It’s amazing what you’ll find face-to-face

How technology is used in business communication has rocketed in sophistication and importance over the years – the last three years especially.

But as anybody who works in mortgages knows, as useful as technology is in this context, there is nothing quite like sharing the same physical space with a client to really understand what they are saying, what they want, and where they are coming from.

Body language, eye contact, and all the other subtle ways we speak to each other on an almost subconscious level help a great deal in forging solid and long-lasting relationships.

And this doesn’t just go for clients – regular face-to-face action with your peers and other people involved in the mortgage industry is vitally important for anybody who wants to expand and refine their skillset.

Peer to peer

This is the reasoning that led us to create our peer groups. These real life meetings are held quarterly in London, Kent, and the South West, making for three per quarter.

In these peer groups, we invite our advisers to meet to share their experiences and learn from one another.

Because the groups are formed around regional lines, they make for a great chance for advisers to share tips on local issues that affect the mortgage market, such as housing developments and local government manoeuvres.

Additionally, we make sure to invite providers and other types of lenders based upon feedback from our advisers – considering factors such as which providers and lenders they are using the most frequently (or not), which are most relevant to their practice currently, and if any firm is a new addition to our panel.

The peer group meetings are an opportunity for firms that fall into the latter category to really put their cards on the table and show what they are about.

Shared values

Rosemount places the strongest of emphasis on relationships and fostering a family atmosphere. We are pleased to see this come across to attendees of our peer groups, such as Vitality business consultant Isabelle Edwards.

She was kind enough to share some feedback: “Attending peer groups as a provider and business consultant holds immense value. It is not just about showcasing our proposition to educate advisers; it is a prime opportunity for us to grab first-hand feedback and create long lasting-relationships.”

And West One national account manager Steve Mannakee shared this: “Thanks for letting me spend some time with the London Peer Group Advisers in Bishopsgate… in a broker market that has changed a great deal in its ‘operating rhythm’ post pandemic, where Teams/Zoom meetings are far more commonplace, there really is no substitute for face-to-face interaction with brokers, where engagement is always far more positive.”

He continues: “Sessions like [this one] are extremely important to lenders in trying to build meaningful relationships with brokers, especially for those of us that drive our business via intermediaries only.”

Meanwhile, feedback from brokers includes a request for more of these sessions, that the resources and tips advisers receive from presenters are genuinely beneficial, and that, “Half hour slots from the presenters were perfect the length and tangible. [A] very enjoyable and useful day.”

Collecting on this feedback is just as important to us as organising the meetings themselves is.

A new understanding

As a firm, we always knew how important getting together and sharing experiences was for an industry where many of its practitioners can easily find themselves isolated behind a computer screen.

But the inability to do so during the pandemic and the level of gusto at which people have shown in returning to in-person events really has drilled this home to us.

Rest assured that we’ll be looking to improve the quality of our peer groups with every iteration – it’s our responsibility to not just share best practice with each other, but to spread the family values we cherish so much across our business.

Ahmed Bawa, CEO at Rosemount Financial Solutions (IFA) Ltd