Self-employed mortgage advisers, in this post you will learn how to choose the best mortgage network for you and for your business.
You know you want to be an appointed representative under somebody, but how do you know who you should go with? There’s so much choice. How do you make the decision on who’s going to suit you best?
What I’m going to give you are some hints, tips, and my thoughts on the processes.
As I’ve been in the industry since 2003, I’ve got a good understanding of who does what and how you can make the right choice for your business.
I’ve been directly authorised since 2008, and I’ve also traded under a couple of big-name networks and also have nearly 200 mentees with a variety of different networks.
So I’ll walk you through the main criteria every self-employed mortgage adviser needs to consider when choosing a mortgage network.
Why do you need a mortgage network?
Mortgage networks are essentially a company that sits between the FCA and the self-employed mortgage adviser.
To provide compliance support is their main function. However, every single one has a different level of support that they will give you.
The network is there to help by checking mortgage advisers’ files. They will make sure advisers adhere to FCA guidelines, are giving the right advice, and they will check consistently to make sure their advisers adhere to the rules.
Over and above that, they are there to provide you with a lot of support.
Some of them focus on one-man bands, others focus on small firms.
Then there are networks that want you to grow huge organisations into the stratosphere, to be doing five, 10 million pounds a year.
So your starting point needs to be your own research. You’ll want to find the one that supports your vision and your lifestyle goals.
Own Your CRM System
But before you even consider a network you’ll need to consider your CRM (customer relationship management) system. No matter which network you go with, you will want to have your own CRM system.
In being an appointed representative, not only do you have to give all your paperwork to the lender, but you also have to give everything to your network as well, to make sure that your files are checked in relation to compliance.
Because they are reviewing your files, they want you to use their CRM system. And this goes for all mortgage networks. But just because you have a CRM system with the network, don’t forget to also manage your own.
Avoid this self-employed adviser mistake
I think this is one of the biggest mistakes that so many financial services professionals make, is not having their own CRM system.
You need to have ownership of the system that controls your diary, your renewal dates, your review dates, the products that you’ve sold to your clients, the opportunities that you might have, and a system for compliance.
The issue with the majority of mortgage systems is they don’t provide a system for sales, automation and personalisation.
Plus, if all your information is in the network CRM system and not in your own, and you do decide that you want to change, or the network changes for the worse, then you’re stuck.
The sooner you build your own CRM system, the more freedom and flexibility you will have. It might create more work, but actually, it’s going to give you a better future and more longevity as well in terms of your customers, your clients, and your control of your business.
Learn more about becoming a self-employed mortgage adviser:
What to Consider When Choosing Your Mortgage Network?
So once you have your CRM system in place you can start looking at Mortgage networks. Here are the 3 main criteria you will want to consider:
1. Social Media policy
Your main and perhaps most surprising consideration needs to be the network’s social media policy.
To make sure that you have the freedom, the flexibility, and the support and guidance around social media.
Social Media is not going anywhere. It’s only going to get better. It’s only to become more focused around marketing. And it’s going to be one of the best ways you can reach a wider audience.
So if your network is limiting your ability to get your message out on social media or taking too long to check your social media work, then that should be a consideration.
The next consideration, I think, should be the level of support that you need and want in order to grow your business.
What kind of business support (if any) will you get from a mortgage network?
Very few offer what you really need from a marketing, sales and business support perspective. There are some who do provide a great deal of support, such as:
- Monthly meetings
- Training sessions
- Different corporate events
Do you want a league table where you can measure your performance?
If you’re a competitive person, then you really want something that gives you accountability every single month so that you can push yourself.
Ongoing and consistent training is also vital to your success as a self-employed mortgage adviser. Which is why Fast Business Growth exists, the number one independent training Academy for mortgage advisers offering support from hundreds of advisers from every Mortgage network.
You should find a mortgage network that supports your vision for your business.
The network should provide you with the compliance and business support you need in order to be able to build the business that you want and earn the income that you need and want.
That is vital. If your business isn’t supporting you financially in the way in which you want it to, then you don’t have a successful business. And your network should give you the option of making sure that you are able to build the business that you want.
They should support you by making sure that you have the coaching, the mentoring, the teaching, the training, the support, the guidance. And if you don’t, then you need to look at a new network.
Percentages should actually be your lowest priority consideration. Why? Because at the end of the day what really counts is the service you get.
Because you can get 90% but no support, no guidance, no help, no love, no attention, no meetings, no training, no masterminds with one network, yet you can get 80% with another one, for example, that gives you all of those things that I just mentioned.
Which one is actually giving you better value?
It’s about value because if at the end of the day if you get 90% but can only write a hundred grand on your own with no support you’re getting paid on £90,000.
But if another one enables you to write £200,000. And they’re going to take 20% of your business, then all of a sudden you’ve doubled your earnings.
This is where I think so many people in financial services go wrong. You look at cost, you look at percentage. You are money people, and you don’t look at the actual value that you’re getting for the cost that you’re for the investment that you’re paying.
So percentage needs to be lowest on your list of criteria. Percentage is the last thing that you should look at. It should be about support.
Your choice should be about the guidance you receive and it should be about the vision for your business.
Once you have a clear idea of your vision for your business and the type of support you need you can start to talk to the financial networks.
My Top Mortgage Network Recommendations:
Other mortgage networks you might consider:
You will find that they all have similar access to lenders. They all have similar access to protection. And they all have similar rates from lenders and insurers. The percentage of commission you receive differs greatly, so always do your research.
Some, however, will have a very limited panel of insurers that they use. And I recommend that you go with one that has a larger panel of insurers, and also that you go with one that doesn’t have rated premiums.
What rated premiums means is where genuinely, you might find the average, the normal premium is a hundred pounds they will offer £125.
Now you do have the option to commission sacrifice to bring the premium down because in charging a higher premium, you also get more commission because that’s how we get paid as brokers.
But if you’ve got a limited panel and you’re charging rated premiums, you’re not doing the best thing for your customer. And I disagree with that completely.
If you’re with a financial services network that has rated premiums, then I believe you should move because it’s about doing what’s right for your customer.
Some may also be more geared to IFA’s rather than mortgage brokers. That’s fine if your focus is around IFA services, but as a mortgage adviser, you may be better to look for a network that specialises in your field.
So make sure you ask plenty of questions of your network and use the criteria above to inform your decision.
The only way that you’re going to know which network is the right network for you, is to phone them all is to meet them all is to discuss your vision, come up with your plan and find out which one’s going to help you achieve it.
Get Extra Support for your Mortgage Business from Fast Business Growth
I created Fast Business Growth as a means to provide independent support and training based on what’s working best in my brokerage.
As I build my business, I pass that knowledge on to you, because the danger is that when you are an appointed representative, you only get your information from one channel.
And one of the best things that I know from having run several events and from my mentees is that they love the communication with other people from other networks.
Being able to converse and find out what’s working over here and use it over there.
And as great as your mortgage network is, you need to have somewhere where you can connect with other mortgage brokers, financial planners, will writers, protection advisors, IFAs, whoever it might well be.
So you need connections outside of your current appointed representative network because that’s the game-changer for your business.
For that extra level of support and community come and join Fast Business Growth.
You need to be part of the Academy because that will give you such a low cost, high-value level of support around building your business.
Although the right network will support you in compliance you know there is more to growing your business.
And I’m here for you to support you with gaining more knowledge around vision, marketing, process, sales, people, recruitment, and your business model.
Reach out to me if you have any questions. I’ll be more than happy to provide any additional support, guidance, answers, mentoring or coaching that you might need in order to keep growing a fun and profitable lifestyle business.