In Focus: Home ownership  

Why I went from estate agent to adviser

Siobhan Holbrook

Siobhan Holbrook

My career began as an estate agent. 

Although I loved my job, I was working all hours under the sun with only Tuesdays and one weekend off a month, while earning a basic salary of £13,000.

Looking to the future, I knew I wanted a family and quickly realised that there was no way I could commit to these hours and become the mum I wanted to be at the same time.

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However, I loved property and helping people find their future homes.

I started thinking about where else I could channel this passion, so I saved my commission money and annual leave and went to London to complete the CeMAP courses to allow myself the opportunity to become a mortgage adviser.

In January 2011, Mortgage Light was created. I initially set Mortgage Light up to help me earn more income for when I had a family, but the firm gathered a great reputation and eventually I had no choice but to hire staff and create a mortgage brokerage. 

My desire to become a mum and the need for my career to facilitate this was a big factor in my decision to become a mortgage adviser.

Naturally, this means I can always sympathise with any female client looking for the security of a mortgage.

As a woman in this industry, I’ve faced the same set of challenges that every professional does, with the added pressure of wanting to be a good mum, daughter, friend, a support to my team and create financial security.

Selfishly, I want a successful career. 

It’s safe to say that there are so many more pressures on women today than ever before. 

In difficult times, such as now, I think female clients – whether that’s single mums, young women, divorcees or widows – really appreciate being able to rely on female advisers and brokers who understand these challenges and completely empathise with the tribulations of life as a woman.

Client relationships

At the moment, our relationships with clients are so important, because the mortgage market feels incredibly unsettled.

Lenders are constantly chopping and changing rates because they are unable to deal with the business demands they are attracting by sourcing at the top of the table.

This means that some lenders are taking up to 28 days to look at documents – and time kills deals. Delays mean buyers can lose their confidence and decide to pull out.

This, coupled with the fear-mongering going on within the marketplace, means that managing clients’ panic levels is one of the biggest current challenges.

The market is currently a place of extreme uncertainty and I don’t think we’ll start seeing anything more sensible in the market until the government can offer some stability.