t want to be selling customers things they don’t want or need, offering extra services to them is beneficial, as if the client sees the services as good value, “they’ll be pleased you’ve taken the trouble to give them that extra level of service,” thus leading to recommendations to friends and family.

Regular contact is paramount.
Don’t just contact your clients when they are due a remortgage. It is vital that your customers stay in your thoughts as often as possible, and finding out more about them means you will be able to offer them further services in the future.

Mark states: “Finding out more about clients’ financial affairs also gives you a reason to stay in touch, either as a courtesy call every so often or when one of their products is due for renewal.”

Keep on top of the industry.
Mark’s closing points underline the importance of keeping abreast of the constant changes in the market. He outlines a myriad of knowledge about each customer you need to know, such as “knowledge of the prevailing provider service levels, what clients enquired about last time you saw them, awareness of their financial situation, and if you know them well, where they went on holiday or what their children are up to.”

But you can’t store this in your own head! To keep all this vital information, and to ensure you are organised, Mark emphasises the importance of using up-to-date front and back office technology, which everyone has at their disposal and should be taking advantage of, for example, our CRM system, the Key.

Follow Mark’s tips to become a better asset for your clients, and remember that “advising on more than just mortgages might take you out of your comfort zone, but the rewards to you and your clients are well worth it.”

If you would like to read the column in full, you can do so by clicking here.