While many were thankful for the activity, operating in a cautious market which was not yet back to normality, challenges remained for mortgage brokers and their clients.
So this week, Mortgage Solutions is asking: What has made you most proud of the intermediary market this year?
Probably the proudest thing I have seen in the intermediary market this year is how well we have catered to our clients.
The year 2020 was such a shock to the system we were all in survival mode, but as the year rolled on, we realised how blessed we were to work in a sector that was relatively unaffected by Covid.
However, 2021 has all been about the shakeout from last year. Clients’ needs are even more complex, lending criteria is quite opaque in certain situations, so the skill brokers have had to show in both explaining all this to clients, and finding the most appropriate lender or product for the client has been quite tremendous.
This also comes at a time when most of us have not been office based, or certainly in an office much less than we used to be. That is a seismic change to how we have worked in the past.
We’ve gone from not knowing what Microsoft Teams was, to spending half our day on it.
I have always prided myself on how collaboratively we work as a firm and that was my number one concern with so much home working – how do we replicate that? I won’t make out like it has been perfect, as it hasn’t, as on a Teams call or via WhatsApp you can’t gather the same info you could as if you were two desks away, but I think we have made quite a good attempt at it, to the extent that we are even considering getting rid of the office entirely.
That is to be confirmed, but to even have that conversation shows how much we have had to adapt to this new way of working this year.
Remote working, home schooling, adapting presentations so that they are just as clearly understood remotely as they are in person – these are just some of the challenges that intermediaries have had to grapple with in 2021 and it has been a joy to watch my colleagues and peers coming up with practical and creative solutions.
I am proud of my colleagues for supporting each other during such a tumultuous period and I believe one of the best takeaways from the whole pandemic experience is the improved focus on wellbeing, mental health and positive work/life balance.
For my company, like many others, personalisation of the working week has been a major theme in 2021 and we will continue with this principle long-term. For those who take the Dolly Parton view of working nine to five, we want to work with them to find the best fit so that they can thrive and enjoy working with their clients.
Most of all, I am proud of the reputation that my colleagues are building for my company and the intermediary market as a whole.
Working so closely with clients on such important financial decisions is a privilege and one that we do not take lightly. This is reflected in the excellent reviews, recommendations and referrals that come our way. Quality financial advice is appreciated when clients can see the value we add.
People needed us more than ever in 2021 and I am proud to know that many of the people we advised will recommend us to others in 2022.
The whole sector should be immensely proud of stepping up to everything 2021 threw at us.
For me, the best thing has been the investment in people this year. This has always been a great industry to be part of but 2021 has proven to me why I am so proud to be part of it.
We have invested in each other and supported our colleagues and peers. We have created jobs and trained new talent. As employers, we have taken great care to focus on the wellness and wellbeing of our colleagues.
Mental health has been tested and working practices have adapted in response. Irreversible changes have been implemented which will strengthen our talent acquisition going forward. Most importantly, we have supported our existing and new clients, advising them through the most challenging of times.
We’re an empathetic industry. We get to know our clients and we know their finances in forensic detail. We want them to thrive and achieve their ambitions. Our expertise has never been needed more and this will continue in 2022.
At Mesa Financial we often deal with complex lending solutions for entrepreneurs and 2021 is a year that will stand out in that respect because we helped so many successful businesses to navigate horribly unfortunate shocks to the system. The trust that we built with these clients is something we are very proud of, and it will strengthen our own business through long-term relationships and referrals.
We all have a great deal to be proud of this year.
This year and a half has been like no other.
There has always been a side debate about working from an office, from home, or a hybrid mix. Business owners and managers have always had their way, citing productivity, focus and of course profitability, keeping everyone under one roof.
Then we all got hit with the same lockdown and work from home environment, and people from all levels of management and staff simply had to adapt, overnight.
For us, it meant helping our back office staff to set up their own home offices. We bought laptops, printers and mobile phones to support a continued job role for them, and we all quickly learned about the world of Zoom, QuickAssist and online digital signature systems.
This was as well as remote working, maintaining a team spirit via weekly online catch ups, and reminding ourselves how very lucky we are to be able to continue to ply our trade when so many others couldn’t.
We are indeed a very lucky industry, and here at HD Consultants we are very grateful for that.
Grateful for the ability to carry on helping people plan their financial security, support them with their mortgage and loan payment strategies, assist first-time buyers, home movers and remortgagors, and offer our advice. All this whilst still being able to continue with learning, training, team meeting chats and updates, focusing on the weeks and months ahead – this is what I am so proud of.
The intermediary market has shown such great professional resilience, we have robustly pursued our vocation to help people with their finances and also learned to be better and more efficient businesspeople along the way.