Nobody wants to be the bearer of bad news. Brokers know all too well that clients are not always thrilled to think about worst case scenarios. After all, when a client comes to you, chances are it’s because they are excited about buying a home and are only really interested in what needs to happen in order to get their hands on the keys.
Nonetheless, those conversations are a crucial part of the advice process. The best brokers know that protection is a vital consideration for their clients. How are they going to pay the mortgage if they get sick? Will their loved ones be able to continue those payments should the client pass away?
Not only are these products important for the client’s financial wellbeing, but they also provide an additional revenue stream for advisers.
It’s no different with wills. By writing a will, a client can set out their wishes over what happens to their estate after they pass away. This can cover not just who inherits specific possessions, but also allow the client to set out how they want to provide for their children and loved ones.
Without a will in place, then the client will have very little say over precisely how their estate is handled should they pass away. Instead the government takes charge, and that can lead to even more stress and heartache for their loved ones at an already difficult time.
Unfortunately, despite the important role that wills play, significant numbers of people in the UK don’t have one. A report by Royal London a couple of years ago suggested that less than half of adults in the UK have got a will in place.
Clearly, correcting the nation’s lack of estate planning is worthwhile and brokers are well placed to do so. And thankfully, brokers don’t need to start taking will writing courses in order to help their clients with this particular issue. They can instead work with firms who can help their clients through the process instead.
Last year we partnered with the online will specialists, Beyond, for precisely this reason. Clients can write a will within just 15 minutes online, simply through answering a few questions, with the Beyond team handling the rest, while they can make updates at any time too.
It’s the perfect example of a simple way that broker-facing businesses like eConveyancer can support brokers in building more comprehensive and rounded relationships with their clients over the long-term. There’s far more to that relationship than simply hunting around for a new fixed rate every couple of years – clients trust the judgement and expertise of their broker, and there is an opportunity to expand that beyond home loans into a range of ancillary services, from protection products to wills.
By effectively becoming a one-stop-shop for your clients whenever they have a financial issue – even if it isn’t necessarily an area of expertise for you – you can secure their business for not just years to come, but decades. And it’s that repeat business that serves as a reliable foundation, ensuring that you remain profitable even if and when the housing market hits a sticky period.
It comes down to relationships, not just between brokers and their clients but between brokers and their partners too.
Picking the right businesses to partner with, brokers can deliver a more rounded service to their clients, encompassing everything from home loans to wills, pensions to protection, increasing the value that they provide to their clients without having to dramatically increase their workload.
Karen Rodrigues is sales director at eConveyancer