How are market conditions impacting brokers' mental health?

Brokers highlight the importance of reaching out and seeking support

How are market conditions impacting brokers' mental health?

In recent years, market conditions in the property sector have proven increasingly complex, with brokers having to navigate COVID, the cost-of-living crisis and sky-high rates, among the challenges.

So, how much of a toll has this taken on brokers and how have they managed to navigate these issues?

How do brokers learn self-care?

Gary Boakes (pictured left), director at Verve Financial, said the often-overlooked stress inherent in the broker profession stems from managing not only the largest purchase in a person’s life, but also the intricate tapestry of their emotions.

“Last October, a swift surge in rates added an extra layer of complexity; daily encounters with tearful and irate customers became a draining routine, with the palpable worry in their eyes leaving a lingering impact,” Boakes said.

It became challenging, he added, not to carry that emotional weight home, transforming the morning ritual of checking a diary into a pessimistic forecast of potential upset.

Recognising the toll this was taking on his well-being, Boakes turned to the support provided by his Aviva Income protection policy, specifically engaging in mental health sessions.

“Speaking with a professional offered a valuable external perspective, guiding me through the necessary steps to alleviate my concerns and prevent them from permeating my personal life,” he said.

This, Boakes said, was a pivotal realisation that seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but a proactive measure for maintaining mental resilience in a demanding profession.

Thereafter, he said that navigating the complexities of the job with a healthier mindset became a priority.

“The sessions not only addressed the immediate challenges but also equipped me with coping strategies, fostering a more positive approach each day,” Boakes said.

In understanding that an outside viewpoint can be a powerful tool, he embraced the notion that seeking assistance is not only acceptable, but essential.

“This journey of self-care has underscored the importance of acknowledging when an external perspective can provide the clarity needed to navigate the intricate landscape of our profession, while preserving personal well-being,” he said.

How do brokers navigate challenges?

Scott Taylor-Barr (pictured right), financial adviser at Barnsdale Financial Management, said navigating the world of mortgage broking is akin to riding an emotional roller coaster, as advisers share in the ebbs and flows of clients’ house-buying journeys daily.

“The complexity escalates when we find ourselves assisting clients in claiming on insurance plans we may have helped set up for them,” he said.

This challenge, Taylor-Barr added, is heightened when working in solitude from the confines of a home office. However, amid the inherent struggles, he said the mortgage brokering community stands out as a remarkably open and friendly space.

In this unique professional realm, Taylor-Barr said, competitors seamlessly transition into friends, fostering a culture of mutual support that transcends corporate boundaries.

“The collaborative spirit is not confined to interpersonal relationships but extends to collective initiatives like Working In Mortgages (WIM), a dedicated platform aimed at nurturing and fortifying the mortgage industry at large,” he said.

Within the WIM ecosystem, Taylor-Barr said that a noteworthy feature is the no-cost-to-use industry-wide mentoring platform.

“This resource opens doors for individuals seeking guidance, support, and mentorship; by connecting with a network of experienced professionals, individuals can access insights tailored to their journey in the mortgage industry,” he said.

During challenging times, whether grappling with the emotional intensity of clients’ experiences or facing the solitary nature of remote work, Taylor-Barr believes the advice is clear: reach out.

“Be it through the structured avenue of WIM or the more informal channels of social media, the mortgage brokering community reveals itself as a vast and supportive network, ready to offer assistance and camaraderie,” he added.

How have market conditions in recent years impacted your mental health? Let us know in the comment section below.