A new year is often a time for resolving to make a change in our personal lives, but it can also be adopted to the way we operate at work. And brokers have been telling Mortgage Solutions about how they plan to operate differently in the year ahead.
Time to expand
2022 will be a year of expansion for Stuart Gregory, managing director at Lentune Mortgage Consultancy, not only in terms of business levels but also the relationships the firm forms with clients and other local businesses.
He said: “There’s a lot to be gained from joint projects, which can also aid local organisations and we’re going to be focussed on this during the year.”
Dominik Lipnicki, director at Your Mortgage Decisions, said his firm was also looking at expansion, focused on staff levels, stating that he wanted to add new talent to the mortgage, protection and equity release teams this year.
He added: “The pandemic has meant that the last few years became very much a period of adjustment and looking after our current workforce amid major changes. The technical innovations and support networks that we have invested in over this time lay the ground perfectly for growth in the year ahead.
“We also want to be far more active with networking and collaborating with new and existing partners in 2022. It is too easy to put off networking opportunities due to other pressing responsibilities. This year we intend to make these connections a priority.”
Mark Robinson, managing director at Albion Forest Mortgages, said that his resolution is to “dive into helping clients”, which means expanding into new areas of the market.
He explained: “We spent 2021 helping teachers across the UK with all their mortgage needs. We aim to expand that to other types of lending this year, including equity release for retired teachers, second charges and bridging.”
Tapping into the YouTube market
Marketing and finding ways to stand out from the competition will be a central focus for Graham Cox, founder and director at Self Employed Mortgage Hub.
He said that branding and inbound marketing will be key, with the broker looking to build its own YouTube channel from the second quarter onwards.
Cox continued: “Not many brokers are doing it, and people are spending increasing amounts of time watching YouTube on the TV now. We see it as a great opportunity to expand our reach, whilst educating and providing value to prospects and customers.”
Keeping it personal
Imran Hussain, director at Harmony Financial Services, said that the ongoing concerns over Covid meant that his firm would continue to offer clients all services remotely, with face-to-face appointments as required.
He added: “We are all waiting on the government and its Machiavellian approach to see us through this year again, but one thing is for sure we shall continue to offer a personal service to clients, Omicron or no Omicron.
Logging off from social media
Andy Wilson, founder of Andy Wilson Financial Services, noted that his firm had enjoyed a significantly better 2021 than 2020, so his focus was on how to improve further.
He continued: “Our main areas of focus will need to be lead generation, but without spending eye-watering sums on digital marketing; productivity and more effective use of IT, and also reducing costs. Frankly, these are almost perennial areas of focus but I will spend more time actually planning and applying some targets and aims in each area.
Wilson also said that he plans to cut the amount of time spent on social media, noting that LinkedIn has “become just a ‘look at me’ platform”.
“Also, answering negative posts about equity release and trying to explain the reality on Facebook is a waste of time and effort given the level of misadvised and uneducated posters. It will be better to just get on with what I am good at,” he concluded.
I need to say no
Katie Cave, director at Clearpoint Finance, said she is taking a different direction this year, resolving to find a better work-life balance after the “most chaotic” period of her time in the mortgage industry.
She explained: “The culture of being always available and ultra-connected has boomed thanks to Covid forcing many of us to work from home resulting in a potentially unhealthy business model which I’m keen to nip in the bud. On that note I’m truly sorry to any of my clients that have received my 1am email updates – this is the habit I’ll be ditching in 2022 for the greater good.”