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.

Open All Hours – top tips for Advisers on how to win more clients (without working harder)

Whilst we all know that success comes from hard work (and perhaps a bit of luck) we also know that working smarter is often key too. However, despite this ‘always-on’ digital world that we now live in, it can often seem impossible to switch off without losing an opportunity.  So what if your business could carry on working hard for you, even when you have signed off for the day? With research showing that 85% of shoppers research online before buying* it is imperative that you are ‘open all hours’ for business to win new clients.  Online at least.

Here are our top tips on how to gain more customers, even when you are officially ‘Out of Office’.

Work smarter, not harder

Consumers today look to investigate and research when looking to make any purchase and it is no different with mortgages. With increasingly busy lives, they will typically do their research at a time to suit them – so to capture their interest, you need to ensure your website and your social channels are working even when you aren’t.

By adding interactive information and research tools such as a Mortgage Search plug-in or a Best Buy Table onto your website, users at least have an option to submit an enquiry to you, rather than simply be an uninspired visitor.

Your social channels are also live 24/7 so ensure that they carry on working for you after hours. Take the time to add content that is relevant, current and recent – there are tools, such as Buffer and Hootsuite, to help you schedule social media posts that can be published at times when your potential clients are more likely to be active (and you have switched off for the evening).

 

Get recommended

An influencer engagement survey found that over 90% of consumer’s trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other form of marketing, and 70% said they trusted consumer opinions posted online.

Provide an excellent and honest service that brings results for your clients, and they are far more likely to recommend you to family and friends.

Why not take the plunge and ask your clients to provide written recommendations that you can add to the content on your website or post on social media. These short recommendations will continue to work for you for many months to come and speak volumes about you and your services.

 

Achieve 5-star reviews

As well as recommendations, you could also ask clients to review your services – the trick is to make the process simple and easy to do so. You could send them a follow-up email thanking them for their business and at the same time ask them to provide a review? There are several ways of doing this:

  1. Reviews given on your Google Listing not only appear on your Google Business Page (easy to set up if you don’t have one) but they also appear against your business record in Google searches:

Ask for reviews on your Facebook page if you have one. Look at this recent search for ‘mortgage adviser’ – which one would you select? A customer will probably consider locality and take note of the star rating and may potentially make a choice based on the highest ratings and/or number of reviews.

  1. On receipt of unprompted feedback or thanks from a client, ask if you can publish what they have written. Most people are delighted to see their name and words ‘in print’.

facebook reviews

Prove your brilliance

As good as customer reviews, testimonials and recommendations can be, many potential clients will also be interested in what you have done for other people in similar situations. Including case studies on your website can open your business up to more clients, as you not only tell them how good other people think your service is, but it also helps to explain exactly how you have solved challenges and issues that may have arisen during the process.

You don’t need to use any names in the case studies, just explain clearly and concisely exactly what the problem was or what situation the client came to you with, what you did to get them the best deal and what the successful outcome was. It provides yet more evidence as to why people should choose you as their Adviser.

 

Perfect your pitch

When a potential client does find you, providing them solid advice there and then will help them to conclude that you are the Adviser for them! Show your expertise, share your knowledge and give them all they need to come to an informed decision.

All clients are different, and as you know will have a varied amount of knowledge about the mortgage process and the advice available. So as long as you use your experience to make them feel comfortable talking to you and putting their trust in you, growing your client base should become second nature.

 

Use technology to your advantage

An ever-growing client base requires management and consistency. Taking advantage of technology to store all your client’s data securely and reduce paper-work to a minimum will save time, both for you and for your client.  Your client will expect you to have the latest information at your figure tips to provide information on products relevant to them and their situation, so be ready to do.

Clients will also be relying on your efficiency, and using mortgage technology can enable you to demonstrate that you are indeed very capable, whilst you remain compliant throughout the whole mortgage advice process. It will also save time with limited need for paperwork as your records are largely entered online.

However, with 65% of consumers citing a fear of their personal information being hacked, you need to demonstrate that your clients’ data is both secure and protected – at all times. If you use a secure system such as the Key, not only will you be able to manage the whole sales process compliantly and with little effort, the associated Client Portal will allow both you and your client to securely message and exchange documents. Not forgetting you can now present an online Fact Find form to your client which they can complete at their leisure, and you have no need to re-key the information as it synchs seamlessly back to the Key.

laptop

Get out there!

So now you have set up your website and social channels to showcase your business and handle incoming enquiries (pull marketing), you may still need to get out there and promote yourself (push marketing). It doesn’t take long to craft an email to send to your database of potential customers. Let your prospects know you are open for business, send them your latest review or recommendation and perhaps provide news of a new fixed rate product, not forgetting to highlight your relevant services. With £35bn of mortgage loans expiring in the next 2 months+ there is huge potential to grab a slice of the market.

Spending time on expanding your presence both online and offline holds the key to obtaining more clients – even when you are ‘out of office’.

We do hope these tips will help to ensure your business is ‘Open all Hours’ – without working even harder than you already do.  Good luck!

 

Sources:

+ CACI

*Retailing Today

◊ PwC, Total Retail 2017