KEY TAKEAWAY: Consumers want a broker who enjoys doing what they do, has their best interests at heart, is trustworthy and is willing to provide an individualised service.
The mortgage lending industry is extremely competitive with hundreds of brokers competing for your attention and business. But how do you separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak?
As it turns out, consumers want more than just a mortgage from a broker - they want a business relationship from a skilled financial expert who can help them make informed decisions about their finances.
Why use a broker at all?
The obvious answer is that using a mortgage broker can make a significant difference in the interest rate you pay, the points you are assessed on, how difficult it is for you to qualify for a loan, and the length of time it takes to get your loan approved.
Brokers are also essential for when you need access to specialist lenders or when you need help with the application process.
How do you spot a good broker?
Brokers can be chosen by a number of factors, such as professional recommendation, proximity to the client’s location, belonging to part of a brand the consumer recognises, and marketing and advertising.
Other factors that show a broker is highly competent include:
- Trust demonstrated between customer and broker: This is essential, as the broker should act in the best interests of the customer. Furthermore, by establishing consistency and transparency to the customer, the right broker will demonstrate that they will not be swayed by the highest commission offered by a particular lender.
- Simplifying the process: Don’t know the difference between a standard variable and a fixed rate? Just like any specific industry, there are some brokers who use jargon that may not be easily understood by their customers. Customers need a broker who can break down the information and explain it in simple terms so the customer feels like they are not being blindfolded through the mortgage process.
- The right balance between professionalism and friendliness: A broker should be just as professional as they are personable - you are trusting them with so many personal details including your financial history, bank details and more.
- Personal recommendation: This is another big factor which impacts how customers choose a specific broker. Having a strong reputation as a broker is both their legacy and livelihood. In the digital world, sharing a bad or good experience is as easy as logging onto a smartphone or computer for everyone to see. As the old saying goes, “The average customer will tell one person about their great experience, but will tell 10 people about the poor service they received.”
- Strong brand and local presence: It’s as easy as having a Facebook or LinkedIn page that potential clients can look at to gauge a broker’s personality, their achievements, and even see recommendations from other clients.
What do consumers expect after settlement?
In MPA Magazine’s 2015 survey on Consumers on Brokers, a whopping 60% of respondents had not been contacted since settlement, but would have liked the communication from their broker.
This means that finding the right loan is not the end; it’s just the beginning. Some brokers are missing out on a massive opportunity to help their customers extend from home loans to business loans, financial planning, vehicle loans, insurance, refinancing, and property investment advice.
Building that relationship is a broker’s job - quite literally - and it is important to maintain it after settlement.
It seems that finding the right broker to help with a loan is just as important as finding that perfect home. This is why it’s so important to find a broker that not only has all the aforementioned qualities, but is also a good communicator who will recognise that the customers needs and goals will change over time, and can keep in contact to give updates and news throughout their mortgage journey.
Have you used a broker before and if so, what did you enjoy about it? If you haven’t used a broker before, would you consider using one? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.