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Brokers: What’s your firm’s exit strategy?

by: Phil Whitehouse, managing director of MCI Mortgage Club
  • 21/04/2017
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Brokers: What’s your firm’s exit strategy?
Building a broker business is a career-long enterprise, but leaving it all behind can be one of the most stressful parts of the experience. How can you begin preparing your retirement?

The mortgage broker market is home to some of the most experienced finance professionals in the business and many of those operating today have been around for a long time. Understandably then a number are starting to think about their exit strategies from the industry. Indeed, even if you’re not approaching retirement it’s a good idea to think about what you will do when that time does come.

The key is simple, you need to make sure your business is worth something when you retire. And there are a number of ways of doing this.

 

Where to start?

Begin by analysing all of the risks in the business and reduce them where possible.

As an example, it’s important to vet your introducers regularly and ensure they are following all of the processes they should be. You do not want the saleability of your business to be impacted by poor partnerships.

Make sure all processes are documented and that you have in place policies and procedures for things such as anti-bribery measures and business continuity – the more organised your company is the more attractive it will be to potential buyers.

 

Technology

Use a good CRM system and have a customer contact strategy in place.

This is critical even if you’re not thinking about retirement yet.

You should have a system in place to ensure you are keeping in contact with clients and you are getting in touch at the appropriate times otherwise you’re missing good business opportunities and risk losing clients to competitors.

 

Customer service

Put customer service first. Customer reviews are one of the most important aspects of business now.

Thanks to the internet and review websites we’re able to access customer opinions easier than ever before and few of us would enlist the services of somebody nowadays without having read some reviews on them first. Regularly review your approach to customer service. Consider whether a customer charter of some description could benefit your business and guide your staff.

 

Online presence

Make sure you are using social media as effectively as possible. It’s free and it’s effective so there is no reason for you not to use it. Make your brand as visible as possible.

Ensure your website and image are as good as they can be. Give your website a refresh if it is looking a little tired. You can invest in a consultant to undertake this work –  it’ll be money well spent as more people choose to start their mortgage and house search online.

 

Other key points:

 

Don’t be over reliant on paper

Keeping your files digitally is much more efficient and will be more appealing for buyers.

 

Declutter

Keep things as straightforward as possible.
The aim is to make your business as valuable as possible so it makes sense to create embedded value by developing a good insurance book and renewals.

 

Network

Make good contacts and form successful partnerships. Have contracts in place with all suppliers.

 

Regulation

It goes without saying but stay up to date with FCA requirements and keep documented proof of your learning through CPD exercises and the like.

 

Whether you’re already planning your exit from the industry or you’ve not long started in it, it’s important to have a plan for the future and the earlier you start shaping that plan the better.

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