Expanding licence options remains a fantastic way for self-employed brokers to not only diversify and increase their skill set, but to maximise their earning potential. While the likes of equity release and business protection provide great options, brokers should also consider a move into the commercial space.
When I say commercial, some brokers may just think of mortgages for the likes of shops, factory units or warehouses. In reality, brokers have the opportunity to advise on much more than just business premises. Alongside fully and semi-commercial investment properties, there is asset finance, development and bridging finance, complex buy-to-let purchasing and refinancing, as well as options to help property developers raise finance to build and convert homes, buy land or refinance their current facility.
At Just Mortgages, we have seen a number of brokers find particular success through the likes of Sharia-compliant mortgages, as well as arranging mortgages for foreign nationals, expats and non-domiciled residents looking to invest in UK property. This can come in many forms, whether it’s an investment opportunity, a place for children to live when studying in the UK or just to relocate entirely.
A recent study found that foreign buyers own as much as £84.2bn of property in England and Wales, with London unsurprisingly a hotbed for activity. Even in a higher interest rate environment, that is only expected to grow.
Get support and step up
The prospect of moving into a new field will no doubt be daunting for many advisers, especially those that have focused solely on residential mortgages. Equally, I know there are brokers out there that have thought about it, but never really had the opportunity. In reality, this is where any good network should step up to the plate and provide the necessary training routes and support to make that move happen.
At Just Mortgages for example, we have been partnered with Commercial Finance Brokers UK (CFB UK) for more than three years, and they provide the licence training and support to enable our brokers to write commercial business. Through their expert help, we have been steadily growing this part of the business and now have 20 commercial advisers across the country.
Without great expense, each adviser is fully trained and supported right up to full competence, with help available in the background when needed afterwards. We are incredibly proud to partner with the team at CFB UK and to see them recognised recently at the prestigious NACFB Awards as ‘Broker Network of the Year’.
Advise or refer
Of course, it may not be the right opportunity for everyone and in some cases, it may make more sense to refer. From our perspective, whether it’s an employed or self-employed broker, we offer the provision to refer commercial cases directly to a fully-licenced Just Mortgages or CFB UK broker. In those instances, it provides a great middle ground, allowing brokers to still meet the needs of their clients, all while benefiting from the revenue share.
Either way, as brokers explore their options in the current market, commercial advice presents an exciting opportunity to expand beyond the typical remit, attract a new type of customer and most importantly, increase revenue streams for the business. Across our self-employed division of nearly 500 advisers, we’re working closely with a growing number to offer this facility, along with a wide range of other valuable business opportunities.