Staying ahead in the mortgage market is something no lender or broker can afford to ignore. Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show 40,600 loans were granted in February 2015, worth a value of £6.8 billion to the industry. This is a big market, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to get a slice of.
The key point to consider is that borrowers have a choice of who they turn to for their mortgage. Simply offering competitive products isn't enough, which is why you will need to be creative when it comes to your sales strategies.
It's essential to stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons, but how can you ensure that this is the case?
As the saying goes, you only have seven seconds to make a good first impression, and this is certainly true for the nation's mortgage lenders. Meeting clients face to face is the ideal opportunity to show that you're the lender for them.
It might sound obvious, but simple steps such as shaking their hand and giving eye contact can all work in your favour. It also pays to be polite and make customers feel welcome.
Although you might be offering favourable rates, there are other factors that people will take into account before choosing you as their lender. It's also worth bearing in mind that if you are offering similar rates to a competitor, interpersonal factors could end up being the deal breaker!
Anyone can talk themselves up when trying to get new clients on board, but the real key to mortgage sales success is proving that you are the person for the job.
Remember that many sales leads in the mortgage industry come from customer recommendations, so it pays off in the long run to prove your abilities by delivering tangible results time and time again.
Potential clients also want to be convinced of your skills and expertise, so make them aware of any industry affiliation your company might have. You may also want to think about displaying the Financial Conduct Authority-recognised qualifications you have been awarded.
It is your in-depth knowledge of the mortgage market that makes you such an invaluable resource for borrowers, but they need to be convinced that you will work with their best interests in mind. Clients have a choice, so the onus is on you to show that you are the right person to secure them a home loan.
Social media is not something any business can shy away from – and mortgage lending is certainly no exception. A 2014 Ofcom report revealed that as many as 66% of online UK adults have at least one profile on a social network, presenting sales and marketing opportunities that simply can't be ignored.
So what is the value of social media for the mortgage industry? It enables you to develop relationships with clients past and present, as well as demonstrate that you're keeping up with the times.
Social media is also a means of gaining a better understanding your demographic, and being able to interact with them on a more frequent basis. After all, what other marketing tool enables you to directly address fans and followers in real time?
Successful salespeople have often built up strong levels of trust with their clients, which is something social media can accommodate, providing of course that it has been used effectively!
It's no longer enough just to do what's expected, instead you need to go above and beyond the call of duty to really make yourself stand out against the competition.
This is where the personal touch can really come into play. Actually listening to what clients want can be a deal clincher, and will ensure they remember you for the quality service you have provided.
With so many mortgage products out there, it can often be quite overwhelming from a customer's point of view. Offering a service that has been tailored to their individual needs – and shows you have listened intently to what they want from their home loan – will leave a positive lasting impression.
This should be standard procedure regardless of whether you work for a big name lender or a smaller firm. Everyone should have the time to spend with their clients, not least because property is the biggest purchase most people will ever make in their lifetime.
It's often the case that people will leave a meeting, only to remember shortly afterwards that there were various questions they had forgotten to ask. This is where you have the opportunity to really sell your services – make clients feel they can contact you with any follow-up queries they might have.
Whether it's via email or over the phone, customers will appreciate that you're never too far away. Adopting a truly mobile approach to mortgage sales has the potential not only to improve productivity, but also the standard of the service provided.
It's no longer necessary for you to be hooked up to a landline and PC to deal with enquiries. You can be out of the office and still maintain the same level of customer service as you would if you were sat at your desk.