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Long-term fixes require an advice re-think – Duncombe

by: Jeremy Duncombe, director of intermediary distribution at Accord Mortgages
  • 13/05/2019
  • 0
Long-term fixes require an advice re-think – Duncombe
An increasing number of borrowers are now choosing five-, seven- and 10-year fixed rate mortgages to provide a sense of stability in the current economic climate.

 

While this provides peace of mind for the borrower, it presents different challenges for brokers, so what can brokers do to maintain an ongoing client relationship?

Typically, shorter-term fixes mean more regular client contact, and a regular flow of repeat business.

But if clients are inactive for lengthy periods of time, how can brokers ensure their pipeline remains steady without investing huge amounts in marketing and new business drives?

While most brokers will have some sort of customer relationship management (CRM) system, clearly a contact strategy of 90 days before the end of a five-year term will not be much help in this situation.

It’s time for a re-think on how we advise clients on an ongoing basis, not just when we know they need something.

 

Human way of connecting

Engaging clients longer-term requires planning and creative thinking.

Too much contact can be seen as irritating, too little contact and you won’t be front of mind when it comes to their next financial decision.

Brokers are also increasingly competing with online alternatives. Targeted adverts and simple online applications, which mean new products can be researched and purchased without leaving the sofa, all gain customer attention.

But while technology is a great enabler, it cannot replace face-to-face support and guidance.

Brokers need to look at how they can provide real customer service, whether that’s emailing a quarterly newsletter with insight into the financial market, sharing details of products which you think are relevant to specific clients or simply remembering and celebrating birthdays and home-buying anniversaries.

These opportunities to make contact are a simple and very human way of showing a client you value them.

 

Annual review

You may also want to implement an annual financial review, giving clients a chance to reassess their circumstances and ensure their current products are still fit for purpose.

People’s lives change all the time and a fixed rate of five or 10 years is an incredibly long time. Children will grow up, careers may shift direction, parents will age and may require additional care, added to the fact the market is constantly evolving.

Offering time for a wellbeing check-up ensures you keep abreast of your clients’ current needs and forecasting for their future as well as demonstrating added value which is crucial for referrals and positive reviews.

It costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one, so it’s logical that once you’ve got a customer through the door, you need to hold on to them.

Considering what you can do that a robot cannot is a great mindset to start with.

Devising a sustainable strategy to customer retention that is realistic to implement may not be the most exciting job on your to do list, but once in place, it will ensure your business flourishes, regardless of what the most popular length mortgage term might be.

 

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