The opportunity is there, if you know where to look
John Phillips, operations manager, Just Mortgages and Spicerhaart
When the housing market is buoyant, brokers have a terrible habit of forgetting all about the remortgage sector and concentrating only on purchases. And it is understandable why. Remortgages are not worth as much, so if the business is there, it is certainly tempting to focus on purchase.
But the latest UK Finance figures show that first-time buyer mortgages are down 4.5% on last year, and home mover mortgages are down 8.4%, while data from Rightmove shows asking prices dropped £5,222 in November – the largest pre-Christmas drop since 2012
And for many brokers, this fall in demand for house purchase has hit them hard, with their leads drying up fast.
But for those brokers who have worked hard to maintain relationships with their clients, a slowdown in the purchase market provides other opportunities.
At Just Mortgages, our brokers have always contacted their clients when they are due for a remortgage, but this year, we upped this contact even further by introducing annual reviews for all clients.
Our brokers sit down with all their clients every year so they are aware of any changes in their circumstances – for example if they have changed jobs, or started a family – to ensure that their mortgage and protection needs are still being met.
As a result of our new financial review system, our brokers have already put in the groundwork with their clients, so when they contact them about a remortgage, or to go through their protection needs, it is not a desperate attempt to find new leads, but business as usual.
Other brokers are now starting to see their purchase business drying up, so are desperately contacting old clients about remortgaging. But unless they have done the groundwork with their clients, and their mortgage and sales processes are aligned, they will be on the back foot.
Whereas, we are already there. Due to our philosophy that our customers’ circumstances should be revisited regularly to ensure the financial products they have still meet their needs, we are always one step ahead.
Yes, the market is tough, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities, it is just a case of knowing how to seize them.