In some circles, the internet has been depicted as the nemesis of the broker market, due to the rise of digital offerings and ‘do-it-yourself’ mortgage comparison sites.
Yet the internet and search engines such as Google are also empowering the intermediary market, as highlighted by recent research from the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA).
The research found that Google searches for the phrase “mortgage broker” reached a 14-year high in 2018, increasing by 180% in the five years from December 2013.
At the same time, searches for the phrase “cheap mortgage” are distinctly on the downward.
The IMLA’s figures are positive news for the broker market and are also reflected in research from financial technology firm Iress, which show more than eight out of ten mortgages are currently sold through intermediaries.
Knowing who to call
When it comes to searching for a mortgage, high net worth clients are, in many respects, no different from other prospective customers and we have had a number of clients come to us via conventional mortgage brokers; often found via Google.
Due to the often-complex financial make-up of these clients, it is natural for many to gravitate towards seeking advice from a mortgage broker.
Yet many mortgage brokers I speak to wrongly feel they may never encounter a high net worth client, heavily influenced by the perception that they will already have a long-standing relationship with an intermediary.
Of course, this is not always the case.
Visible web presence
In our experience, while wealthy clients tend to form lasting relationships with their accountant and law firm, they do not routinely have a mortgage broker waiting in the wings.
If the client’s accountant or solicitor does not have an arrangement in place with a mortgage broker – which many do not – it is left up to the client to find their own.
So if you have a visible web presence and work in or around an affluent area, it is entirely feasible that you may at some point be contacted by a high net worth client.
This is why it is vital brokers do not ignore this lucrative sector of the mortgage market and know which lenders to contact if approached by such an individual – who may well be looking for a broker to form a professional relationship with.