"October/November are two of the most important months in any year because they can not only determine the quality of the total year’s business, but they can set up how the next year will kick-off."
‘Interest rates to rise’ often seems like the mortgage version of Chicken Little’s attempt to convince everyone the sky is falling down, or at the very least something akin to the boy who cried wolf. Eventually, of course, the interest rate wolf may well attack the village, but the damage might be limited if there’s been plenty of planning and preparation, and I can pretty much guarantee that an interest rate rise is not going to precipitate the sky falling down. Despite what some might suggest.
However, that rate rise – regardless of when it comes, and there seems to be a growing feeling that it could happen before the end of the year – will produce some changes. Indeed, it could well be that we are seeing some notable signs of those changes anyway – as I write, swap rates have risen quite sharply and lenders appear to be busy re-adjusting their own product rates in light of the increase in their cost of funding.
Which leaves the nation’s borrowers – specifically those who are coming to the end of their deals over the next couple of months – in need of advice and potentially a new (or existing) home for their mortgage. There are numerous estimations of just how much borrowing comes up for ‘renewal’ over the course of the year but, whatever the figure, it’s certainly sizeable and I suspect that advisers will want to get their hands on this business and not see it scooped up directly by lenders as a consequence of an aggressive direct to client, product transfer campaign.
To my mind, October/November are two of the most important months in any year because they can not only determine the quality of the total year’s business, but they can set up how the next year will kick-off. These two months become ever more crucial if we are to take the common perception that August was a much slower month than it has historically been. It’s purely anecdotal of course but I’ve spoken to lenders, agents and advisers and I’ve yet to come across one of them who was overly bullish about the level of business they were writing in August. I may be proved wrong but that’s the feeling I get.
If that feedback does have any kernel of truth to it, then advisers should really want to make the most of the traditionally busy months of October and November, especially before the whole country goes Christmas-crazy in December (or even earlier). Yes, let this article be marked, as (probably) the first one you’ve read that talks about Christmas – I apologise now but I think we all know that the run-in appears to get longer every year and once people are in the Christmas mood, remortgaging may well take a back seat.
So, you can understand why we might all be pushing for a strong two months in order to flesh out our yearly performance. It’s at this point that we should also remember this is not all about the mortgage and, here at Broker Conveyancing, we have decided that October should be the ‘month of diversification’ because what you certainly want to do, if you’re tapping into that large remortgage market, is make sure that you’re also covering off all your client’s bases, certainly in regard to their conveyancing needs but also with a very healthy focus on areas such as protection, insurance, and the like.
It’s crucial to understand that these are potentially returning clients who you may not have had much contact with in the intervening years – I sincerely hope that isn’t the case and you’re in constant contact and communication, but I think we’re all realists when it comes to this. So, this is the time to understand how circumstances might have changed, how lives may have moved on, and crucially how needs might have developed which mean their current financial products are not as fit for purpose as they were two/three/five years ago. Time moves on, people change, and here is the adviser’s greatest opportunity to explore these changes and provide the necessary and required advice.
As we motor into October, understand those product area requirements and make sure you’re able to supply the vast majority, if not all, of them. Your client will thank you for it and so will you, because a big push over the next two months is likely to make a considerable difference overall.