In all walks of life and business there is a veritable minefield of contradictory information to both process and tip-toe through in order to get to the outcomes you want to achieve. For every industry commentator extolling the virtues of ‘sticking to your knitting’ and focusing on your key services there will be dozens more urging you to look beyond the bread and butter and help yourself to the buffet of other income-generating opportunities that exist.
So, who to listen to and isn’t it possible to do both? By this I mean, if you’re a mortgage broker, can’t you continue to work predominantly in the area of mortgage advice but pick off the other low-hanging fruit that dangle in front of you such as insurance, protection, conveyancing and, dare I say it, wills and legal services.
While I have a certain degree of empathy for those who vehemently stick to their own mortgage catchment area and don’t move far away from it I’m also certain that, in the immediate years following the credit crunch, if you had stuck to this strategy you may not have made it through a poor period for mortgages which effectively lasted up until the middle of last year.
In other words, if you wanted to survive and thrive I’m pretty certain you would have diversified and, even with the mortgage market having improved significantly in the past 6 to 9 months, this type of strategy has many merits.
Indeed, it appears to be one that seems the only sensible course of action – after all, no-one truly knows how sustainable the current mortgage improvement will be and with the MMR now upon us there may be a significant ‘correction’ period as the market gets used to the rule changes.
It therefore makes perfect sense to have options and to offer clients as many different products and services as possible. If they come to you for a mortgage there’s absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t stay with you for income protection, life insurance or, should they need it, access to a divorce solicitor.
There’s also no reason why they should be leaving your care without a will. We all know the figures that are bandied about – approximately two-thirds of people in the UK do not have a will. To my mind, where an adviser know this is the case (at the very least) the client should be urged to correct this anomaly and (at the same time) the adviser can earn income from an introduction or can actually put the document in their hands at the end of the meeting.
This might not seem possible and I freely admit that in the past the notion of an adviser producing a simple will for a client was pie in the sky. But this is no longer the case – technology has moved the goalposts much wider and using a system such as ours it is now possible to produce a will in as little as 15 minutes by taking the client through an online questionnaire.
An open goal for both adviser and client. And for those who have more complicated circumstances it’s possible to introduce the client on to one of our solicitors who will take the job off your hands and produce a more bespoke Will but you still get a referral fee.
Undergoing a change in circumstances, such as moving home or remortgaging, is one of the key reasons why individuals look to write (or change) a will and therefore advisers are in the perfect position to both help them achieve this aim and to secure another source of income as a result.
This is not rocket science or brain surgery but a simple additional question or two for every client which can easily result in a far better protected individual (and family) and a significant new string to the bow. In a world where business advice is two a ‘penny this is easy to achieve and can make a real material difference. Why wouldn’t you get involved? After all, where there’s a will..