During my career as a broker, working for lenders and with a large Mortgage Club, I’ve seen what makes the best mortgage brokers so successful.
We recently launched our Growth Series, a set of advice tools and insights designed to help brokers develop their business, and as part of that I wanted to capture the key traits that consistently put some brokers above everybody else.
Being aware that these are their main strengths, or that others have used them to build hugely successful businesses, could well help a broker stay successful or take the next step in their careers.
1) Communication is king
A successful broker is, on some level, a people person. It’s not just that they can strike up conversations with strangers quickly and easily; it’s that they enjoy it. They love their job and a big part of that is meeting different people every day. And not just clients, good brokers also build strong networks and relationships with lenders and business partners. They are two-way communicators willing to listen and learn from an expert on any given topic.
2) A clear vision
Setting off anywhere without a map – or sat nav – is a good way to get lost. That truth is the same in business as it is when travelling. The most successful mortgage brokers had a clear initial vision for their firm, for example secure £100m worth of mortgages, or to help 100 first time buyers into their first home. Once they achieved that, they moved on to another, like becoming the leading mortgage broker in their region. A clear vision brings with it a clear list of next steps, targets and priorities on how to get there.
3) Positive about processes
Achieving a vision often relies on process. That doesn’t sound ‘sexy’, but it is true. Processes are a way to move from point A to point B in the most effective manner. They can govern and define everything, from securing a client a new mortgage, to scheduling catch-ups before a remortgage is due, or to how to hire a team. Processes ensure successful businesses continually move in the right direction.
4) Delegation is not a dirty word
This can be a challenging trait to embrace, particularly for brokers who are very successful. If every decision at a firm goes through the firm principal it will only ever have as much capacity as they do. At some point, most successful mortgage brokers recruit someone who can take on key responsibilities. This is not always easy and will be a learning period for all involved but is a characteristic associated with scale and growth.
5) Above and beyond for all
Many mortgage brokers say they will bend over backwards for clients – such as driving miles to secure paperwork on time. They also have highly engaged teams. This does not happen by accident. Showing the same characteristics to your colleagues that you show when going the extra mile for clients is just as an important investment. Sometimes it’s the little things, like the office environment or flexible working, and sometimes, it’s grander gestures, like away days or recognition. There’s no set answer, but building a loyal and motivated team can pay big dividends in return.
The intermediary mortgage market is constantly changing and successful brokers change with it. Technology is already, and will continue to revolutionise how mortgages are written. Successful brokers are already investing in technology to streamline processes, improve insight and provide what today’s and tomorrow’s customers want. The benefits for brokers are an ability to focus quality of service meaning more time to help more customers.