As any mortgage broker will tell you, identifying the right mortgage for their client is just one part of the day job. Advisers devote countless hours to running through issues like protection and general insurance with their clients too.
Providing this more holistic service comes with a number of benefits. Most obviously, it’s the right thing to do – giving clients that extra level of advice and guidance will leave their finances in a much better state than if the broker limited themselves to speaking solely about fixed vs variable rates and whether a product comes with any early repayment charges.
It also makes business sense too. In some cases it will mean referral income, supplementing the income from placing the initial mortgage case, but it also strengthens the relationship and deepens the level of trust the broker enjoys with that client. This can help to ensure the client keeps returning whenever they have an issue the broker may be able to assist with, and not simply when their fixed rate is nearing maturity.
It’s because of this that we’ve focused so much time and attention on building a formidable range of ancillary products and services to complement the core eConveyancer offering, to help brokers establish and reinforce those lifelong relationships with their clients.
When you speak to home buyers and sellers about their biggest frustrations with the homebuying process, there is usually no shortage of bugbears, and one of the most common is that they feel detached from the process. While work is going on with their case, from property searches to inspecting the deeds of the property, the buyers and sellers may be none the wiser. It’s inevitable that this will leave those customers irritated – this isn’t just any old property transaction to them, it’s their home.
It was precisely because of this issue that we developed DigitalMove, a case progression platform for clients, which keeps them updated on what is happening with their transaction. Not only does it help keep them engaged with what’s going on, but it can also prevent those administrative bottlenecks that cause infuriating delays as customers know when they may need to do something to help the case along.
Then there’s Just Move In, a home set-up service with whom we have partnered that appoints a ‘move specialist’ to handle all of that infuriating admin that accompanies a house move. This includes things like sorting the Council Tax and the energy supplier to establishing a Royal Mail redirect – on behalf of your client.
Alongside this, broker clients can make use of features like a digital will service and a bills health check service. By arming them with these products, brokers can demonstrate the extra value they provide to those clients, leaving them in a happier, healthier and wealthier position.
Of course, ancillary products and services add little value if the core service is sub-standard and should complement a quality core service rather than simply paper over the cracks.
But, in the right circumstances, they can add value and be a huge boost to a broker’s relationship with their client and secure.
Just as brokers know that they have to look beyond the headline rate of a mortgage to see if it really is the right deal for their client, it’s also important to look beyond the core service of any provider, to see what else is included, and the added value it can provide to their clients.
Karen Rodrigues is sales director at eConveyancer