What challenges do advisors face when starting out?

So, what can it be like for advisers who are hoping to strike out on their own? Whether you’re just starting a career as a mortgage broker or whether you’ve been in the profession for years, it can be an exciting but daunting process to move onto new pastures. You can find out more about how our proposition could support your plans by looking through the rest of our website but in this blog we will highlight some key industry challenges that mortgage advisors don’t always know in advance.

Firstly, running your own mortgage business can be one of the most satisfying things you can do. You get to help people achieve their dreams of home ownership, you can manage your own time and have the work-life balance that suits you, and on top of that, it can be financially rewarding, too. People will always need mortgages and associated products and services, such as protection, and you can expand into more specialised areas of advice, such as equity release, and help even more people.

But being a mortgage adviser in today’s market is by no means easy. Here are some of the challenges that mortgage advisers can face when they’re starting out (and some of the problems that some of our members have faced before they joined The Dragon Network).

Achieving Competent Adviser Status

First off, if you’re new, you have to get qualified. With some hard work and study, you can pass your CeMAP exams, but that’s only the first step on your journey – you’ll have to be signed off with Competent Adviser Status (CAS) before you can fly solo. To do this, you’ll have to start seeing clients under supervision, and meet performance and compliance standards.

This is where new advisers can face their first hurdle. Some firms and networks are reluctant to take on newly qualified advisers. Some see new advisers as a risky bet, because in their eyes, they don’t have a proven track record of sales. Others don’t have the time, resources or commitment needed to support and mentor a new adviser through to CAS and want someone who can hit the ground running.

Even if you’re an experienced adviser, you’ll have to be signed off when you join a new network. It’s an unfortunate fact that some networks have a limited appetite for developing their members and some larger networks can afford to get rid of advisers who don’t meet their standards, rather than develop them.

Building a profitable and sustainable client bank

Whether you’re signed off with CAS or not, finding clients is your next challenge. Some advisers, when they’re starting off on their own, approach friends and family as potential clients. That’s fine in the beginning, but that can only take you so far. You need to generate your own leads if you want your business to grow.

A good source of leads are referrals from your professional connections, such as other brokers, estate agents, solicitors, financial advisers, and accountants. But developing good working relationships with other professionals can take time, especially if you’re new to the industry. For experienced CAS advisors, The Dragon Network also offer support with lead generation and are happy to invest in their members once they have show they can consistently meet the quality standards expected from them.

Marketing and promotion

When it comes to finding customers and building professional connections, then one skill that all advisers should have is marketing. You’d be surprised at the number of advisers who don’t have a significant online presence. In today’s digital age, being without a website or an active social media account can have a detrimental effect on your business brand.

I’m not saying that you have to be sending tweets and posting photographs every day, but if you’re serious about being an adviser, then as minimum, you should have a working website that tells prospective clients about your business proposition and the services you provide. It won’t just be potential clients checking you out online – your professional connections will do it too, and what they see will help them decide if you’re someone they want to do business with. Think of your website and social media as a virtual shop window – it lets your clients and business connections see who you are and what you have to offer.

Keeping up with the changes

The mortgage landscape is constantly changing. Lenders are always developing new products to meet the needs of an ever-evolving marketplace. With new products, comes new criteria and, sometimes, new regulations. It can be quite a challenge in keeping on top of it all, especially when you’re already busy enough running your business. It can be easy to miss something, and if that something happens to be an important regulatory change, you can find yourself in big trouble.

The changes never stop, and as an adviser, you won’t be able to rest on your laurels – you’ll be expected to keep learning, keep developing, and keep looking for new opportunities to help your clients.

You don’t have to do it all alone

You might be reading this and thinking, “I thought they should be were supposed to bring new advisers into the industry, not put them off.”

Don’t worry – this blog is here to tell you that a rewarding, prosperous and successful career as a self-employed mortgage broker exists. You’ll have to have drive, dedication and resourcefulness – but we can provide everything else.

At The Dragon Network, we want you to succeed. We’ll review your business plan to make sure it’s robust and realistic, and that we’re a good fit for each other – we’re focused on quality over volume sales and we want sustainable, long-lasting growth for our members. We’ll get to know you personally so we understand what makes your business unique. We’ll support you with your plans – we won’t try and make you fit into ours.

Welcoming new people into the profession is how our industry grows and we’re one of the few networks that are happy to take on new advisers and support them to Competent Adviser Status. You’ll be mentored and guided every step of the way until you’re ready to go it alone. Even after achieving CAS, our training and development team will continue to support you and enhance your skills.

We’ll help you with marketing to build your client base and expand your reach. We’ll give you everything you need to develop a strong online brand that reflects your identity, values and objectives – from creating your logo, to setting up and designing your website, to producing your business cards and promotional material such as flyers and brochures. We’ll put your business at the front, promoting you and what you can offer, not our own network brand.

We’ve hand-picked the best systems available with one aim in mind – to make it as easy for you to write business as possible. Coupled with our market-leading technology is a carefully considered and common sense compliance regime. Unlike some other networks, our approach to compliance is about protecting you and your clients, and ensuring that everyone benefits from the right advice at the right time, as opposed to preventing you from writing business.

When you join The Dragon Network, you’ll be joining a family of other advisers and professional connections who can help you make the most of your available revenue streams. With a range of products and services, there’s a home for every case and a solution for every client.

Over to you

If you’re thinking about starting a career as a self-employed mortgage broker, or are already running your own business and want to join a mortgage and protection network that will support you without getting in your way, then I’d love to hear from you. Complete this form in 30 seconds and let’s talk about joining the Dragon family.