Last week Mortgage Solutions polled brokers on the number of admin staff their firm has supporting each individual adviser.
Almost a third (29%) of firms reported having no admin staff in place, with 58% saying there were one or two admin staff for each broker. Around 7% of intermediary firms have more than five admin staff for every adviser.
Rachel Lummis (pictured), mortgage adviser at Xpress Mortgages, argued that admin staff are key to the success of a broker, noting that as the amount of compliance and paperwork involved with a mortgage has increased, time is limited for intermediaries if they are working alone.
She continued: “All our advisers when joining us have started out in the role of mortgage administrator to begin with, even those with full CeMAP qualifications, as they need to know the whole process and our systems. Mortgage administrators go on to be great advisers; it’s on the job training and a great way to start a career in mortgages.”
James Mole, head of mortgages at Gingko Independent, said that he currently functions without an admin which is “without a doubt extremely inefficient”, adding this will be changing in the near future.
He pointed out that operating without an administrator means the adviser spends less time advising clients and more time submitting applications and chasing documents.
Mole continued: “The job of a mortgage administrator is not an easy paper pushing job and in itself takes a fair level of skill and knowledge, which is often why administrators end up becoming advisers.
“Recruitment of administrators can also be difficult as you will usually have to train somebody up from scratch which is very time consuming and can be costly if they decide after three months it is not the career for them.”
Martin Stewart, director at London Money, said that while his firm do not have any admin staff, they do have “a culture of each broker helping one another out”.
He added that the firm works to encourage staff to delegate and share “the heavy lifting” involved in advising on mortgages.
Stewart continued: “There are enough vultures chomping at an adviser’s income and if we can reduce that by sharing administrative roles and absorbing them internally it means the adviser can receive the lion’s share of their income – which is exactly how it should be.”