Mortgages  

Advisers need to adapt to long-term fixed rate world

Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts

The mortgage industry is witnessing a trend towards longer-term fixed rate products.

There are now just five fewer five-year fixed rate mortgages available than the historically popular two-year deals, according to Moneyfacts.

Yorkshire Building Society and Virgin Money have also both recently launched 15-year fixed rate mortgages – something not seen since 2009.

For advisers, maintaining good relationships with clients is therefore more important than ever.

Longer fixed rate periods mean that the time between a borrower seeking advice and when their deal ends is much greater.

As a result, advisers will need to futureproof their businesses by demonstrating the value of their advice and helping customers beyond their typical mortgage needs.

Customer Contact

Two-year fixed rate deals always meant advisers had a regular, reliable stream of business, but with longer-fixes that could be changing. So how can advisers respond?

One option is to schedule annual reviews with their clients.

A lot can change in a year - homeowners might want to move and there could be more competitive products that could help clients save thousands in interest.

Customers may even have children who are starting to think about stepping onto the ladder and who could be new clients.

Or perhaps the Bank of Mum and Dad may need advice on how they can help their children.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram – advisers can also use these tools to transform their relationships with potential and existing clients.

Social media is a great way to keep customers informed about changes in the market or new deals, and it can also help increase an adviser’s visibility as an industry expert.

Traditional email communication is important though too, as it can help advisers maintain regular contact with clients by bringing them news such as monthly house price updates.

The importance of protection

Supporting clients’ protection needs will also help advisers secure new business in the era of long fixes.

Our research found that over a third (34 per cent) of consumers who went direct to a lender for their mortgage have no protection policy.

Many advisers already do a great job of selling protection, but there are still opportunities to help keep a roof over their clients’ heads should the worst happen.

Big life events such as customers getting married or having children can be a natural hook, for example, giving advisers the chance to revisit a client’s life insurance policy and make sure they are not underinsured.

Diversification

Advisers can find new opportunities for their businesses in non-standard areas of the market as well.

Rising demand from older homeowners to unlock their housing wealth in retirement has seen the equity release sector boom. Advice is essential for customers in this market and with £1 trillion of housing wealth owned by Britain’s over-55s, there is huge potential for this area to grow even more in the future.