If brokers are to also fully showcase their value to consumers, they’ll need to meet growing demand from borrowers with specialist or complex circumstances. Whether that’s advising their clients on equity release or buy-to-let themselves, or referring their customers to a master broker that can offer them the support they need, in 2018 intermediaries will increasingly need to be a one-stop-shop for the consumer.
Retirement lending is only growing in importance and buy-to-let is becoming increasingly specialist, so for those who do intend to support their clients in these areas, education will remain key.
Brokers will also need to look to the growing opportunities that product transfers and remortgaging bring. Both provide a chance for brokers to really add value by saving their clients potentially thousands of pounds on their mortgage, while also deepening their relationship with the customer – stopping lenders or other brokers stepping in to take over.
Product transfers specifically are simple, quick processes that require no new underwriting. Advisers will need to ensure this is the right option for their client, but there is potential to grasp here, including for many buy-to-let clients who are yet to remortgage since the adoption of the Stamp Duty tax.
3) Finally, brokers need to ensure they make the most of technology.
That doesn’t mean they need to switch to robo-advice, but it does mean using the technology available to enhance their efficiency and service.
Whether it’s case management or digitising client and lender communications to speed up mortgage applications, brokers must grasp the opportunity technology provides.
It’s not likely to end well for those who bury their head in the sand, and by the time they try to catch up with the changes in technology, they may find it’s too late.
For those willing to embrace the opportunities in 2018, though, the coming year looks positive.
Jeremy Duncombe is director of Legal & General Mortgage Club