Throughout the month of March Your Mortgage Plus Advisor Joy Dowell completed an unbelievable 16 mortgages, averaging just above one mortgage completed every two days for the month.
Of the 16 cases, approximately 60%-70% were Buy-To-Let (BTL), with one client completing 3 remortgages for their properties. As a Your Mortgages Plus advisor, Joy is directly regulated with the FCA which allows her to place both regulated and unregulated BTL cases. The remainder of the cases were residential, coming from individuals securing funding for their own personal properties. All 16 of the cases were referrals, the customer base for which took 2 years to build up, after developing relationships with past clients and introducers.
To achieve this Joy currently works with 2 introducers, offering a 25% pay away as a way of thanks for referring work as both are very useful in generating business. However, Joy expressed how important it was to test their usefulness first after being burnt by a previous introducer. The former introducer was passing on quite complex cases on small value properties, charging a broker fee to the clients, despite not being a broker, and was asking Joy for 40% of the commissions from her generated earnings, leaving her with a lot of work to do and very little to show for it.
Joy may normally charge more in some cases for complex cases like those mentioned above, but generally charges a £495 broker fee for new clients, from which she offers a discount of £100 for existing customers, dropping the fee down to £395 for future cases. Joy implements this discount as she has much of the client’s paperwork from their previous enquiry resulting in less work being involved in processing their subsequent applications. This discount also helps encourage clients to come back to Joy, as she has found that in her area there is a trend for shopping around between brokers.
In her experience, Joy says that offering discounts can help get the ball rolling with new enquiries, and that relationships with customers are almost always easier the second time around, but that she keeps some sort of fee in place with the promise of better quality because of it. This quality comes in the form of wider care, especially for First Time Buyers (FTB), who are often feeling unsure about many parts of the house buying process and require reassurance and assistance with parts of the process beyond securing a mortgage. In addition to this, Joy tries to be as proactive as possible in following up with applications, especially for those buying their first or a new home, saying she “doesn’t rest until the clients has their keys”, always finishing up with a congratulations card when they are then comfortably settled into their new homes.
In the early days, Joy says she was frustrated at how slow some clients can be in getting her vital information for applications, but after 2 years of running her practice, she has found it is best to give them a little time and space and they will come around eventually. In addition, this same principle applies when working with lenders. Joy submitted an additional application at the beginning of March, which could have taken her 16 mortgages up to 17, but it is still with the underwriters as they review the information provided. Joy continues to check in and review the progress, even after a month and a half of waiting, working to keep the client in the loop and up to date with what is happening.
With her same experience, Joy feels she now has a better handle on what will and will not go forward, using her experience to better identify cases that are likely to process and clients that will be committed to moving things forward.
At the time of interview (Wednesday the 28th of April), Joy had two protection cases in the works on the back of these 16 mortgages. Joy is always on the look out for additional opportunities to provider her service, but stresses that it is important to wait in some cases, especially for FTB, as she does not want to overwhelm or confuse them while they’re focussing on buying their first home.