Embracing change

The economic uncertainty of the last few years has been a stark reminder that things can change at any time.

Although this has been both unsettling and challenging for consumers and advisers alike, it has also provided the opportunity for everyone in the mortgage market to adapt to changing conditions.

It also serves as a good reminder that proactively seeking out ways to evolve and move the market forward should always be top of mind, whether this is through product development, education, technology or even simply how we work.

Since the introduction of Consumer Duty into the market on 31st July 2023, delivering a positive outcome for clients has become a clear, regulatory priority for all advisers.

Which is not to say it wasn’t the case before, but clearly the Duty formalises this to a much greater extent.

This means adopting a more holistic approach to the advice process and embracing and identifying new product sectors that may better serve the needs of clients.

This is particularly important given the fact the borrowing needs of many consumers are likely to have changed as a result of tougher economic conditions and there may be situations where a later life lending product or second-charge mortgage, for example, might be the best outcome for those needs.

Similarly, in a market where PT business is taking a bigger share of the mortgage pie, firms may now be willing to consider more specialist finance niche areas such as complex buy-to-let and bridging and commercial solutions, where they can find both new customers and secure higher income levels.

On a day-to-day level, there is also the chance for advisers to acknowledge market changes and embrace ancillary sales opportunities in their day-to-day business.

This could be as simple as identifying and addressing the protection, general insurance and conveyancing needs of each of their clients and referring the client to a specialist or advising the client themselves.

Either way, making the most of every ancillary sales opportunity will add to the bottom line and boost adviser income as well as ensuring the changing needs of the client are adequately addressed.

Of course, being an adviser is not just about attracting new customers, it is also about embracing existing ones and making sure you are communicating with them regularly.

It’s also much cheaper to get business from an existing customer than a new one, so it’s important advisers look at how they interact with existing clients and consider ways in which this could improve and change.

For example, take a look at how often you communicate with existing clients and consider ways in which this could be improved. What are you telling them?

Are you proactively instigating conversation and educating your clients about changing marketing conditions and making sure that you are the first port of call for those coming to the end of their current deal?

Simple changes such as how you communicate and market your services can make all the difference in attracting and keeping new clients, so make sure any marketing distribution lists are up-to-date, particularly if you regularly send out newsletters to clients.

This includes making sure any content being sent out is relevant to the individual customer’s needs or whether it needs to be tailored to suit their profile and increase the chances of a positive response.

Perhaps your company website needs a refresh or you need to increase the activity on your social media feeds?

Making these changes could prove particularly useful if you are looking to attract younger clients who prefer to communicate with advisers through this medium.

Implementing change can take time, particularly when it comes to technology, which is where a mortgage network can help.

The Right Mortgage & Protection Network recently partnered with intermediary platform, Acre, to help advisers manage client’s mortgage journeys from start to finish through one system.

This helps advisers save up to 90 minutes per case on admin tasks – time that can be used more efficiently by addressing the needs of customers.

As the market begins to stabilise, now is the ideal time for advisers to start thinking about ways in which to embrace market developments and embrace changes within their business.

Not only will this enable them to better serve the needs of clients, it will also stand them in good stead for the future.

Nicola Ventrella is operations director at The Right Mortgage & Protection Network