Financial services products, particularly mortgages, are long-term commitments often spanning decades. Yet the popularity of three, five and even 10-year terms in the current low interest rate market, means once a loan is secured, many borrowers and their advisers go their separate ways.
This often means that years later, when it comes to renewal, the process begins again, with a new broker securing the business. In most cases, clients choosing to start a new relationship with a different broker is not a reflection on the introducing broker, but more likely a reflection on the fact that they have had little to no contact with the introducing broker in the intervening years because it was not required.
This can be frustrating as brokers play a vital role in the mortgage market, and spend a significant amount of time advising and sourcing the best deals for their clients. This is particularly important in the specialist lending market where a lack of familiarity and understanding of the sector can prevent non-standard clients or those with adverse credit records from seeking advice and taking out a loan.
In recent months, Norton Broker Services has seen an uptick in the number of clients returning to do business with us after initially securing a bridging loan. Initially referred to NBS by a broker, these clients are now looking to exit the loan and move onto a buy-to-let mortgage term.
In many cases, the clients have come to us directly, bypassing the broker they originally did business with, and are looking to examine their options now the bridging loan term has ended. Mostly, these clients are portfolio landlords who need to move onto a buy-to-let mortgage and wish to keep their business with Norton.
This is fantastic news for NBS as it demonstrates client satisfaction and helps safeguard client retention. It is also good news for the introducing broker because in each of these cases we have always kept the broker in the loop, so they are aware of the repeat business and are remunerated accordingly.
It also means that because the client contacted NBS directly, all of the work is carried out by us at Norton, so the introducing broker is not required to get involved. Instead, they are rightly paid commission because they introduced the client in the first place. This is a win-win situation for brokers as they are paid for the repeat business while simultaneously staying free to focus on their other clients, as well as drum up new business.
Client retention is a leading indicator of both customer satisfaction and business success as the ability to keep customers returning for future products is critical to the health of any business. Those clients returning to NBS are clearly very happy with the service being delivered, the products on offer and the advice they have been given by brokers, so it is only right we acknowledge that.
By keeping brokers in the loop and paying them the commission they rightly deserve, Norton Broker Services is showing that it is fully committed to the intermediary mortgage market and the vital role that brokers play in helping to grow the business.
Sonny Gosai is senior sales development manager at Norton Broker Services (NBS)