Taking the long-term view with clients

Ahmed Bawa, CEO of Rosemount Financial Solutions, explores the importance of client retention and why the broader economic picture gives ample reason for brokers to regularly contact existing clients.

Related topics:  Blogs,  Mortgages
Ahmed Bawa | Rosemount Financial Solutions
29th November 2023
Ahmed Bawa Rosemount
"The Resolution Foundation estimates that 1.6 million mortgages are up for renewal in 2024. That’s a lot of relationships that every broker should concern themselves with."

The excitement of meeting a new client is something that every mortgage broker can surely relate to. And there is no doubt that a regular intake of people eager to start a new chapter of their life is the lifeblood of every broker firm.

But no broker should forget the clients they’ve already worked with, either. In fact, mustering the same levels of enthusiasm and energy towards keeping the clients you’ve already dealt with within your orbit is a strategy guaranteed to benefit both you and those very clients in the long term. The Resolution Foundation estimates that 1.6 million mortgages are up for renewal in 2024. That’s a lot of relationships that every broker should concern themselves with.

The why

From a purely financial point of view, mortgage lender Accord points out that it costs an estimated five times as much to attract a new client than it does to retain an existing one.

However, we argue that the reasons for retaining clients go far beyond this. In our view, nurturing a relationship with a client means that, among other benefits, they are more likely to get a better deal when their fixed rate is up because you will know the fine details of their financial and life situation. This is doing right by your clients and isn’t just a case of playing fair in the eyes of the regulator, but a matter of pride as a broker.

The how

When it comes to customer retention, the automated reminders to contact existing clients within certain time durations that many customer relationship manager software packages feature are undeniably useful, but they should in no way be relied upon as the primary method of keeping customers involved with your firm.

Instead, our belief is that you should proactively and reactively contact them (provided they have agreed to allow you to do this, of course) at every opportunity as a matter of course.

The broader economic picture gives ample reason to do this. For the first time in many years, mortgage borrowers face uncertainty in which way rates will move. Each day’s news carries conflicting reports. Most clients will appreciate timely and relevant market updates from an expert. Regular emails are the perfect channel for this type of communication.

Not only does this cement your reputation as an expert in mortgages, but it can be used to encourage two-way conversation. In this manner you can proactively offer very specific advice to each client - for example, you may be able to offer details of green mortgages or offset mortgages - products that aren’t typically detailed by the price comparison websites many people look at as a default first option.

Making clients part of your business

While the strategies mentioned above are varied, there is one constant throughout those and all other such strategies - your mindset as a broker. Retaining clients isn’t just about systems, be they technological or otherwise. Far more important aspects of keeping clients with you long term is in viewing each one as essential to your business as you are yourself, and the effort and care you put into maintaining a dialogue with them must match this.

Remember, the reason your clients came to you in the first place was because they wanted somebody, they could trust to guide them through one of the most important, stressful, and financially complicated decisions they might ever make. They needed help at an uncertain time and sought you out. There is no reason to let this relationship and trust fade away with time. In fact, there is every reason - for your business, your skills as a broker, and, more importantly, for the client’s best interests - to keep it going long after they have picked up their keys to a brand-new life.

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