Merrigan told an audience of brokers at the The Mortgage and Protection Event in Newcastle that above all other financial service professionals, mortgage advisers would be the most fondly remembered by their clients because the purchase of a home was an emotional transaction.
Independent financial advisers, said Merrigan, are often considered to hold a more prestigious position than mortgage brokers yet no other professional has the opportunity to spend three months with the same client.
“The mortgage event lasts three months. You can get to know them during that time and gather so much information about their lives, it gives you time to form a relationship. Some advisers understand the value in this, but some just let them go. All that time wasted.”
Banks and building societies, he added, should be seen as product providers offering you a solution for your client. “The fact that they will try and retain that business should not shock you. Of course they will, it’s up to you to form a solid relationship with your client so their first instinct is to come back to you.”
Merrigan’s tips for client retention and relationship building
Build trust in your client meetings
- Offer advice not a transaction. Talk about financial planning to reduce debt, rather than talking about how much mortgage finance they can raise
- Your clients need a foundation. Discuss the importance of leaving their family debt free after they are gone.
Nurture your referrals business
- Send questionnaires after the mortgage has completed asking for a review. Ask the client if they would refer you. If yes, court this client to nurture this relationship
Become an expert in the consequences of not taking action
- Understand the value of writing life insurances in trust and be able to explain the importance of this to your clients
Review and educate
- Find reasons to keep in constant contact with your client
- Offer them information you think they would find relevant, gleaned from your three-month relationship, even if it will not make you any money
- Newsletters are a good way of keeping in touch
- Offer relevant services. If you don’t provide them pass them on to someone who does, this will not damage your client relationship.
- Use technology to do the heavy lifting. If you’re too busy to regularly contact your clients, invest in technology which can do this for you.