"The benefits are clear. More freedom, more money, more opportunities. However, some can be daunted by the prospect of going it alone."
Within every crisis, there is opportunity. These wise words are certainly true of the current pandemic. The housing market has been an unexpected bright spot in an otherwise dark year for most industries. Record transactions and brokers rushed off their feet has been the norm for the past few months, and the train doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon.
With this incredible surge in housing transactions, a significant number of brokers have considered going self-employed. With demand high, generating leads has become easier, and there are plenty who are considering making the switch.
But what makes a great self-employed broker? And should you go it alone, or work as part of a network?
Traits that successful self-employed brokers share
While every broker is different, there are some common personality traits that those who succeed as a self-employed broker share. Tenacity is certainly an important attribute. The Just Mortgages team will support brokers to generate leads and bring in business, however the broker themselves needs to be tenacious to follow these up.
Working as a self-employed broker can involve a lot of rejection. From every 15 or so leads, perhaps only one will actually come to fruition. Being able to move on from the rejection and chase down those legitimate leads is incredibly important.
Alongside tenacity, self-employed brokers will need to be diligent. They need to keep progressing themselves with continual development to ensure they are across the latest trends and products. They also have to be able to pass annual exams which requires a level of focus.
At Just Mortgages we can provide assistance for self-employed brokers to do the requisite training, but it relies on the broker to actively engage for them to succeed.
Self-employed brokers also need to be self-starters. One of the great things about being self-employed is you can roll out of bed at 11am on a Monday, and no-one will question where you’ve been.
However, the double-edged sword of this is that there is no-one to make sure you are delivering what you need to deliver. This takes discipline. Being able to focus when there is no manager or boss telling you this needs to be done requires a level of self-motivation.
How to get started
If those traits sound familiar, the next question is, how do I start my own business? At Just Mortgages, we work with our self-employed brokers to develop a business plan. This will form the guide that will define what success looks like, and will provide the path to that success.
The business plan provides the basis for the broker, then we work with them to progress towards their goals. At Just Mortgages we regularly check in with our self-employed brokers to ensure they are on the right path, supporting them if they need guidance to hit their targets.
Marketing plays an important role, as generating leads is crucial. Just Mortgages provides training to our brokers to build their social media presence, suggesting content to share and providing them with compliant posts.
It can be a very easy mistake for brokers to make sending out a post that promises ‘cheap mortgages’, and these types of post can land them in hot water with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Keeping it compliant
Compliance is a crucial, yet less exciting, part of becoming self-employed. The pandemic has certainly increased cases of attempted mortgage fraud, and it can be very easy to accidentally put forward a client to a lender who turns out to have ‘amended’ their payslip.
This can lead to a lender blacklisting a broker, and that can be disastrous. To avoid that scenario, the Just Mortgages team supports brokers with compliance, ensuring they follow the rules and updating them on important legislation changes.
Growing the business
Once self-employed brokers establish themselves, some look to bring in other staff. This can require a new set of skills. Managing people can often be a totally new area for some brokers, and being able to communicate effectively is essential.
Just Mortgages provides principal training sessions which are geared towards giving brokers all the tools they need to recruit, manage and progress their own businesses. Brokers learn the skillset needed for running a team of brokers, how to develop a strategy for their business, and crucially, how to run the day-to-day operations.
To help self-employed brokers recruit, the Just Mortgages academy brings in new faces to the industry, and the team often pairs up these new brokers with experienced self-employed brokers to help show them the ropes.
There are a lot of brokers that dream of going self-employed. The benefits are clear. More freedom, more money, more opportunities. However, some can be daunted by the prospect of going it alone. By working with a firm like Just Mortgages, you can get the support to ensure you can succeed. Helping you generate leads, stay compliant and hit your targets.