Meet the broker… AiMS Financial

Meet Ian Hewett of AiMS Financial

Tell us about your business?

I work for a small IFA company in Ashford, Kent. I look after the mortgages and protection side and work diligently to ensure I can get you a mortgage, whatever your circumstances.

I have access to over 90 lenders on my own sourcing tools, plus access to several packagers that I work alongside on more challenging cases.

It is all about the service levels and trying to make this journey as smooth as possible.

Where are you based and where do you operate geographically?

We are based in Ashford, Kent. However our clients are based all over the country, with technology as it is now, we can meet with people remotely anywhere.

What are the main issues impacting your local market? As we are not London, I have had a couple of first-time buyers that have missed out on the Help to Buy ISA bonus due to the threshold being £250,000 in the rest of the country and £450,000 in London.

The average price in the South East is £320,591 for a first time buyer (according to so £70,000 above the threshold, whereas the North East was £151,814.

What challenges are you facing as a broker?

Constant changes to rates (at a moment’s notice), criteria and affordability it really is a fluid marketplace.

This with a lack of communication from some lenders, no phone contact just email or live chat, when a 30-second phone conversation would do it!!

What are the main opportunities for brokers in your area and nationally?

I try to offer a full package service, I talk my clients through the whole process of buying a home. From the mortgage, the insurances needed, conveyancing, surveys, utilities and will writing.

This is all part of my service and it is definitely a consultative approach, as I hear too many stories of other providers trying to force their services on to clients.

As a homeowner and a landlord, I can use my own experiences to help guide any client through this journey.

What could lenders do to help further your business?

Wow! Please give us more than 2 hours’ notice that you are going to change rates, or at least allow us an opportunity to secure a rate in advance.

This is certainly not treating customers fairly is it? Also, please help with communication, I love spending between 60 and 120 minutes on hold either on live chat or on a phone for certain lenders. We have had Covid now for two years, stop using it as an excuse and fix it.

What sets you apart from the competition?

I have over 30 years of experience in customer service and have coached and delivered training for some large brands.

I take pride in my service and want people to get the best experience they can when buying a home. It can be a very stressful experience and communication needs to be clear and try not to over promise and under deliver.

I often give feedback when I am being a customer, how can people improve areas that go wrong without feedback or take pride in what goes right.

How should potential borrowers contact you?