How I became a broker – Tom Collier's story

He knew he would end up in a sales role, but was not sure in which industry

How I became a broker – Tom Collier's story

“I’m sure most people in the industry can’t say they had always aspired to become a mortgage broker,” remarked Tom Collier, advising director at Advantage Financial Solutions.

“The same is true of me,” he then confessed.

While Collier was fairly certain that he would end up in some kind of sales role after leaving his sixth form college, he had no idea what industry he would actually join.

Getting into the industry

Collier’s first job was selling car insurance over the phone, in a targeted high-pressure environment – which he absolutely loved.

“This led to an interest in financial services, which in turn led me towards a training role as a mortgage broker,” he recalled. “The rest is history.”

For Collier, the story of how he got into the mortgage industry might not be the most inspiring of back stories. However, he has a message for those considering a career in mortgage advice but are worried that they may not have what it takes.

“You can at least point and say, ‘Well, that guy did it!’” he quipped. “Consider me the lowest common denominator.”

Motivations to continue as a broker

Having been in the mortgage industry for 15 years now, Collier said he came across a huge variance in advised outcomes. Some were brilliant and clearly the result of good advice, while others were dangerously poor.

He believed that the qualification did very little in preparing individuals to give good advice. He added that many training processes focused on service and product selection rather than solution finding and perception challenging.

“It can lead to advisers that ‘take orders’ rather than give advice and statements like ‘I never recommend interest-only to my clients’,” he pointed out. “Yes, I have heard that quite recently from a broker.”

This, Collier said, motivated him to continue being the best broker he could be.

“It’s a deeply rewarding vocation,” he added. “A mortgage is the product that stands between a person and a huge life event. It’s great knowing that you helped someone achieve something so important.”

Looking to the future

Bristol-based Advantage FS was launched in early 2020 as a specialist broker for mortgage and life insurance. It started from the ground up with nothing – no brand awareness, no clients, no relationships with third parties. Its directors, including Collier, decided that the brand would be built purely on values. Fortunately, it paid off and the business has been growing substantially since then.

“My goal is to organically grow Advantage FS to become a large industry recognised and respected brokerage, with its values remaining firmly where they are today,” Collier shared.

Are you a mortgage broker who also has a story to tell? Leave a comment in the discussion box at the bottom of the page, and you might get your story featured here too.