Speaking to a budding mortgage broker the other day, I noticed he was keen on explaining complicated topics to his clients. I saluted him for being able to do this. He plans to do more, describing mortgage and house buying concepts on video, in podcasts and with clients face to face.
Being able to explain something complex in an easy-to-understand manner is a skill.
However, I'm unsure if this skill is essential for modern mortgage brokers. Especially now younger people are becoming your clients.
Explaining complex ideas simply is still the skill needed but not with the topics that many mortgage brokers are using to present. I think we may have this wrong, and I'll explain why.
Two reasons. Firstly, younger people and young-minded people delight in their ability to research the internet. People can explore and find any information they want and are inclined to do so before meeting with a mortgage adviser. No one wants to appear uneducated.
Secondly, over 50% of young people go to Uni nowadays. In my day, the percentage was 5%. This doesn't mean that modern young people are more intelligent; it's just a reflection of changing times and more opportunities for people to go to Uni.
Uni teaches you to research. It's how it all works, and many modern exams such as DipFA and Mortgage Diploma are all about exploring information.
Therefore, people can learn about complex things and don't need an adviser to explain generic information.
Instead, they need us to explain how to apply it, given their situation.
Yesterday I was chatting to my plumber about his goal of buying a property, doing it up, shaving off part of the garden and selling two properties for a handsome profit. I didn't explore how bridging or development finance worked or how a lender would release part security.
He had already researched these things. I asked him some probing questions and then spent my time explaining how these complex products would help him achieve his goal. I applied the knowledge to his situation and explained how he could use these to buy from auction, develop and sell.
Our role is to vividly understand the client’s goals and help them apply the complexity of information to see how they can achieve their aims. It's about coaching them to understand it all. Explain a little, ask how these can help them, and clarify how to apply it.
So next time, you find yourself diligently explaining the pros and cons of a bridging loan. Stop, ask the client what they already know and have researched and then re-explain how the product can help them and give them the advantage they seek.
It's about applying knowledge, not regurgitate it. The internet can do that; artificial intelligence will do that simply. It takes a real professional to understand a client's needs and apply the myriad of knowledge.