As firms think about what went well in 2019 and how that might grow in 2020, it could be a time to consider how to manage an increase in business.
This week, Mortgage Solutions is asking: Do you have any plans for expansion in 2020?
As a relatively small business we expanded in January 2019 with the recruitment of a second adviser, who has taken over much of the mortgage business coming through the firm.
This has released my time to focus almost entirely on equity release advice. This area is growing rapidly, and already this year I have increased my own production by around 25 per cent. With a lack of qualified and experienced advisers, I see this as a major growth area for our business. Good marketing efforts are key to this growth.
When considering whether a new adviser is needed, I need to be conscious of the level of sustainable increased business that is needed to support someone new full time.
In a 10-adviser firm, an increase in business of 10 per cent is needed to justify one more adviser. In my business, it would take 100 per cent increase in either mortgage or equity release work to take someone else on.
As an employer, I feel it is imperative to be able to ensure there is sufficient work to keep someone gainfully employed – you cannot play with people’s lives, and I would like to think advisers will stay with us long term with sustainable levels of enquiries coming in.
However, we do wish to grow, and in driving up the volume of work we are engaging in more personal networking, an updated website, an ad word campaign and other new business initiatives.
We have invested in more efficient systems, including cloud services and other technology, and will be well pleased to expand when the time is right – but that will not be within the next year.
I’ve got so many leads, enquiries and repeat business coming into my company every day I don’t have enough advisers to deal with it. That’s my only problem at the moment; I’ve been doing this for 27 years and business has never been better.
Our company didn’t grow by a headcount or by many advisers last year, but we grew by 45 per cent in business intake. This year we’re already seeing signs of growth on last year because some companies are coming to us saying they want us to service their clients – they want to be introducers for us. That includes wealth managers, letting agents and various property networks and organisations.
They want us to provide our professional mortgage service to their clients.
In our own little world, we’re keeping very busy. Any advisers who think the world is doom and gloom and want a new home to come to – I need them.
We are looking to expand – the recruitment advert is already out there, we’re bolstering our back office admin staff as well to support the brokers. We’re investing in our company because things are still very positive for us as a company.
This is something we discuss regularly with clients and in the board room. Essentially yes, we are looking to expand this year, however, it’s important we do this in a way that keeps us true to our business culture and ethos.
We feel passionately that keeping our unique client proposition at the heart of everything we do ensures client–led organic growth; attracts ethical, high calibre advisers and strengthens relationships with the like-minded professional partners we want to work with.
This client-centric service proposition sees ever increasing levels of enquiries from referrals and our team of advisers are working extra hours and longer days to support these clients. So naturally, we are looking to find the right kind of advisers to join our team.
But we do this with measured enthusiasm – we want to make sure we have the right marketing, admin support and training and development opportunities in place to exceed the expectations of new recruits.
New advisers will not simply deal with enquiries, they must share our company values – to ensure all clients benefit from our blend of technical expertise, rigour and long-term planning.
At Financial Advice Centre we are extremely lucky to all share in this singular vision which means our clients return to do business with us and this returns the financial rewards to our bottom line.