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Home-improvers provide broker opportunities for the foreseeable future – Calder

by: Craig Calder, director of mortgages at Barclays
  • 30/11/2018
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Home-improvers provide broker opportunities for the foreseeable future – Calder
As a lender it's vital we undertake a constant flow of internal and external research. This helps the business in several ways.


It allows us to keep on top of current market activity, review past performance and assess what individual customers, intermediary partners and strategic alliances might be looking for in the future.

Much of the information we gather remains for internal use only but collating important statistics from a variety of sources also helps us to inform, educate and raise awareness on a wider scale.

And issuing selected data to relevant media outlets also helps with our marketing, PR and branding – with relevant being an important word within this sentence.


Regular home updates

One of the main take-outs from our 2018 Barclays Home Improvement Report being that the average Briton now stays in their property for 19 years before moving, and regularly updates their home in this time.

It also included the UK’s top 10 list of worst DIY home improvements, which helped generate interest across a different set of media and social media outlets.

So, what can intermediaries glean from such data which may, on the surface at least, not directly affect their business?

For market specialists the devil is usually in the detail.

Included within the data were some regional breakdowns.

For example, it showed those in Wales are the least likely to move property regularly, with the average homeowner staying put for nearly 23 years.

However, those in Scotland are the quickest movers, upping sticks after an average of almost 15 years.

It also found that social media is influencing more people, especially when it comes to updating their property and particularly in the younger age groups.

Four in ten 23-34-year olds surveyed stated that they had been inspired to improve their home from what they have seen on social media. While 15% admitted to improving a room specifically to post on their social channels.

But what does this really mean for you?


Homeowners need funds to improve their home

No matter what the motivation, the report emphasised just how many committed homeowners are doing up their homes.

In fact, a huge 79% of homeowners have made home improvements over the past two years, and 73% want to make improvements in the next 12 months.

With so many homeowners looking to take on home improvement projects, the question is – how are they going to raise the necessary funds to do so?

This further highlights the ongoing need for good, professional holistic advice when it comes to any potential remortgage or second charge needs.

And how these markets will continue to provide opportunities for the foreseeable future within the intermediary marketplace.

Being aware of regional demographics and behavioural changes can also help establish a stronger profile of your existing clients as well as potential new ones.

As the influence of social media grows, think about how useful it could also prove when attracting, educating and updating a variety of people on their mortgage needs and financial wellbeing – Financial Conduct Authority financial promotions regulations permitting of course.

Reading beyond the headlines and digging a little deeper to extract the right information is something which mortgage intermediaries are well-versed at.

While you certainly won’t have time to read all types of research papers, reports or indexes in depth, they can prove useful in better understanding your client’s requirements, and help you reach out to those who need your advice the most.

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