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Creativity is key to building a lucrative back book – Stinton

by: Jonathan Stinton, head of intermediary relationships at Coventry for Intermediaries
  • 11/01/2021
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Creativity is key to building a lucrative back book – Stinton
In today’s mortgage market, the retention challenge is a complex topic. It’s therefore more important than ever that intermediaries keep one eye on their back books and proactively develop relationships to retain clients.

 

Success could be found in creative communication and marketing tools.

From quarterly newsletters to informal communications, social media and content marketing, there are numerous ways advisers can keep in touch with clients between remortgages.

 

Engaging your audience

Content marketing is a great way to keep in contact with clients during their mortgage term, to improve your chances of working with them again when they come to remortgage.

When changes happen in the mortgage market, you can use these as marketing hooks by making them relevant for your clients.

A news flash that links announcements like the stamp duty holiday to your clients’ personal circumstances may well help customers to make more sense of the changes, while positioning you as a regular, trusted source of advice.

You don’t have to wait around for a big government policy to get your marketing in gear, though. From explaining lesser-known options like offset mortgages to helping clients understand early repayment charges, there are core topics you can always draw on – as long as your client content is easy-to-understand, engaging and helpful.

Other options including blogging from your company website, recording tips and insightful videos or podcasts to demonstrate your expertise.

 

Tools of the trade

Not all intermediaries will have a dedicated marketing function to produce regular content for clients.

So how can you create engaging content without diverting too much attention away from your day job?

Look no further than the array of resources available through the market and online. Mortgage clubs and networks offer a whole host of plug in and play templates that can be adapted by intermediaries for their own branding and topics.

Online tools like Canva or Stencil can help you to create distinctive and professional-looking content, without having to be an expert in Photoshop.

 

Building a social community

Investing time into social media platforms can be a fruitful way to engage your audience – both existing clients and new customers.

The key to doing social well is to be present and consistent. Social media profiles will need an ongoing plan of activity.

One or two posts a month will quickly leave a social media page looking stagnant and out of date. Instead, post shorter-form content more often and consider holding a weekly or monthly surgery to drive engagement with your audience.

Don’t be afraid to focus on a single social media platform and do it really well if you don’t have the resources to fight on many fronts at once. It’s better to do one thing well than lots of things badly.

 

Expectation versus reality

While creative content is key to keeping your clients engaged, it’s important not to lose heart if you don’t see an immediate surge in returning clients from your first newsletter or article.

Financial services brands average a click-through rate of just 2.2 per cent, according to Campaign Monitor.

Instead, you need to recognise this is a brand-building journey. Not every piece of content will turn into immediate business leads, but it will remind clients to return to you in the future when they do need advice.

You can actively improve engagement by tailoring your content to their audience. Avoid sending some newsletters far and wide if they’re not relevant to a particular client – after all, you wouldn’t give advice about downsizing to a first-time buyer.

Instead, think about segmenting customers into groups using tools like Excel to avoid sharing irrelevant content that could be seen as spam.

And no matter how great the quality of your offering and advice is, sharing something that’s too salesy will be a turn off.

If you’re considering social media, there are ways you can improve engagement here too.

For instance, opt for video posts – data from Hootsuite shows the average engagement rate for video on Facebook is six per cent – nearly double the overall benchmark of 3.6 per cent.

Here are the expected engagement rates for financial services in the table below:

 

 

Back books for the future

In a very buoyant and busy market, intermediaries may be focused on managing the wave of customers rushing to find their next dream home.

However, investing in your back book of past clients to building repeat business relationships is still critical.

Keeping in contact through creative communications is vitally important to building a resilient intermediary business, enabling you to keep front of mind with their clients during the in-between times.

 

 

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