But I’ll say it quietly, I think the lenders have got this product transfer thing spot on. And it’s a decent outcome for the consumer too.
They’ve even started paying us 0.20% if we process the deal on their behalf.
So either way they don’t mind – they’re not on the hook for the advice: either we are carrying the can or the customer has opted out of consumer protections by choosing a non-advised route.
Fellow brokers, what would you do yourselves in the borrower’s shoes?
You’re a busy person, your deal is coming to an end, your existing lender offers you a reasonable deal to stay.
Yes, you know you could save £25 per month to go elsewhere but could you be bothered to go through the process? Really?
Ok, opting out of advice might go wrong sometimes but most often it’s a quick and easy way for the customer to hook in to a new deal.
Let’s just get over it shall we? Churning is dead. “Hi Mr Customer, yes, it’s that time again” – it is the most boring model in financial services bar none.
A Rolls Royce service
Let’s instead focus on the customers that need us: the first-time buyer, the homemover, the client looking to consolidate debts before they start missing payments.
What about the self-employed or contractor?
These markets can only grow and grow. These clients need us.
Go to the area of need and charge a proper fee for your advice – offer these clients a Rolls Royce service. After all, this is why we started up isn’t it?
We want to help the customer in need, to hold the hand of the anxious purchaser, to make all their problems go away and to share our knowledge and experience.
Future is specialist
In the future the majority of new mortgages will be what we used to call specialist.
Someone who is a vanilla case? Well, let the client decide how to do business.
They can come back to us if they want advice – no problem. Keep engaging with them and let them opt back in to us.
They can take a product transfer if they don’t want advice or are not price-sensitive. Or, they can go robo if they want. Yes, why not?
It’s mostly fee-free and an efficient way of dealing with the simplest of cases.
But that’s the point – our clients’ situations are rarely simple. They need imaginative solutions.
Maybe they need to know what type of survey they should go for, what their protection options are and how to offer on a house.
They need someone to speak to, someone to rely on. Someone experienced, empathetic and patient. A sounding board. A point of contact. A friend. A human being.
It’s hard not to sound like a Luddite to push back when all the talk is of new technology, but I for one 100% believe AI will win the day – not artificial intelligence, actual intelligence.