In times of a credit crunch, such as now, there are some mortgages advisors who are thriving and others who are not.  So what is the difference between them?  They have all had their CeMAP training and taken the exam, so why are some doing so well and others are struggling?

Here are a few ways to attract customers – and more importantly, to keep them year after year!

Use recommendations. Word of mouth has long been known as a great way of advertising.  If you are just starting out, then naturally this is more difficult so you need to encourage recommendations.  Start by spreading the word through your family members, friends, relatives, colleagues and anybody else who knows the sort of person you are.  They can help to spread the word.  As you build up a client list, be sure to leave your business card with all your clients.

Level of advice. Many customers do not understand the difference between information and advice, so whatever level you work at, whether that is information only through to full independent advice, be sure that you follow the compliance procedures strictly to the letter and be sure your customers understand what you can offer them.  Even if it is not for them, they will appreciate your honesty and will pass your details on.

Background. Be clear about your training and qualifications and let your customers know your background.  Many clients do not know what a CeMAP qualification is, so be sure to tell them how you are suited to advise or inform  them.  As regular readers will know, there has been much in the media lately about the FSA banning certain mortgage brokers, so it is important nowadays to reassure customers how you are qualified and what compliance procedures you have to follow.

Be reliable. Buying a house or remortgaging is a huge financial undertaking for most people and a stressful time in their life, so by asking you to help them, they are depending on you.  If you say you will do something by a certain time, then do it when you said you would and if you can’t, then be sure to keep them updated as to why.  All clients appreciate being kept up-to-date; they need to feel that you are working on their behalf.

Follow up. People only remember when you go ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty.  It might be an idea to drop them a ‘Congratulations on your new home’ card or a quick note to say thank you for their time and business.  If you have arranged a special deal for someone, then make a note in your diary of when their fixed or discounted interest rate deal will end, and be sure to follow up at that time.  People will remember you and come back to you.

If you follow all these points, you will find that many of your clients will not only recommend you but will return to you each time they need a remortgage, to buy a new house or for some advice.  Consider expanding your portfolio and when you do, be sure to tell all your clients about it.  There are CeRER courses so you can then advise on equity release mortgages and there are will writing courses available too.  When people buy a house, that is often the time to check on all their finances and updating their will is a common addition.