How mortgage brokers can cope during the Covid-19 crisis

  • Explain what is happening in the mortgage market right now
  • Identify opportunities mortgage brokers have
  • Describe some of the risks with life and protection policies

He also advises that brokers should recommend a lender that allows customers to switch products mid-process, if rates go down.

Echoing his words, Mr Reynolds says communication is critical.

“In any time of uncertainty advisers that are proactive in communicating with their clients receive the best long-term reaction,” he adds.

“Sometimes it is not about having the definitive answer but more about being the person that can listen to their concerns immediately.

“It is about being as up-to-date with what lenders are currently offering and how this may fit with their clients. Being agile and reactive where required will be seen as a positive. 

“The best single message to clients is with regard to payment holidays; if you can pay then it is best to do so.

"If you need to exercise the holiday then do so with permission from the lender, ideally via their online resource - and most certainly do not cancel your direct debit as this can cause future issues.”

As the number of new purchase mortgages reduce for now, so too will the number of remortgaging taking place as they also require physical visits for valuations to be carried out.

Product transfers

With this in mind, Bob Riach, mortgage broker at Riach Financial Adviser says brokers should also be looking at product transfers.

Mr Riach adds: “There will be no new business for new purchases coming in. I think they will then eventually stop doing remortgages.

“So the big area is existing clients whose fixed rates are coming to an end where we can leave them, with the existing lender and get them a new deal as with most lenders it is an automated system, as long as the client is not trying to change terms or amount of outstanding balance.

"We can literally do it in five minutes. That’s the area that brokers are still going to continue doing.

“It’s about being proactive, contacting clients, and saying: your fixed rate is coming to an end, let’s look at it now to protect them so they can get the rates in now while they are still there.”

Life and protection

Another area of opportunity for mortgage brokers is life and protection.

Mr Riach says brokers should be talking about protection policies at the beginning of the mortgage application process to protect their clients and particularly at a time, when some insurers are putting exclusions on new policies.and are including questions about locations customers have previously visited.

Mr Riach says: “Where we would not have done the protection element until completion, I am contacting clients and saying: let’s apply for this now, before the insurance companies put in an exclusion.”