I was recently interviewed by national magazine Mortgage Strategy about how my approach to mortgages is paying off. You can read the article in full here…
1) Sum up your firm in three sentences
KB Mortgage Services is a fresh mortgage brokerage and protection insurance firm, with customer service at the heart of what I do. As a small, new company, I place a huge emphasis on being honest, friendly and professional, and this approach is paying off.
I build great relationships with my clients, meaning that a lot of people find my firm via word-of-mouth, which is really important to me. I try to educate my clients about house buying/remortgaging, through one-to-one conversations as well as publishing blogs on my website. This ultimately makes me a big part of any clients’ buying process, because they often come to me for advice.
Plus, I’m really proud of the fact that all of my reviews are five-star.
2) What led you to become a broker?
I came from the estate agency background, where my first job was an administrator. I quickly progressed to a negotiator, which meant that I learnt all the areas of estate agency work.
I wanted to progress within my career and had the opportunity to qualify as a broker. I knew the mortgage was the biggest part of the house buying process, and I wanted to make clients’ dreams happen by getting them on to the property ladder.
3) What are the biggest issues facing you as a broker?
It can be difficult to explain to clients that a mortgage with the lowest interest rate isn’t always the best option for them, as they could end up paying huge amounts more in the long run, once the arrangement fees are added.
Also, clients can sometimes come to me with a rate in mind because they’ve already visited a comparison website. But these can be misleading because these sites advertise headline rates which clients aren’t always eligible for. It’s therefore important for me to educate people to seek the right advice with a broker who has knowledge of the lenders and their criteria.
4) What one thing could lenders do to improve brokers’ lives the most?
I find that a lot of the broker support lines don’t have enough experience and knowledge about the lender. The business development managers aren’t always available, so it can be frustrating when you can’t get a decision straight away.
I think there should be better access to speak with the underwriters over the phone. There needs to be a more sensible approach to lending on the more unusual situations, as unfortunately not every case is straight forward.
Plus they should make provisions to ensure there are enough staff to deal with the work load of applications. There are times when paperwork is submitted and it’s sat with the lender for five or more days before it gets put in front of an underwriter. And if further information is required, then this timescale starts from scratch, which can cause extra stress and worry for the clients.
5) What plans do you have for the future of your firm?
My first step is to find an administrator who I can work well with and who I can put my trust in to. I will then carry on building the relationships I have and hope to build a bigger team in the future.