First time buyers are a key sector of the mortgage market. They have faced some tricky times in recent years with rising house prices, but there is good news too, with mortgage rates staying low and government initiatives to help them such as preferential stamp duty tiers.
Below are some tips for you to attract more clients new to house-buying to your brokerage, by helping them understand how to apply for a mortgage, how much they can afford and how you can use the latest technology to make the process run smoothly for them.
Understanding the mortgage process
Having plenty of simple information readily available online to start the conversation will give you a good chance to attract first time buyers who are often hungry to discover more. But they need the information in plain language they can understand and relate to. Website content such as help videos, blogs, articles and jargon busters are all easy to digest and received well by a younger audience!
Be in the right place at the right time
Keeping your website and social media streams up to date to make sure you’re providing the right information online when first time buyers are looking for help. Consider useful content such as case studies about how you’ve helped other first time buyers in a similar situation. Ask clients for testimonials singing your praises of a prompt and professional service and these can be incorporated into your promotions. These can all build good old-fashioned word of mouth to highlight your business and put you at the forefront when they come to look for a broker to help them with their application at the start of their house-buying journey.
Calculate affordability online
It’s important at the outset to set expectations and to assess the needs for first time buyers. Online affordability calculators can provide instant answers and so they can speed up the first steps in the process.
This will also provide you with a filter to see which clients you can work with to take the discussion to the next stage and those that may be customers for the future.
Houses are still pricey for new buyers, particularly in a desirable location or if they are well appointed. Understanding affordability will clarify which mortgage they can have and what house they can afford in the areas they are considering within their commuting distance.
A customer portal can improve efficiencies
Taking this one step further, having a website that has a secure login area for clients can start to build efficiencies into the application process. A portal, can hold online fact find and application forms for the client to complete. They can have functionality that includes the sharing of documents, a filing system and progress of the application.
Keeping in touch
Communicating with clients on meetings, case updates or reminders to review information pertaining to their case can be done using their preferred method of contact and in many cases can be automated at key stages in the application cycle and be GDPR compliant. Text messages, Whatsapp, email prompts and the availability of online chat tools all have their place when brokers are looking to improve efficiencies but still provide a personal and timely service.
Also regular newsletters or e-shots on a monthly or quarterly basis to your client base will remind them of you and what help you might be able to give them in the future. This regular contact strategy could result in them being more inclined to use you going forwards.
Looking to the future
Building for the future is the foundation of any business and once your first time buyer clients are on the housing ladder they offer further opportunities throughout their property-owning lifecycle. Going forward, they may look to re-mortgage or move house and need another mortgage creating potential business for the brokerage for years to come.
To keep track of key events and dates you could use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system or management tool to know when they are coming up for renewal or account review. This will allow you to get communications out to your clients ahead of a mortgage lender reminder, putting you at the forefront of their minds.
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