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How to build relationships as a broker

As a broker you will find yourself in communication with a variety of people whose requirements vary greatly. From your clients to your colleagues and everyone in between, it’s not always clear how to differentiate your efforts when it comes to building relationships. Strong business relationships are key to the ongoing success of your business, so let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to build them.

Read more: How Brokers Can Increase Customer Retention

General tips

While specific audiences require specific tactics, there are some general rules which apply to all types of business relationships. The points that follow should form the foundation of your interactions with the people you work with.

  • Communication is key

Time is important! Both your time and the time of the people you’re interacting with. Be quick to respond to enquiries and questions and be concise with the information you provide. Overloading people too frequently or with too much will only waste the time of everyone involved.

  • Demonstrate your value

 It doesn’t matter who you’re talking to. Whether it’s a client, fellow broker or landlord, show them that you’re worth their time. By making sure that your interactions benefit the other person, they’re more likely to engage in further interaction.

  • Keeping up appearances

It’s a cliché, but first impressions matter. Take a bit of time to make sure your website, office and general branding gets the attention it deserves. It reaps benefits not only with new relationships, but with existing ones too.

Broker and client relationships

Arguably the most important business relationship a broker can have is with their clients. To strengthen those relationships, you need to understand their challenges and how best you can help to overcome them.

Reassuring your clients with consistent and personal communications helps show that you’re there for them when they need you and still thinking about them when they don’t. If you can alleviate your clients stress, it will go a long way to strengthening your relationship. For example, recent research from Purple Bricks pointed to some of the most common stressors for house movers:

  • 62% said the main contributor to stress was things being out of their control.
  • 43% worry about whether they have made the right decision
  • 71% want live updates on progress.
  • 66% said they forget about the pressures once they’ve moved in.

As you are well aware, decisions regarding mortgages are some of the largest in people’s lives. It can be a particularly daunting time for people, and you are in a unique position to reassure them and make the process run smoothly.

Understanding your clients and their challenges and bringing preparation along with that awareness can help put their worries to rest. If in doubt, ask them what their concerns are, and let them know how you can help.

Read more: Generating New Business With Introducers - Cheat Sheet

Broker and landlord relationships

Developing relationships with landlords can be extremely beneficial for both parties. Not only does it offer the opportunity to build a wider understanding of the BTL mortgage market, but it can lead to business directly.

The key to these relationships is honest and transparent communication. You’ll need to be open to sharing insights and discussing the challenges you both face. Then, incorporate each other's insights into your own working processes. Of course, you will need to understand the individual landlord that you wish to work with. Ask questions such as whether their portfolio is with an agent or self managed. What type of properties do they prioritise? Do they want to expand their portfolio? The more informed and relevant questions you can ask, the better.

Landlords will of course want to work with brokers who understand Buy to Let. If that’s not an area that you’re confident in then this is an opportunity to broaden your knowledge. Developing an ongoing appetite for information is a good idea, as you’ll need to keep up to date with new BTL mortgages as they become available.

Broker and broker relationships

Keep your colleagues close and your competition closer, or something like that. Building positive relationships with other brokers is key. Not only for building your reputation and your social circle within the industry, but for business opportunities too.

Network, network, network. The benefits of reaching out to your professional peers are as real in the mortgage world as in any other. There will always be a broker that knows something you don’t, sharing tips and tricks between brokers is a great way to build your knowledge base. 

Help each other out, it won’t be forgotten. If you have a network of trusted brokers who you can recommend for any work you don’t have capacity for, that will also demonstrate your value and professionalism to clients. Perhaps Buy-to-Let just isn’t your thing, do you know someone who specialises in that field? They’d likely be more than happy to return the favour of recommendations.

Read more: How to build better relationships with estate agents

Building and sustaining relationships isn’t an overnight job. However with time, practice and a bit of good old fashioned networking you can build strong connections to boost your business.

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