The Growth Series

Six traits of successful mortgage brokers

Originally Published on 30/04/2018

Jeremy Duncombe, our Managing Director, shares his experiences of working with mortgage brokers across a long and successful career in financial services.

During my career working as a broker, for lenders and with a large Mortgage Club, I’ve seen what makes the best mortgage brokers so successful; what traits they consistently show that put them above everybody else. I’m sure you already display many - if not all - of these. 

Being aware that these are your main strengths, and that others have used them to build hugely successful businesses, could well be what helps you stay successful or take the next step for your firm.

People people

All successful brokers are, on some level, people people. It’s not just that they’re able to strike up conversations with strangers quickly and easily; it’s that they enjoy it. When you talk to brokers about what makes them successful, they will very quickly assert that they love their job and that a big part of that is meeting different people every day. 

This can be hugely advantageous when it comes to dealing with vulnerable clients or those who are worried about difficult market conditions, as it’s important to be a reassuring and trustworthy presence.

But this quality is just as important when you’re interacting with your peers and industry stakeholders. Good mortgage brokers are also good networkers and hold positive relationships with lenders and other business partners. Not only that, they’re people people from the point of view that they know there’s always something new to learn from an expert on any given topic.

And they’re willing to listen to and learn from that person for a considerable time. There’s loads of free support, help and education out there, and successful people are never afraid to use it.

Read more: How to build relationships as a broker

A clear vision (whatever the vision)

Setting off anywhere without a map is a good way to get lost. That truth is the same in business as it is when travelling somewhere unfamiliar. The most successful mortgage brokers had a clear vision for their firm and now have another one. 

I phrase it in that way because those at the top of the profession have achieved one vision (‘successfully secure £100 million worth of mortgages in the first year’) and have moved on to another one (‘become the leading mortgage broker in Yorkshire’). 

A clear vision brings with it a clear list of next steps, targets and priorities on how to get there.

Read more: Get Your Business Future Ready

An awareness of process

Achieving your vision often relies on process. That doesn’t sound ‘sexy’, but it’s true. Processes are the way you move from point A to point B in the most effective manner. 

They can govern and define everything, from securing a client a new mortgage to making sure you get in touch before a remortgage is due, to how you hire your team, to where documents are stored and how they are processed. 

Process breeds successful businesses that continually move in the right direction, and ensures you’re consistently delivering the best possible service to your clients.

Read more: Automating business processes: a beginner's guide

Delegation as a mindset

This is a challenging one, particularly for those of you who are in effective, aggressive and successful growth stages. The problem is that if everything has to go through you, your firm will only ever have as much capacity as you do. 

At some point, most successful mortgage brokers have recruited or found someone on their team that can take on key responsibilities, particularly administrative ones, to take such tasks away from the firm principal. 

This is not easy and may involve an uncomfortable learning period for all involved. It also comes with risks attached, but nevertheless, it is also a characteristic associated with scale and growth, and again, can lead to better outcomes for your clients.

Read more: How small business owners can manage their time effectively

Above and beyond for not only the client, but the team

Many mortgage brokers will say that they will bend over backwards for clients and, very often, that is true. I have spoken with mortgage brokers who have driven miles to secure paperwork on time and get the client what they were after. All of this is needed, particularly in growth phases and early days. 

Many successful mortgage brokers, though, also have highly engaged, energised and effective teams - and this does not happen by accident. Showing the same characteristics you show when you go the extra mile for clients when it comes to hiring, managing and developing your team, is an investment worth making. 

Sometimes, it’s the little things, like the office environment or flexible working, that can make a difference, but so too can grander gestures, such as away days or recognition schemes. There’s no set answer, but building a loyal and motivated team can pay big dividends in return.

Read more: Understanding and Improving Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Mortgage Sector


Flexibility and adaptability 

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change’ Charles Darwin

The intermediary mortgage market seems to be in a constant state of flux. And successful brokers move with it. Technology will revolutionise how mortgages are written. 

Successful brokers have recognised this and are investing in technology, such as CRM software and artificial intelligence, to help streamline processes, speed up information gathering and provide what today’s (and tomorrow’s) customer wants. 

The benefit for brokers is an ability to focus on the quality element of their service by eliminating the often laborious activities, which add no value; meaning more time to help more customers and do it better than before.

Read more: Tech Can Help Brokers Meet Growing Consumer Expectations

Start growing your business today! 

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