What is boosting brokers' market share?

Adviser emphasises the importance of the relationship with lenders

What is boosting brokers' market share?

Brokers’ market share is growing as lenders abandon mortgage advice services and branches, it’s suggested.

The trend makes the relationship between lenders and advisers ever more important, according to broker Aaron Tyson (pictured), director of Open Financial Advice, a new mortgage, protection and financial advice company in London’s Canary Wharf.

“Many lenders have discontinued their dedicated mortgage advice services and/or branches, effectively outsourcing this to independent advisers,” he told Mortgage Introducer. “This increases brokers’ market share, making the lender/broker relationship more important than ever.

“A broker-oriented, fully detailed, expansive criteria page for each mortgage lender would be very useful to save time. Some would also argue that higher rate switch proc fees would enhance the relationship.”

Appraising the market, Tyson is encouraged that Bank of England base rate reductions may not be too far off, though believes there may yet be more turbulence.

“Very recently there has still been volatility and uncertainty when it comes to swap rates, impacting fixed rate pricing and potentially forewarning further rises in the short term,” he commented.

“There’s also the unknown potential of yet another macroeconomic issue, impacting inflation and delaying an economic recovery or the ability for the base rate to reduce, which makes trackers seem potentially unattractive.

“For mortgage borrowers, it’s challenging to choose between the two as tracker rates are naturally high, able to benefit from potential reductions, but fixed rates are already showing what clients will feel as a saving.”

He continued: “Both options have their merits, but there is no clear frontrunner on which will work out to be better over the next two years. This is a challenge, and a large part of the work on the mortgage side is ensuring that any reductions are obtained for clients, with the knowledge that most banks won’t inform their mortgage holders of reductions in their rates.”

What changes are ahead for the mortgage market?

Tyson anticipates market changes this year, as sentiment begins to shift upon base rate reductions.

“I don’t expect this to result in a flood of new mortgage enquiries, but there will be an uplift and relief for mortgage holders knowing that rates will be in a position to decrease,” he suggested. “In the best-case scenario, in 12 months’ time, we'll almost reach the expected settling point for the base rate, around 3%.

“If the outlook remains positive, we'll return to a level of normality in terms of industry enquiries, hopefully accompanied by additional pent-up demand.”

With the prospect of a general election within the next year, Tyson observed: “I think politicians will support the mortgage industry by default rather than practical changes.

“Conservatives will be campaigning on the improvements to the economy so far in bringing inflation down, as was promised, and the roadmap, the never-ending roadmap, to strengthening this further with another term.”

He elaborated: “Labour will likely offer similar strengthening measures, promises to invest in industry and infrastructure, maybe something to improve the EU situation and what growth that may lead to. There may be posturing to reduce the base rate sooner to ease mortgage interest, but I don’t believe that this will be with any true grounding.

“Both are good for buyer sentiment and borrower confidence, which is good for the property and mortgage market as a whole. The Mortgage Charter did, however, generate a useful impact for borrowers on average, aiming to level the product transfer playing field and protecting repossessions.”

Tyson brings more than a decade of experience to his role at Open Financial Advice, having previously worked as an adviser at an appointed representative of Rosemount Financial Solutions. Hailing from Lincolnshire, he had early ambitions.

“By the time I reached my teens, I knew I wanted something more, and there was no bigger change than moving to London for university,” Tyson shared.

“I had always been interested in finance, and being drawn to the bustle of London’s financial sectors, and living in London itself, was always part of my early ambition.

“I have lived here ever since. Ultimately, I stumbled into the mortgage business through a personal connection after finishing university. I began working for a new, very small mortgage brokerage with two experienced brokers.”

Read more: How well is the mortgage market recovering?

What makes being a mortgage adviser an enjoyable job?

Problem-solving is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the job, Tyson considers – he also appreciates the customer interaction.

“I find the most rewarding aspect is directly demonstrating to clients the effort, knowledge, and consideration invested in their cases, whether it’s mortgage cases or financial planning,” he said, “ensuring they are in the best possible position now and in the future for their specific needs, concerns, and requirements. As individuals, we truly appreciate when this level of care is extended to us.”

Tyson believes a good broker needs “the ability to listen well, patience, a willingness to learn from mistakes, and to develop experience and knowledge while maintaining a fairly thick skin.”

But, how does he think he has changed during his career so far?

“I would say that the main changes have been developing my own personal style of client care and the values that need to be attributed to this to ensure the best client outcome,” he replied.

“This approach lends itself to referrals, reviews, and generally more business in total. I don’t believe there’s a shortcut to success in the mortgage or financial advice field without making these connections with clients along the way. In terms of things I would do differently, I would have been more committed to creating my own network of clients sooner.

“Recognising that what is right for you may not always be right for others is crucial, not only in advice but also in business or working relationships. It’s important to strive for the goals you set for yourself.”

Open Financial Advice has been named to reflect what it describes as its commitment to full transparency regarding fees, but also its extended opening hours – until 9pm from Mondays to Thursdays. “We aim to depart from some of the more conventional approaches to mortgage and financial advice,” Tyson explained.

Keen to continue his studies, to become chartered, Tyson hopes to build a team of excellent advisers around him. And when he does get time off from work, travel in Italy, time with friends, dog walks and pub and restaurant visits are all on his agenda.

“I could try yoga, but probably won’t!” he quipped.